May 22, 2017

Lucky Loser Borna Coric Beats No. 1 Andy Murray at Madrid Open

Lucky Loser Borna Coric Beats No. 1 Andy Murray at Madrid Open


Andy Murray

(May 11, 2017) No. 1 Andy Murray lost to lucky loser Borna Coric of Croatia in the third round of the Madrid Open on Thursday 6-3, 6-3. Coric became the first person to reach the quarterfinals as a lucky loser in Madrid. Coric reached the main draw after losing in the qualifying tournament when Richard Gasquet withdrew.

“After one match of the qualies where I lost and I was booking my flight back to home, it is surprise for sure,” Coric said of the win.

“But in last two matches, I’ve been feeling pretty good, like I was feeling good like back in Marrakesh.

“I was expecting to play good, but I was not sure how it was going to end. But I was playing really good today.”

Borna Coric

“It’s a huge win, for sure,” the No. 59 ranked Coric continued. “It’s going to mean to me a lot. Also regarding my confidence, which is very important in tennis, obviously, and especially when you are a player like me. So the confidence does play I would say a very big role in my tennis.

“Also it’s going to help me in my ranking. It’s always easier when you’re a little bit higher in the ranking. I don’t know where this is going to put me exactly, but for sure I’m going to be a little bit higher. I can play now a little bit more, let’s say, free. I don’t need to defend many points. I can only earn points.”


As for Murray, he has failed to make it past the semifinals of the three clay court events in which he has participated this year.

“Well, most things weren’t working particularly well,” Murray said. “Yeah, wasn’t great. I mean, I started the match okay, but when I started to go behind, I didn’t find any way to improve my game or to make it more difficult for him. I just kind of let the same things keep happening, making mistakes very early in a lot of the rallies. I wasn’t building any points really.

“You know, I didn’t help myself sort of find a way into the match to start playing better. That was disappointing because, you know, you’re not always going to play your best tennis, but you can still find ways to make it difficult for your opponent, and I didn’t do that at all today.”

“It actually felt quite similar to the match I played against him in Dubai. You know, he serves well. He moves extremely well. You know, he never gives matches away. He makes a lot of shots. He’s very consistent.

“You know, if you’re not on your game, and he’s moving well, making a lot of balls, he can make it very, very tough for you.”

Coric will play his quarterfinal against Dominic Thiem of Austria, who  saved five match points to beat Grigor Dimitrov 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (9).

Novak Djokovic


Defending Novak Djokovic champion beat Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 7-5 to reach the final eight.

“Level was definitely very high today I thought from both players,” said the Serb. “I think Feliciano played really well, especially in the second set. I wasn’t winning too many points on his service games until the last one where I managed to return many balls back in play and then win the match.

“One break was enough, 5-4, 6-5, both sets. But, as I said, it was quite a solid performance from both players, high quality. I was enjoying very much.

“Of course, in the end, you know, 5-All, Love-30, a couple of really long points. I was in trouble, and I managed to get my way out of it, as I said, with some great gets. That pumped me up obviously.

“You know, you’re trying to hold your composure and always find the right balance between pumped up and having great intensity on the court, but at the same time having calm and concentration.”
Djokovic will take on Kei Nishikori next. The 2014 U.S. Open finalist defeated David Ferrer 6-4, 6-3. Nishikori is playing his first tournament since March, he’s been nursing a right wrist injury.

Rafael Nadal

In the night match, Rafael Nadal gave Nick Kyrgios a lesson in clay court play when he demolished the Australian 6-3, 6-1 for his tour leading 31st win of the year.

“I think I played really well tonight,” said the four-time Madrid winner. “Since the beginning of the match, I committed just a few errors. I think I returned the ball very well, even better than normally.

“I think I served very well, committed very few errors. I think I made a step forward compared to yesterday. Of course, to be able to win 6-3, 6-1, whatever the second was, I can’t remember, I think it’s great news. I think it’s not normal to win against an opponent like this because Nick is a really good opponent.”

Nadal will play ninth-seeded David Goffin who won 6-4, 6-2 over fifth-seeded Milos Raonic.

In women’s play Simona Halep, the highest seed left in the women’s draw dismissed Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-1 to reach the semifinals.

“I was a little bit nervous, to be honest, before the match, because she has a big serve,” Halep said.

The Romanian will face Anastasija Sevastova next.

Kristina Mladenovic will play Svetlana Kuznetsova in the other semifinal.

Two-time major winner Kuznetsova stopped Eugenie Bouchard’s run 6-4, 6-0.



Singles – Third Round
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) d [1] A. Murray (GBR) 63 63
[2] N. Djokovic (SRB) d F. Lopez (ESP) 64 75
[4] R. Nadal (ESP) d [16] N. Kyrgios (AUS) 63 61
[9] D. Goffin (BEL) d [5] M. Raonic (CAN) 64 62
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d D. Ferrer (ESP) 64 63
[8] D. Thiem (AUT) d [12] G. Dimitrov (BUL) 46 64 76(9) – saved 5 M.P.
A. Zverev (GER) d [11] T. Berdych (CZE) 64 64
P. Cuevas (URU) d B. Paire (FRA) 75 06 61

Doubles – Second Round
[7] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Granollers (ESP) d F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Huey (PHI) 67(4) 75 10-6
[8] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) d [PR] T. Haas (GER) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 63 64


Singles – Quarterfinals
[3] S. Halep (ROU) d C. Vandeweghe (USA) 61 61
[8] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d E. Bouchard (CAN) 64 60
[14] K. Mladenovic (FRA) d [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU) 64 64
A. Sevastova (LAT) d K. Bertens (NED) 63 63

Doubles – Quarterfinals
[3] Y. Chan (TPE) / M. Hingis (SUI) d A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) 46 63 10-8
I. Begu (ROU) / S. Halep (ROU) d [4] S. Mirza (IND) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 63 36 10-6
[5] T. Babos (HUN) / A. Hlavackova (CZE) d K. Bertens (NED) / J. Larsson (SWE) 62 64
[WC] A. Parra Santonja (ESP) / S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) d [6] L. Hradecka (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) 62 63


MANOLO SANTANA start 12:00 pm
ATP – [6] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [2] N. Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – [3] S. Halep (ROU) vs A. Sevastova (LAT)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [9] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [4] R. Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – [8] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs [14] K. Mladenovic (FRA)
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP – [LL] B. Coric (CRO) vs [8] D. Thiem (AUT)

ATP – [7] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Granollers (ESP) vs [4] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA)
Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – P. Cuevas (URU) vs A. Zverev (GER)
ATP – [3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [6] N. Mahut (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
ATP – [1] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs [8] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)
ATP – N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA) vs [2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

ESTADIO 3 start 2:00 pm
WTA – [3] Y. Chan (TPE) / M. Hingis (SUI) vs [WC] A. Parra Santonja (ESP) / S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
WTA – TBA after rest – [5] T. Babos (HUN) / A. Hlavackova (CZE) vs I. Begu (ROU) / S. Halep (ROU)


Roger Federer Defeats Rafael Nadal to Complete Indian Wells-Miami Double

Roger Federer

(April 2, 2017) To quote the Peter Allen song from the movie “All That Jazz” – “Everything Old is New Again, especially on the ATP World Tour with Roger Federer’s and Rafael Nadal’s resurgence. Both men took time off the tour part of last year to recover from injuries. Federer was out for last six months of 2016 with a knee injury. Nadal was sidelined with a wrist injury to end the year in October.

For Federer this is his 91st career title, 26th Masters Series 1000 championship, third overall behind Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

On Sunday, the long-time rivals and top two major title holders 35-year-old Federer (18) and 30-year-old Nadal (14) squared off for the 37th time, this time in the final of the Miami Open. For the third time this year, Federer bested Nadal 6-3, 6-4 to win his third Miami title. In the final for a fifth time, Nadal was denied the crown in Key Biscayne.

Federer won the tournament back in 2005 and 2006. The win gives the Swiss a third “sunshine” double – claiming both Masters Series crowns in Indian Wells and Miami in the same year.

Federer is the oldest-ever Miami champion.

This is the third time that No. 4 seed Federer has defeated No. 5 seed Nadal this year, fourth straight time overall. The Swiss also beat the Spaniard in final of the Australian Open and the fourth round of Indian Wells two weeks ago. Nadal still soundly dominates the career head-to-head record at 23-14.

This year also marked the thirteenth anniversary of the first time both men first played each other on the tour.

Federer came into the final, after playing an intense three-hour and ten-minute semifinal win over 21-year-old Nick Kyrgios on Friday night. In the quarterfinals, he saved match points against Tomas Berdych.


In the final, Federer broke Nadal’s serve in the penultimate game of each set. Federer hit 30 winners with 17 unforced errors.


Rafael Nadal

“He’s playing good, no? That’s all,” commenting on Federer. “He’s playing good and with high confidence. When a top player like him is playing with this high confidence and playing that good then it’s tough to win.

“Today was a close match in my opinion. Was 6-3, 6-4, but I had opportunities to have the break before him on the first set. I don’t believe in luck, but I was not very lucky in the first set in a couple of points that I think I played well and I lost in the break points, and that’s it.

“Then he has the break and you are in trouble.

“In the second I had 30-All, second serve in the 4-All. I missed that point, and then 30-All, net for him, and go in.

“Few things decided the point, the decided the match, and today was for him. For me was a much closer result than — much closer level today than what the result says, and completely different than last week.

I think that I was close,” Nadal commenting on the match. “I think I was close enough to win the first set. Was not the day. Is true that when somebody is coming with that dynamic like him that he’s winning an a lot, I know that feeling, all the things are going to your way, no?

“So that’s what happened today, because in the first set I think anything could happen. Then in the second was close. The same, one break and that’s it. That’s all. It’s easy to see that match was a close match. In my opinion anything could happen and was in his way, so well done for him.”

“I think it was a close match,” Federer said in his news conference. “Maybe if you didn’t see the match and you were sitting somewhere around the world and you see the score you’re like, Okay, sort of maybe just straightforward and couple breaks and that was it.

“That’s not the full story. I thought he had his chances in the first and in the second. It was close. I think on the big points today I was just a little bit better. Why, I have no explanation. I just think it fell that way today.

“It was more of a fight mode I was in today just trying to stay afloat. Physically, emotionally it’s been a draining week, so I did I did very well.

“Great atmosphere again. A lot riding on the match of course. A lot has happened here in the last, I don’t know, it’s been 12, 13 years since I played Rafa the very first time here and in between.

“So it was a special match and it was great to play against Rafa again.”

“Was a positive tournament for me obviously,” said Nadal. “A lot of points, a lot of confidence for the most important part of the season for me that’s just in two weeks.

“So I hope to have a good two weeks of practice now at home and be ready for the clay. That’s my goal now.”

Rafael Nadal

“I think I am close to what I need to be,” Nadal said in his news conference. “I am at a very high level of tennis and I believe I am ready to win titles. I already played three finals this year, losing three times with a player that didn’t lose a match – only one match that he never would lose in normal conditions in Dubai and that’s it.

“I’m playing enough well to fight for everything I think. I have good hopes that I going to be ready for Monte-Carlo. Always when I am playing that well, on clay always helps a little bit more for me. I need to work hard to be ready for that. If I am ready for that, I think I am very excited about playing back on clay again.”

“I think that the way I’m playing right now is the right way for me moving forward as well,” Federer said. “Of course I’ll always recalibrate every tournament I go to depending on the speed of the ball, the speed of the courts, who I play, because I do have options.

“I’m happy that I was able to stay on the offensive more or less throughout this swing here, Indian Wells and Miami. I think once you win a big tournament like the Australian Open, or any big tournament for that matter, you can just bank usually on some confidence, you know.

“That confidence gets you through a lot of the tough matches that nobody ever speaks about again. You know, let’s make it the quarterfinals here against Berdych. End up winning that somehow. Nobody talks about it. They only will talk about the Nadal finals and the rest we know.

“I think I am definitely profiting from confidence, and then also from the right mindset, able to compress all my energy into one single match and not be distracted by everything else going on around me.

“So I think it’s been a challenging four weeks because, yeah, you have to be focused for a long time. I was able to do that and I’m very happy.”
“I’m moving up in the (rankings) and I just want to stay healthy,” Federer told ESPN’s Brad Gilbert on court after the match.

“I’m not 24 anymore,” Federer said. “I need a rest. My body needs healing”

“When I’m healthy and feeling good, I can produce tennis like this. That’s why taking a break and resting during the clay season and focusing on Roland Garros, the grass and the hard courts after that is best. It would be great to be No. 1 again, but it’s a long way away.”

Federer elaborating on this in his news conference: “I think it’s more about relaxing right now, making sure I get a rest. So I think it’s more prevention, to be honest.

“Then I would like to eventually — when you take a break, a breather and you start working out again, which I will have to stay in shape to some extent because I have Match for Africa 3 in Zurich on April 1oth. I can’t let everything fall apart right now because I have to play in a week.

“After that, I’m looking forward to go back in the gym and work on the stuff I couldn’t do for the last few months.

“Yeah, so I’ll probably stay on hard courts actually for the next few months, if you like, and then I’ll get on the clay probably two weeks before the French. That’s the plan for now.

“Then, yeah, hopefully I’ll play the French, but we’ll see how all of the buildup is going to go. Then obviously for me, that’s when the season essential starts. Sounds weird now, but I see it that way and I’ve always seen it that way.”

Federer’s next focus is Wimbledon: “Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal, I mean now in the near future. The American hard courts I guess as well. The French Open I guess to some extent. It’s just we’ll see what happens, you know. No pressure there really because I won’t have a preparation as such.

“But all of the grass really is important to me because I’ll play Stuttgart and Halle there, too. Then of course I am looking very good for the World Tour Finals, for the year-end championships, where I’ve been very successful. I like the indoors as well.

“So for me basically the second half of the season is a big priority now. That’s why I’ll take a break as well.”

“The comeback is over,” stated Federer. “Still a comeback year, but I did say that until here, now, Miami, it was going to be still learning. It’s the beginning. Let’s see how the knee is going to feel in Australia. How is the body going to be in the Middle East? How is the body going to be west coast, east coast?

“There is a lot of traveling, and the knee can act funny when you travel and fly trans-Atlantic and all that stuff. It’s not like I went home and all I did is take a warm shower. I had to do a lot of stretching, massage, and sleep well, all that stuff. I needed to be very professional to wake up every morning and be ready to compete.

“I’m happy that nothing major happened throughout this period. It’s been a dream run on the court; off the court as well my body has reacted very well and I couldn’t be happier, of course.”

Federer now holds the best record on the tour at 19-1 with three titles. He is 7-0 against Top Ten opponents this year.  This is his best start since 2006 when he went 33-1. He’ll move up to No. 4 in the world on Monday while Nadal will move to No. 5.



Johanna Konta

On Saturday Johanna Konta, the Australian-born Brit won her career-best title, beating former no. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 6-3 for the Miami Open title.

The 25-year-old is off to 19-3 start on the year. She’ll move to a career high No. 7 ranking on Monday.

This is Konta’s third title on the WTA tour. She won Stanford last year and Sydney in January.

“I think I’ve always had the belief of wanting to become a Grand Slam champion, wanting to become the best in the world. I think that stays throughout, with every player I imagine, their career,” Konta said. “Without that, I don’t think it makes it as –the victories as sweet and I think also the defeats as motivating. I think that stays.

“And then it’s about keeping things simple and working for me. I just want to work and try to really bring out in myself the most that I have. Wherever that gets me that’s where it will get me, but hopefully the day I hang up my racquets I will be able to say that I really maximized my full ability and, my, yeah, everything inside me.”

Johanna Konta

“She’s very aggressive,” Wozniacki said. “She takes the ball early and stresses the opponent.”

Just two years ago Konta failed to qualify for Miami and now she is the champion. Talk about a quick turnaround – two years ago she was ranked in the 140s, now she’s Top Ten.


Rafael Nadal to Face Roger Federer in Miami Open Final – Fedal Part 37


Rafael Nadal

(March 30, 2017) Rafael Nadal reached his fifth Miami Open final beating Italy’s Fabio Fognini 6-1, 7-5 during the day session. Nadal will try to win his first Miami final against Roger Federer, who defeated Nick Kyrgios in a three-hour and nine-minute epic match in the evening session 7-6(9), 6-7(9), 7-6(5).

No. 5 seed Nadal lost all four previous finals in Key Biscayne in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014.

No. 4 seed Federer won titles in Miami in 2005 and 2006. His last title victory in Miami came against his current coach Ivan Ljubicic.

Roger Federer

“He’s on such a good run, he’s such a great player, so it was a special feeling,” Federer said in his on-court interview.

“I kept fighting and believing, tried to stay aggressive.

“It was a nail biter and could have gone either way.”


Nick Kyrgios

“I think my game is there but I have to keep putting the mental part of it first,” Kyrgios said to media.

“Wasn’t expecting anything less of this match, the crowd. Created enough chances, felt it was on my racquet”

“I think my game is there but I have to keep putting the mental part of it first.”

“It was a tough match,” Kyrgios said. “Obviously played over three hours. Wasn’t expecting less, to be honest. He’s obviously the crowd favorite anywhere he plays obviously with what he’s done for the game.

“But I thought I was responding well to the crowd. Obviously serving for the first set. Hadn’t been broken in three matches, felt good. But I, mean, I created enough opportunity to win that match. I felt like it was on my racquet most of the time.

“He was playing great. Yeah, the crowd was obviously on his side, but I think I have to win a little bit more to start getting them on my side.”

“To stay healthy; that’s my main goal,” noted Kyrgios. “Playing a lot through the clay season so I to need to look after my body.

“I got Davis Cup next week. That’s my focus now. I am not going to think past that at all. We got a big tie against the USA. Obviously Jack is playing unbelievable. John, he’s a proven player. They’ve got a great team.

“That’s all I’m thinking about at the moment. Just staying injury-free, trying to get better. I felt like my game is there. Just mentally I got to keep putting in every day.”

“I showed a lot of fight,” Kyrgios said in regard to the match. “I thought I competed for every point.

“Obviously I’m an emotional guy. I had some ups and up and downs, bit of a roller coaster. Ultimately I think I put in a good performance. I thought the crowd would’ve enjoyed watching it, people at home would’ve enjoyed watching it.

“As I said, I wouldn’t be surprised if they found something bad, though.”

“I think people are really getting to know him now,” Federer said of his 21-year-old opponent. “They see him play more often. It’s his second, third year on tour now, so he’s coming back for the second, third year now to tournaments, which is good. You really see how he’s evolving as a player and person.

“I think it’s exciting following youngster because they change the look a lot or try out things, play differently; they get to know their game much better.

“He’s clearly got a big time game; he has one of the best serves in the game. He’s got great focus now on his serve, which I like to see. You know, it’s just going to take time for him to really be able to focus point for point and improve that.

“But you’re right, the crowds jump on it pretty quickly. But it makes for a good atmosphere I guess at the end of the day, so it’s not all that bad. Of course I think he’s good for the game at the end of game.”

This was seventh time in Roger Federer’s career that he has played all tie-breaks in best-of-three sets match. He has a 5-2 record in those matches.

Federer rallied from a break down in the first set and had match points in the second set tiebreaker, but could not convert.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal on his straightforward contest with Fognini: “I think I played a very good first set. He had mistakes obviously.

“In the second is not about losing the concentration, it’s about not being lucky at the beginning of the second set. With the normal situation, the normal thing is have a break at the beginning of the second. I had so many chances, but then situation changes, no?

“But when you don’t convert opportunities you’re in trouble, and that’s what happened. Especially with these conditions out there, a lot of wind. And with Fabio, who is a player that he is able to combine great points with mistakes then, you know, the match became strange, not a lot of rhythm, and then end of the second set was tough.”

“I served well. My serve worked well. I think I didn’t face a break point again during the whole match, so that is something that I am very happy with. That’s give you calm when you have opportunities on the return and you don’t convert.”

In one the more unusual situations on court, the 14-time major winner ran out of his shoe in the second set.

“I don’t know,” Nadal said responding to the incident. “Is strange because happened twice. In one month happened two times. I don’t know where the other time — practice. But practicing, not competing. I don’t know. Maybe I need to put tie stronger, but I don’t know. I don’t know how the shoe goes out. I have to check again.”

“Winning here will be something great and something that’s an important title that I didn’t win.

“But winning or losing, being honest, not going to change my career. Just helps to add something important for me and that’s it.

“I am very happy about the first part of the season on hard courts before the clay arrives. I won a lot of matches. I have a lot of points. I am in a privileged position of the race. That’s a great news for me and give me calm to play the next couple of tournaments.

“At the same time, I needed to play well at the beginning of the season because I didn’t have points the second half of the season on the computer, so I had a good chance to go back a lot on the ranking. That will not happen a lot probably. I can lose — I am still defending a lot of points on clay the next four tournaments, especially first three ones.”

For Fognini, the husband of 2015 U.S. Open champion Flavia Pennetta,  this was the unseeded player’s first Masters 1000 semifinal.

“I think I was missing a lot of balls,” he said. “That’s for sure, because I am giving like a present the first set to Rafa Nadal 6-1. It’s difficult to compete after. Even if I play much better the second set; I had my chance.

“I was really surprise about his serve, that he serve really, really good today. And of course no, me no.

“And at the end, I think we have a great fighting, even if he had more chance than me on the second set. I think I had bad luck, especially on that dropshot that was unbelievable, it was really good, on 3-All.”

The fifth seed Nadal leads the ATP World Tour in wins on the season with a 19-4 record.

“It’s great to be in the final for me,” said Nadal. “For me doesn’t matter the opponent. I am happy to be in that final again, and I am excited to play another final of on important event.

“So if it’s Roger, going to be another one for both of us, and that’s it. Just another one.”

“I think back to 2004, I just came off winning Indian Wells and I played the youngster Nadal, and I ended up losing,” Federer said on court.

“You could tell he was definitely going to win the French. The following year we played in the final and I should have lost, somehow, I won, he should have Miami titles and he doesn’t, so it’s going to be super special playing against him in the final.”

“When I came to Miami I just thought, Ahhh, this is probably again — like I did in Indian Wells and in Australia,” Federer said to media. “I just thought eventually it’s just going to catch up with me. Miami is probably not going to work that well because it’s slower. I already won Indian Wells.

“So let’s be realistic here. Semis would be an unbelievable run. Here we are in the finals and I get a chance to win the tournament. Still I feel like there is a mountain to climb in Rafa. He’s not won it yet before. He’s definitely feeling fresher than I feel right now. That’s not a problem. I’ll be ready on Sunday.

“Should be really exciting because we had this epic match in 2005. The finals was unbelievable. It was a turning point in my career, to be quite honest. For me to be able to focus for, I don’t know how long we played, maybe four hours, smashing forehand after forehand down the line I remember, I felt like I had to learn how to fight in matches, and there I showed it to myself and my team that I could do it.

“It was against somebody who ended up being my biggest rival. It’s definitely going to be very special playing Rafa here again. Of course I’m thrilled for him as well that he came back as well as he did after the comeback, the struggles that he had last year. Feels like old times. We’re playing each other every week now. We can’t get enough of each other.

“Yeah, hopefully it’s not our last match.”

Federer is now 18-1 on the year, his best start to a season since 2006.

The final between the “thirty-somethings,” 35-yearold Federer and 30-year-old Nadal, will be played on Sunday afternoon. Nadal holds a 23-13 head-to-head record against Federer.



Roger Federer and Nick Kyrgios Reach Miami Open Semis

Roger Federer

(March 30, 2017) Roger Federer saved two match points to reach the Miami Open semifinals by beating Tomas Berdych 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(6). Federer failed to serve out the match at 5-3 in the third set and rallied from 6-4 down in the tiebreak for the win.

“I felt really good after the first set,” said the Swiss. “I think then I maybe let Tomas back into the match as well just a bit. Also, he started to play bigger and better.

“Still I thought I played a pretty good third set to get the lead, and then I just played a shocker of a game to get broken. I didn’t see — somehow I lost a ball on the first point, then maybe double fault, and then at Love-30 things are just complicated. Plus it was against the wind, so it was a very disappointing game for me.

“I tried to stay positive. I got a match point after that on the return where he went big on the second serve. Credit to him for just going for it. You know, it was nice to see that you can do that.

“Then the breaker obviously I got incredibly lucky. Could have gone either way. Felt like maybe this one I should have lost and maybe I should have won the one against him here in the night session years ago.

“But that’s how it goes. I’m happy I fought hard and somehow got it done today.”

“I just lost by one point. That’s what happened. Very simple, very straightforward,” Berdych said to media “He was the one serving out the match, didn’t make it. I had a match point, didn’t make it. I had two, didn’t make it. So what else to say?”

Nick Kyrgios

Federer will play Nick Kyrgios, the winner of a match between two rising starts on the ATP World Tour – the No. 12 seed Nick Kyrgios defeated No. 16 Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-7(9), 6-3.

“They like the big stage,” Federer noted. “Both have a big serve. Both real nice backhand, and the belief, so that makes them just very tough to play, you know in any given match.

“The question with those guys coming up is can they bring to even single day? How is the mind and the body coping through all the sort of newer stress for them that they’re experiencing?

“Some weeks you feel great; some weeks you just don’t feel so good. That’s normal when you’re younger still trying to figure everything out, what’s their best surface, how do they need to play against certain player types.

“I both like their game and I think they’re going to be very, very good players moving forward. They already are, but I’m talking big picture.”

The world No. 6 is 17-1 on the year.

The other men’s semifinal is already set with Rafael Nadal taking on Fabio Fognini.

Asked about a chance for a Nadal- Federer final, Federer said: “I mean, it would be very cool. Look, they’ve been talking about it since the beginning of the tournament, which is nice. I’m happy we both made it this far. I definitely got super lucky today to be in the position that I’m in today, the semis.

“Yeah, I mean, look, I would love it. It would be like a throwback to 2005 I think the finals we played; 2004 we played the first time ever against each other here in Miami. So that would be cool, to have that going. Plus Rafa going for his first Miami Open. I think that would be cool, too.

“Yet I do believe the semis tomorrow is going to be quit difficult. Unfortunately I have to go back to that. Both are great players. Yeah, I think it’s going to be a tough match for both of them tonight, but especially for me tomorrow against either one.”

Federer versus Kyrgios will be a rematch of the quarterfinals on Indian Wells two weeks ago – Kyrgios had to withdraw due to illness. Federer went on to win the title.

This is the Aussie’s second straight year in the Miami semifinals.

Kyrgios talked about playing Federer: “Obviously he’s the greatest player of all-time, but the way that he takes time away from players, that’s his strength. He likes to play his pace of tennis. He likes to take away time and play aggressive.

“He obviously like to play really aggressive on return. Likes to get through his service games very quick. Serve and volley. I know what’s going to be coming. I’ve played him before.

“In saying that, he’s playing incredible at the moment. He’s had a great year. Obviously coming back from injury last year and winning the Australian Open, winning Indian Wells, he obviously looks very healthy and is moving very, very good.

“I’m not going to think about it too much at the moment. I got a whole day ahead of me where I can sort of just relax. I’m going to not do anything big. I’m going to serve big and play big. That’s my gamestyle that I’ve had success with, so that’s what I’m going to bring.”

Kyrgios beat Federer at the 2015 Madrid Open for their only head-to-head matchup.

Caroline Wozniacki and Johanna Konta moved into the women’s final. Konta defeated former champion Venus Williams 6-4, 7-5, while Wozniacki rallied past Karolina Pliskova 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

“This is one of the few tournaments where I’ve never made a finals,” noted Wozniacki. “I think my best result was semifinals like five years ago. You know, it’s always been a tournament where I wouldn’t say I’ve struggled, but just not had the results that I’ve wanted to.

“You know, I’m really pleased to make it this far. There is one more match to go, and I’m going to do my best to win that one. But it’s going to be against tough opponents regardless of who I’m playing.”

“Against Caroline, I’m definitely going to be looking forward to playing a lot of balls and a lot of tough points,” Konta said. “She’s one of the best athletes in the game. She ran a marathon for goodness sake. I’m sure it’ll be a match where I’ll be running for a lot of balls. Hopefully we’ll give a great match for the final.”

“I think that’s the thing with Caroline: she never goes away. She’s there until the very, very last ball.

“I know that will be my challenge on Saturday. Yeah, looking forward to it.”


Nick Kyrgios Joins Aegon Championships Field

(March 24, 2017) Nick Kyrgios, has added his name to the Aegon Championships line-up, which takes place at The Queen’s Club, 19th-25th June.

Kyrgios joins World No.1 Andy Murray, 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, reigning US Open champion Stan Wawrinka, last year’s Queen’s and Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic and the 2014 Aegon Championships winner, Grigor Dimitrov, in the singles field. Jamie Murray has already confirmed he will be part of the doubles draw.

“I’m real excited and pumped to be coming back to Queen’s,” said Kyrgios. “It’s a great tournament, with Wimbledon soon after, and I love playing on grass. It’s my favourite surface, it suits my game a lot and I’m expecting big things on grass this year.”

Kyrgios, 22, has twice beaten former World No.1 Novak Djokovic in straight sets over the past month, with illness forcing him out of the quarterfinals in Indian Wells last week. He beat Nadal at Wimbledon in 2014 on his way to the quarterfinals in his debut year at the tournament, but he expects that to be just the beginning of his achievements on grass.

“I don’t think British people have seen the best of me yet. I was very young when I had that run at Wimbledon. Mentally I have improved a lot recently, I’m in a great place at the moment, I feel like I’ve matured and that’s helping me. I’m playing better tennis, I’m getting some better results.”

Stephen Farrow, Aegon Championships Tournament Director, said: “Nick is the most exciting young player in tennis at the moment, with several wins already over some of the all-time greats. We can’t wait to see him in action at The Queen’s Club.”

With Centre Court capacity increasing by 30% in 2017, more than 15,000 additional people will be able to watch the action at the Aegon Championships – the ATP World Tour 500 Tournament of the Year. The tournament has already sold more than 8,000 additional tickets than ever before.

Earlier this year, Andy Murray made a career-commitment to play in the Aegon Championships, and the BBC announced that they will cover the tournament until at least 2024.

Last year, the Aegon Championships was voted ATP-500 Tournament of the Year by the players – the fourth successive year that the event has received a tournament of the year award.

Tara McGregor-Woodhams, Head of Brand & Sponsorship, Aegon UK said: “Nick Kyrgios is in such good form at the moment and we are all looking forward to seeing him in action. We are in for a wonderful week of tennis at the Aegon Championships.”


Federer Beats Nadal, Djokovic Loses to Kyrgios at BNP Paribas Open

Roger Federer

(March 15, 2017) Ninth seed Roger Federer took out fifth seed Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-3 in a fourth-round match at the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday. This was the first time since the 2004 third round in Miami that they met so early in a tournament. For the Swiss, it was his thirteenth win over the Spaniard in thirty-six attempts. For the first time in their rivalry, it’s the third straight victory over Nadal for Federer. Federer beat Nadal in the final of the Australian Open at the end of January.

“It’s a nice feeling to win the last three. I can tell you that,” said Federer.

“But most importantly, I won Australia. That was big for me. On the comeback, I look back at that and think that was one of the coolest things I ever experienced in my career.

“Basel was special, too, for many reasons, because I used to be ballboy there. I never played Rafa prior to that finals.

“Then now, here, after the Australian hype, you know, to play here in America right away, all of them are very special.

“I mean, all the matches that we have played are unique in many ways for both of us, winning or losing. So I take it. Obviously can’t celebrate too long this time around. I have to get back to work in a couple of days.”

Federer broke Nadal’s serve a total of four times, twice in each set for the win in 68 minutes.

“The main thing he take the break in the first game, and I had break point in the next game and come back and he had a good serve,” said Nadal.

“When Roger have advantage, his serve is so good, he has a lot of confidence with his serve, he’s able to play much more relaxed, no?

“Worst thing in that match for me was from the beginning I was in disadvantage breaking the first game of the match, and then breaking the second game of the second set. So that’s so difficult to play against Roger this way.”

“It was all about coming out and trying to play the way I did in Australia,” said Federer to media. “I didn’t think it was going to be that possible, to be quite honest, because the court is more jumpy here or more rough, let’s say, so it’s hard to put the ball away.

“I have seen, as well, like against Johnson yesterday, when you serve well and stay on the offensive and you press, you can actually play some really good, aggressive tennis here.

“It’s hard to dig your way out of defense, because the ball doesn’t skid on you as an attacker, and I think I did well again today. You know, I said yesterday it was more a sprint than a marathon. So getting in the lead was crucial, and then staying on the offense and pressing was the goal for me.

“Once I got the break in the second set, obviously you had to be very careful you didn’t get down double break. And I was able to hold my serve, and he couldn’t find a way how to get into my service games more frequently. Next thing you know, it’s all over. It was a really good performance by me, I thought.”


Nick Kyrgios

Three-time defending Indian Wells champ Novak Djokovic had his 19-match winning streak at the tournament snapped by 15th seed Nick Kyrgios 6-4, 7-6(3).
“Well, the run was amazing,” said Djokovic. “I am very proud of it, obviously. It had to end at some stage. Unfortunately, it was today.

“Well, Nick, again, as he did in Acapulco earlier, few weeks ago, he served so well. Just wasn’t managing to get a lot of balls back on his serve, first and second, as well.

“So I guess that’s what made a difference.”

The number two seed fell victim to the Australian for the second time in two weeks. Kyrgios beat Djokovic in Acapulco.
“I guess conditions like today where the ball travels through the air very fast and it bounces very high, you know, it’s a gamble,” said the Serb.

“And on his first serves, to try to anticipate and read his serve, where he’s going to go 140 miles per hour down the T and also pretty good angle wide, so it’s hard to position yourself well. Let’s call it that way. It is a gamble.

“His second serve, if you think you’re going to have a look at it, you don’t, because he goes for it, as well. He didn’t make too many double faults.

“As I said, you know, in this kind of conditions, it’s quite suitable for the server. Puts a lot of pressure on your service games. You know, you need to deliver and you can’t fold, which I did in the opening game of the match. Obviously, the dynamic of the match already went his way in the first/second game.

“Yeah, it was hard to come back from that one, although I did have my chances, did have some 30-Alls and deuces. I don’t think I reached a break point, but I did have some close games on his serves, but I just wasn’t able to deliver what was important at that stage.”
Kyrgios hit 14 aces against Djokovic.

“I knew it was going to be a tough battle today,” said Kyrgios. “I knew he wanted to come out there and obviously after Acapulco to come out there and win.

“The conditions are completely different here than they are in Acapulco. I don’t think I served anywhere near as I did in Acapulco. I fought for every point, and obviously we were a bit — I think both of us were a bit nervous at times.

“I thought it was a pretty good match. I played the crucial points pretty well. Obviously I just served well again. Yeah, it was good to get through.”

Kyrgios will take on Federer for a place in the semifinals. Kyrgios is 1-0 against the 18-time major champion.

Stan Wawrinka

No. 3 seed Stan Wawrinka had to battle back from two breaks in the third set to defeat lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) to advance.

“Well, was really tough match, of course, ” said Wawrinka. “He served twice for the match. He had breaker in the third.

“I wasn’t playing great. I was not moving well at the beginning. I was a little bit hesitating with my game. I think in general in the third set I played better than the two first sets. I got, I would say, maybe to break a little bit quick especially at 5-5.

“But in general I was finding a little bit better my game. I was playing a little bit more aggressive. I was more calm, making more long rally.

“Again, I’m really happy to get through for sure. You have to be a little bit lucky when he served twice for the match, but I’m happy to fight well enough to give me a chance to play tomorrow night.”

Other men reaching the elite 8 of Indian Wells includes: No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori, who defeated Donald Young 6-2, 6-4,  No. 8 seed Dominic Thiem dominated No.  10 seed Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2, No. 17 seed Jack Sock who won 4-6, 7-6(1), 7-5 over Malek Jaziri, No. 21 Pablo Carreno Busta, beating qualifier Dusan Lajovic, and No. 27 Pablo Cuevas knocking out No, 11 seed David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Karolina Pliskova

In women’s play, Karolina Pliskova and Svetlana Kuznetsova advanced to the semifinals. In a very tight match, the No. 3 seed Pliskova defeated No. 7 Garbine Muguruza 7-6, 7-6.

“Definitely the best match for me in this tournament,” said the Czech. “Also, like, it was good player, so the level ultimately goes a little bit more up, little better player.

“So definitely from the baseline I think was fine. But, yeah, the way how I was finishing those sets, I’m not happy with that, because I was serving into both. In the second one I was serving twice.

“Even 40-15 up, I don’t think it can happen with my serve. Like, anything is possible in tennis, but I just have to serve few times. I had a good rally once on my forehand.

“So, yeah, a little bit unlucky, but, yeah, just not happy with the way how it finished, but happy how I, in the end, still stayed there.

“And the tiebreaks, especially in the second one was not easy, because I had in my head, I had some match points and I had 5-2. So, yeah, so happy that I stayed there and closed it in the second tiebreak, as well.

“And obviously my serve not really good today, as the whole tournament.”

Kuznetsova defeated Russian countrywoman Anastasia Pavyluchenkova 6-3, 6-2.


Murray, Federer, Wawrinka and Nishikori Reach Third Round of Australian Open

Andy Murray

(January 18, 2017) Top seed Andy Murray survived a fall in the third set in which he injured his ankle, to easily beat Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 to reach the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Wednesday.

In the third game of the third set, the Scot’s right shoe caught on the court’s surface. Post match Murray said that the ankle was sore but he could still move around the court well.

Murray will take on 31rst seed Sam Querrey in the third round on Friday.

Four-time Australian Open champion and 17th seed Roger Federer has reached the round of 32. The veteran beat qualifier Noah Rubin 7-5, 6-3, 7-6(3), coming back from a 2-5 deficit in the final set.

“I definitely got lucky winning that third set. He had a couple of set points on my serve,” Federer said.

“Tricky third set, of course. I had to save a couple of set points. I know it could have gone different. I’m happy there.

“I think I was a bit more consistent than in the first match against Melzer, where I ended up losing that second set after leading. I think I had a little bit better concentration.

“Yeah, like I said, I didn’t know much about Noah Rubin going in except the info I got from my coaches. I was prepared. I was ready to battle. I was able to get the win, so I’m very happy.”


The third round will be a test for the Swiss as he’ll match up with 10th seed Tomas Berdych. Berdych had a 6-3, 7-6 (6), 6-2 win over American Ryan Harrison.

No. 5 Kei Nishikori advanced to the third round with a  6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Jeremy Chardy.

“There was many up and downs in second set and also third set, too,” he said. “I think I was focused when I need the game.

“Yeah, it was a good match for me.”

No. 4 seed Stan Wawrinka beat American Steve Johnson 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 over Steve Johnson, and No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Dusan Lajovic 6-2, 6-2, 6-3.

Upsets on the day on the men’s side included 2014 US Open champion, seventh seed  Marin Cilic who lost to Brit Dan Evans, No. 14 seed Nick Kyrgios and 19th seed John Isner.


More to follow…


2017 Australian Open – Day 3 Men’s Preview




Wednesday 18 January

2nd Round Top Half


Stan Wawrinka

Featured matches


No. 1 Andy Murray (GBR) v (Q) Andrey Rublev (RUS)

No. 4 Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Steve Johnson (USA)

No. 5 Kei Nishikori (JPN) v Jeremy Chardy (FRA)

No. 7 Marin Cilic (CRO) v Daniel Evans (GBR)

No. 10 Tomas Berdych (CZE) v Ryan Harrison (USA)

No. 14 Nick Kyrgios (AUS) v Andreas Seppi (ITA)

No. 17 Roger Federer (SUI) v (Q) Noah Rubin (USA)

No. 27 Bernard Tomic (AUS) v Victor Estrella Burgos (DOM)

No. 31 Sam Querrey (USA) v (WC) Alex De Minaur (AUS)


On court today…


  • Andy Murray could reach a Grand Slam match-wins milestone today. A victory over qualifier Andrey Rublev would see the 3-time Grand Slam champion record his 178th match-win at the majors and equal Stefan Edberg in 8th place on the list for the most Grand Slam match-wins in the Open Era. World No. 156 Rublev, who recorded his first career victory at a major in the first round here, will be hoping to make life difficult for the world No. 1 as he looks to become the lowest-ranked player to defeat Murray at Tour-level.


  • Roger Federer is looking to maintain his record of always having reached the 3rd round here when he takes on qualifier Noah Rubin. World No. 200 Rubin faces a daunting task – the Swiss has not lost in the 2nd round at a major since falling to Sergiy Stakhovsky at 2013 Wimbledon.


  • Kei Nishikori lives to fight another day after being taken to 5 sets by Andrey Kuznetsov in his opening round here. The world No. 5, who has a perfect 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches at Melbourne Park, will hope for a smoother ride against Jeremy Chardy as he aims to record a 4th straight victory over the Frenchman and earn a place in the 3rd round for the 7th year in a row.


  • Alex De Minaur will hope to continue his dream Grand Slam debut when he takes on Sam Querrey for a place in the 3rd round. Aged 17 years 347 days, De Minaur will become the youngest man to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal (17 years 243 days) at the 2004 Australian Open if he can find a way past the big-serving American.



Head-to-head: first meeting


Murray has never lost to a player ranked as low as No. 156 Rublev at Tour-level, with his worst Tour-level defeat coming against No. 154 Jean-Rene Lisnard at 2006 AMS Monte Carlo.


The lowest-ranked player to defeat Murray at a Grand Slam is No. 91 Arnaud Clement at the 2005 US Open – the only qualifier to have defeated Murray at a major. Murray has a 10-1 win-loss record against qualifiers at the majors overall.


MURRAY                                       v                                        RUBLEV


29                                          Age                                          19

1                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            156

44                                         Titles                                          0

177-40                     Career Grand Slam Record                        1-1

46-11                        Australian Open Record                          1-0

635-175                              Career Record                                13-19

427-114                        Career Record – Hard                           10-12

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

23-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

184-107                      Career Tiebreak Record                          6-8

4-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0


  • 5-time Australian Open runner-up MURRAY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 9th straight year. He defeated Illya Marchenko 75 76(5) 62 in the 1st round. He is contesting his 12th straight Australian Open and 44th Grand Slam overall.


  • Murray is bidding to record his 178th Grand Slam match-win today and equal Stefan Edberg (178-47) in 8th place on the Open Era list for the most Grand Slam match-wins (see Preview page 5).


  • Murray is bidding to extend his 12-match winning streak against qualifiers at Tour-level. He has not lost to a qualifier at Tour-level since falling to Santiago Giraldo at 2014 Madrid-1000.


  • 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 Ivan 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 in the 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.


  • Qualifier RUBLEV is bidding to reach the 3rd round on his Australian Open debut.


  • Rublev recorded his first Grand Slam match-win by defeating Yen-Hsun Lu 46 63 76(0) 63 in the 1st round here.


  • Rublev defeated Max Purcell (AUS) 64 67(6) 61, Yuichi Sugita (JPN) 64 76(2) and Peter Polansky (CAN) 64 46 63 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here. It was his first attempt to qualify for the Australian Open.


  • This is Rublev’s 2nd Grand Slam appearance. He fell in the 1st round in his only other appearance at a major as a qualifier at the 2015 US Open (l. Kevin Anderson). He failed to qualify in his 4 other attempts to qualify for a Grand Slam – at Wimbledon in 2015 and 2016, and at both Roland Garros and the US Open in 2016.


  • Rublev is bidding to record back-to-back match-wins at a Tour-level event for the first time. As well as reaching the 2nd round here, his career-best Tour-level results are reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Delray Beach, Miami-1000, Istanbul, Geneva and Valencia in 2015, as a qualifier at 2015 Barcelona and as a wild card at both 2016 Chennai and 2016 St. Petersburg.


  • Rublev’s 1st round win over Lu here was his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the 2nd round at St. Petersburg in September (l. Joao Sousa), when Mikhail Kukushkin retired with a right arm injury with Rublev leading 63 4-1. Rublev won just 2 other Tour-level matches in 2016 – reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Chennai (d. Somdev Devvarman, l. Stan Wawrinka) and defeating Robin Haase in Russia’s 4-1 Davis Cup victory over Netherlands in September.


  • Rublev won his first Challenger title in his first final in 2016 as a qualifier at Quimper (FRA) (d. Paul-Henri Mathieu) and ended his season with a runner-up finish at the Mouilleron Le Captif Challenger (FRA) (d. Julien Benneteau). He also reached the semifinals at the Orleans Challenger (FRA) (l. Norbert Gombos).


  • Rublev is bidding to defeat a Top 30 player at any level for the first time. The highest-ranked player he has defeated is No. 32 Pablo Andujar in the 5th rubber during Russia’s 3-2 Davis Cup victory over Spain in the 2015 World Group play-offs. The highest-ranked player he has faced is No. 4 Stan Wawrinka at 2016 Chennai, where he fell 63 62.


  • Rublev plays here on a career-high ranking of No. 152.


  • Rublev is a former junior world No.1 having topped the boys’ rankings for the first time in June 2014 after winning the boys’ singles title at 2014 Roland Garros. He finished runner-up in the boys’ doubles with Stefan Kozlov at 2014 Wimbledon and won two medals at the Youth Olympic Tennis Event in Nanjing later that year, winning boys’ singles bronze and boys’ doubles silver with Karen Khachanov. He was named 2014 ITF Junior World Champion.


  • Rublev has played Davis Cup for Russia since 2014, compiling a 4-2 win-loss record in singles and 4-0 in doubles. He helped Russia earn promotion back to the 2017 World Group, where they will play Serbia in Nis in the first round on 3-5 February.
  • Rublev is coached by Sergey Tarasevich.






Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 1-0

2015     Roland Garros               Clay (O)            R32      Wawrinka          64 63 62


A 2nd career – and Grand Slam meeting – between these 2 players, but their first meeting on a hard court.


WAWRINKA                                     v                                       JOHNSON


31                                          Age                                          27

4                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            30

15                                         Titles                                          1

120-44                     Career Grand Slam Record                      15-18

32-10                        Australian Open Record                          5-4

442-253                              Career Record                                96-96

246-141                        Career Record – Hard                           70-66

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   4-2

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-2

25-19                         Career Five-Set Record                           4-6

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

181-172                      Career Tiebreak Record                         55-63

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-0


  • 2014 Australian Open champion WAWRINKA is looking to reach the 3rd round here for the 9th straight year. This is his 12th Australian Open appearance and his 48th Grand Slam overall.


  • Wawrinka advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Martin Klizan 46 64 75 46 64 in the 1st round on Monday. The victory 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 lost in the 2nd round at the Australian Open twice before – on his debut in 2006
    (l. David Nalbandian) and in 2008 (l. Marc Gicquel), the only occasions in which he has lost before the 3rd round in his 11 previous appearances here.


  • 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.


  • JOHNSON is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd straight year and equal his best Australian Open result.


  • Johnson advanced to the 2nd round here after defeating Federico Delbonis 63 63 64 in the 1st round on Monday.


  • Johnson’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 3rd round in 2015 (l. Kei Nishikori) and 2016 (l. David Ferrer). This is his 5th Australian Open appearance and his 19th Grand Slam overall.


  • Johnson’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the round of 16 at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer). Elsewhere at the majors last year, he reached the 2nd round at the US Open (l. Juan Martin del Potro) but fell in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Fernando Verdasco).


  • Johnson is bidding to defeat a Top 10 opponent for the 3rd time. His career-best wins came against No. 10 Richard Gasquet at 2016 Queen’s and No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 2016 Cincinnati-1000. He has a 2-16 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall. The highest-ranked player he has defeated at a Grand Slam is No. 24 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in 5-sets in the 1st round at 2015 Roland Garros.


  • Johnson has lost both of the 2 five-set matches he has played here, falling in 5-sets in the 1st round in 2013 (l. Nicolas Almagro) and 2014 (l. Adrian Mannarino). He has a 4-6 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.


  • Johnson’s best result in 2016 was winning his first Tour-level title at Nottingham (d. Pablo Cuevas). He also reached the semifinals at Washington (l. Ivo Karlovic), reaching a career-high ranking of No. 21 afterwards, and 4 further quarterfinals. He plays here ranked No. 30.


  • Johnson won the men’s doubles bronze medal alongside Jack Sock at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after the pair defeated Daniel Nestor/Vasek Pospisil in the play-off for 3rd place. He also reached the quarterfinals of the singles event, narrowly missing the chance to play for a medal after losing to Andy Murray in a decisive set tiebreak.


  • Johnson won his first Tour-level doubles title in 2016, winning the title at Geneva alongside Sam Querrey (d. Raven Klaasen/Rajeev Ram).


  • Prior to coming here, Johnson reached the semifinals at Auckland (l. Sock) after a 1st round defeat at Brisbane (l. Grigor Dimitrov).


  • Johnson has played one Davis Cup tie for USA, helping them to a 3-1 victory over Uzbekistan in the 2015 World Group play-offs. USA will host Switzerland in the World Group first round in Birmingham on 3-5 February.


  • Johnson played college tennis. He was NCAA singles champion in 2011 and 2012, and became the first player in NCAA history to lead his school, USC, to a 4 consecutive NCAA team titles.


  • Johnson is coached by Craig Boynton.






Head-to-head: Nishikori leads 4-2

2011     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           R128    Nishikori           76(5) 62

2012     Acapulco                      Clay (O)            R16      Chardy              16 76(8) 60

2013     Rome-1000                   Clay (O)            R32      Chardy             64 61

2014     Tokyo                           Hard (O)           QF        Nishikori           64 62

2015     Paris-1000                     Hard (I)             R32      Nishikori           76(4) 67(6) 61

2016     Barcelona                     Clay (O)            R16      Nishikori           63 75


A 7th encounter for the pair, who have met once a year in each of the past 6 years, but their first at a Grand Slam.


Nishikori has won all 3 of their previous meetings on a hard court.


NISHIKORI                                      v                                        CHARDY


27                                          Age                                          29

5                                    ATP Ranking                                   72

11                                         Titles                                          1

61-28                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-35

21-7                         Australian Open Record                         10-8

305-143                              Career Record                              208-211

215-100                        Career Record – Hard                         108-118

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-2

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-2

15-5                          Career Five-Set Record                          10-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

91-64                        Career Tiebreak Record                       103-115

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1


  • NISHIKORI is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 7th straight year. This is his 8th Australian Open appearance and his 30th Grand Slam overall.


  • Nishikori advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Andrey Kuznetsov 57 61 64 67(6) 62 in the 1st round on Monday. The victory maintained Nishikori’s 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.


  • CHARDY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd time. This is his 9th consecutive appearance at Melbourne Park and his 36th Grand Slam overall.


  • Chardy progressed to the 2nd round after Nicolas Almagro retired with a calf strain while trailing 4-0 in their 1st round match on Monday.
  • Last year here, as No. 30 seed, Chardy lost in the 2nd round to Andrey Kuznetsov.
  • Also at the Grand Slams in 2016, Chardy reached the 3rd round at Roland Garros (l. Stan Wawrinka), but fell in the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Steve Johnson) and the US Open (l. Grigor Dimitrov).
  • Chardy’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the quarterfinals here in 2013 (l. Andy Murray). He upset 7th-ranked Juan Martin del Potro in 5 sets in the 3rd round – one of his 3 career victories against Top 10 opposition at the Grand Slams. He also defeated No. 7 David Nalbandian at 2008 Roland Garros and No. 8 David Ferrer at the 2015 US Open. He has a 3-13 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition at the majors overall.
  • Chardy’s highlights in 2016 were reaching 4 Tour-level quarterfinals – at Doha (l. Illya Marchenko), Sydney (l. Gilles Muller), Delray Beach (l. Del Potro) and Umag (l. Carlos Berlocq).
  • Chardy warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the quarterfinals at Auckland (l. Jack Sock) after a 1st round defeat to Murray at Doha.
  • Chardy has won 6 of his last 7 five-set matches. His only defeat in that time came in his most recent 5-set match against Grigor Dimitrov in the 2nd round at the 2016 US Open. He has a 2-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open and a 10-3 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.
  • Chardy had a successful junior career. He won the boys’ singles at 2005 Wimbledon (d. Robin Haase) and also finished runner-up at the 2005 US Open. He achieved a career-high junior ranking of No. 3 in September 2005.
  • Chardy is coached by Magnus Tideman. His fitness trainer is Frederic Lefevre and his physio is Jean Jacques Peyroutou.




Head-to-head: first meeting


Cilic has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 51 Evans at the Australian Open since falling to No. 126 Ilija Bozoljac on his debut here as a qualifier in 2007.


CILIC                                          v                                         EVANS


28                                          Age                                          26

7                             ATP Ranking (16 Jun)                            51

16                                         Titles                                          0

84-34                      Career Grand Slam Record                        7-7

20-8                         Australian Open Record                          1-1

392-211                              Career Record                                26-35

251-123                        Career Record – Hard                           18-23

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   5-1

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              5-1

25-12                         Career Five-Set Record                           1-4

5                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

144-128                      Career Tiebreak Record                         17-19

0-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1


  • CILIC is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 7th time. He advanced to the 2nd round by defeating Jerzy Janowicz 46 46 62 62 63 in the 1st round on Monday.


  • Cilic’s 5-set win over Janowicz in the 1st round here was his 5th career comeback from 0-2 down and improved his 5-set win-loss record to 6-2 at Melbourne Park and 25-12 overall. It was his first 0-2 comeback since Croatia’s 2014 Davis Cup Europe/Africa 2nd round tie with Poland, when he also defeated Janowicz.


  • Cilic is making his 9th Australian Open appearance and his 37th at a Grand Slam Last year here he fell to Roberto Bautista Agut in the 3rd round.


  • Cilic won his first major title at the 2014 US Open, defeating Kei Nishikori in the final. He was the first Croatian to win a Grand Slam title since Goran Ivanisevic at 2001 Wimbledon. He is one of the 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s main draw here.


  • Cilic’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals as No. 14 seed here in 2010 (l. Andy Murray). He is the only Croatian man to reach the Australian Open semifinals in the history of the championships. He broke into the Top 10 for the first time as a result.


  • Cilic warmed up for the Australian Open at Chennai, where he fell to Jozef Kovalik in the 2nd round after receiving a 1st round bye.


  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Cilic reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon for the 3rd straight year, falling to Roger Federer despite holding a 2-0 lead. He reached the 3rd round at both the Australian Open and the US Open (l. Jack Sock), but fell in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Marco Trungelliti) – his first loss in the 1st round at a major since 2011 Wimbledon.


  • Cilic’s best result in 2016 was winning his first Masters-1000 title at Cincinnati (d. Murray), where he extended his streak of winning at least one title every year since winning his first at 2008 New Haven. He also won the title at Basel (d. Nishikori) and finished runner-up at both Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios) and Geneva (l. Stan Wawrinka). He reached 3 further semifinals at Queen’s, Tokyo and Paris-1000.


  • Cilic compiled an 8-3 win-loss record in Davis Cup rubbers to help Croatia reach its 2nd Final in 2016. He was just a set away from clinching the title for Croatia in the fourth rubber, before Juan Martin del Potro recovered to win in 5 sets as Argentina went on to complete a 3-2 comeback victory in the Final in Zagreb. Croatia will host Spain in the Davis Cup World Group first round in Osijek on 3-5 February.


  • Cilic is coached by Jonas Bjorkman, who reached the singles quarterfinals here in 1998 and 2002 and won the doubles title in 1998, 1999 and 2001.


  • EVANS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here and equal his best Grand Slam result.


  • Evans defeated Facundo Bagnis 76(8) 63 61 in the 1st round to record his first Australian Open match-win.


  • Evans’ best Grand Slam result is reaching the 3rd round on 3 occasions – 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).


  • 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 (l. Gilles Muller). 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 is bidding to defeat a Top 10 player for the 2nd time. He recorded his first career victory over a Top 10 player by defeating No. 8 Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals at 2016 Sydney, ending a 4-match losing streak against Top 10 opposition.


  • 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.




Head-to-head: Berdych leads 1-0

2016     Toronto-1000     Hard (O)           R16      Berdych            64 67(2) 64


Berdych has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 82 Harrison at a Grand Slam since falling to No. 109 Gael Monfils in 5 sets in the 1st round at 2013 Roland Garros.


                         BERDYCH                                      v                                      HARRISON


31                                          Age                                          24

10                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            82

13                                         Titles                                          0

131-52                     Career Grand Slam Record                       9-20

39-13                        Australian Open Record                          2-6

585-304                              Career Record                               76-107

365-193                        Career Record – Hard                           58-76

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-1

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-1

20-8                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

201-165                      Career Tiebreak Record                         40-49

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1


  • BERDYCH is bidding to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open for the 7th straight year. He advanced to the 2nd round after 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 Roger Federer 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 Federer 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.
  • HARRISON is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result. This is his 7th Australian Open appearance and his 21st Grand Slam overall.


  • By defeating Nicolas Mahut 63 64 62 in the first round here, Harrison has equalled his best Australian Open performance. He also reached the 2nd round here in 2013 (d. Santiago Giraldo, l. Novak Djokovic).


  • Harrison’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the 3rd round as a qualifier at the 2016 US Open (l. Marcos Baghdatis). He recorded a career-best win – and his 2nd career victory over a Top 10 opponent – by defeating No. 6 Milos Raonic in the 2nd round. His only other win against a Top 10 player came against No. 10 Grigor Dimitrov at 2015 Acapulco. He has a 2-26 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition overall.


  • Also at the Grand Slams in 2016, Harrison fell to Andrey Kuznetsov in the first round here, and failed to qualify at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon.


  • Harrison is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time since the 2016 US Open. He recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins on just 2 other occasions in 2016, reaching the 3rd round as a qualifier at both Washington (l. Steve Johnson) and Toronto-1000 (l. today’s opponent).


  • Prior to coming here, Harrison reached the 2nd round as a qualifier at Auckland (l. Jack Sock). He lost in the 1st round of qualifying at Brisbane.


  • Harrison reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at the 2008 Australian Open. He was also a quarterfinalist in the boys’ singles at the 2005 US Open and reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 7.


  • Harrison is coached by Peter Lucassen.






Head-to-head: Kyrgios leads 2-0

2014     US Open                      Hard (O)           R64      Kyrgios             64 76(2) 64

2015     Australian Open            Hard (O)           R16      Kyrgios             57 46 63 76(5) 86


A 3rd career meeting for the pair. Both of their previous meetings have come at a Grand Slam, with Kyrgios winning on each occasion.


The last time the pair met, in the round of 16 here in 2015, Kyrgios recovered from 0-2 down for the 2nd time in his career to reach the quarterfinals here for the first time.


Kyrgios has only once lost to a player ranked outside the Top 30 at a Grand Slam – when he retired with a right hip injury while trailing Illya Marchenko 46 64 61 in the 3rd round at the 2016 US Open.


                          KYRGIOS                                       v                                         SEPPI


21                                          Age                                          32

13                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            89

3                                          Titles                                          3

26-14                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-47

8-3                          Australian Open Record                        13-11

76-45                                Career Record                              310-332

44-25                          Career Record – Hard                         141-176

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

4-1                           Career Five-Set Record                         20-15

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         4

52-38                        Career Tiebreak Record                       114-147

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1


  • KYRGIOS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd straight year. He defeated Gastao Elias 61 62 62 in the 1st round. This is his 4th Australian Open appearance and his 15th Grand Slam overall.


  • Last year here Kyrgios reached the 3rd round, falling to Tomas Berdych. Elsewhere at the majors in 2016, he reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Andy Murray) and the 3rd round at both Roland Garros
    (l. Richard Gasquet) and the US Open, where he retired with a right hip injury while trailing Illya Marchenko 46 64 61.


  • At the 2015 Australian Open aged 19 years 280 days, Kyrgios equalled his best Grand Slam result by reaching the quarterfinals (l. Murray). He became the youngest man to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals since Andrei Cherkasov in 1990. He was the first Australian to reach the last 8 at the Australian Open since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 and only the 3rd Australian man to reach the quarterfinals here as a teenager after Brad Drewett and Pat Cash.
  • Kyrgios also reached the quarterfinals at 2014 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). Ranked No. 144, he defeated world No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 to become the lowest-ranked player to defeat a world No. 1 at a Grand Slam since No. 193 Andrei Olhovskiy defeated Jim Courier in the 3rd round at 1992 Wimbledon.


  • Kyrgios won his first 3 career titles in 2016 – winning at Marseille (d. Marin Cilic), Atlanta (d. John Isner) and Tokyo (d. David Goffin) to become the first Australian to win 3 or more titles in a year since Lleyton Hewitt in 2004. He reached 3 further semifinals – at Dubai, Miami-1000 and Estoril – and climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 13 on 24 October. He plays here at No. 13.


  • Prior to coming here, Kyrgios played at the Hopman Cup, where he defeated Feliciano Lopez 63 64 and Adam Pavlasek 75 64 before falling to Jack Sock 62 62.


  • Kyrgios is one of the 6 former Australian Open junior singles champions to reach the 2nd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw. Kyrgios won the junior title in 2013, defeating compatriot Thanasi Kokkinakis in the final.


  • Kyrgios was ranked 1 in the Junior rankings in January 2013 after winning the title at the Junior Australian Open. He also won the boys’ doubles title with Kokkinakis at 2013 Wimbledon.


  • Kyrgios is one of the 11 Australian men who started this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most to start in the main draw here since 2003 when there were also 11. The last Australian man to win the title here was Mark Edmondson in 1976.


  • Kyrgios entered the men’s doubles event here with Daniel Evans. The pair will play Dusan Lajovic/Viktor Troicki in the 1st round.


  • Kyrgios has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2013. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.


  • Kyrgios is currently without a coach. His fitness trainers are Will Maher and Matt James.


  • SEPPI is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 4th time.


  • Seppi advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Paul-Henri Mathieu 64 76(4) 67(3) 75 in the 1st round on Monday. It was his first Tour-level match-win since he reached the quarterfinals at Antwerp (l. Kyle Edmund) in October.


  • 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. today’s opponent), and at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).


  • 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 lost 17 of his last 18 matches against Top 20 opposition. His only victory over a Top 20 player in that time was against No. 14 David Ferrer at 2016 Halle.


  • Seppi has lost 8 of his last 9 matches against Top 20 opposition at the Grand Slams. His only win over a Top 20 opponent in that time came at the 2015 Australian Open, when he defeated No. 2 Roger Federer to record his first win over a Top 10 player at a major.


  • Seppi has been coached by Massimo Sartori since 1995.



Head-to-head: first meeting


Federer has not lost to a player ranked as low as today’s opponent since losing to No. 249 Sergio Bruguera at 2000 Barcelona. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to at a Grand Slam is No. 154 Mario Ancic at 2002 Wimbledon and the lowest-ranked player he has lost to at the Australian Open is No. 54 Arnaud Clement on his debut here in 2000.


FEDERER                                       v                                         RUBIN


35                                          Age                                          20

17                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            200

88                                         Titles                                          0

308-51                     Career Grand Slam Record                        2-2

81-13                        Australian Open Record                          2-1

1081-245                             Career Record                                  3-7

665-135                        Career Record – Hard                            3-6

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

24-20                         Career Five-Set Record                           1-0

10                        Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

395-215                      Career Tiebreak Record                          5-4

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1


  • FEDERER is bidding to maintain his record of always having reached the 3rd round here. He defeated qualifier Jurgen Melzer 75 36 62 62 in the 1st round on Monday night.


  • Federer’s 1st round win over Melzer improved his win-loss record against qualifiers at the Grand Slams to 25-1. His only defeat to a qualifier at a major came against Mario Ancic in the 1st round at 2002 Wimbledon.


  • Federer has not lost in the 2nd round at a Grand Slam since 2013 Wimbledon, when he fell to Sergiy Stakhovsky to suffer his earliest defeat at a major since losing in the 1st round at 2003 Roland Garros.


  • 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.


  • Qualifier RUBIN is bidding to reach the 3rd round here and record his best Grand Slam result.


  • Rubin equalled his best Grand Slam result by defeating fellow qualifier Bjorn Fratangelo 67(4) 75 36 62 62 in the 1st round here. It was his first career 5-set match.


  • Last year here as a wild card, Rubin recorded his best Grand Slam result on his Australian Open debut by reaching the 2nd round (d. Benoit Paire, l. Pierre-Hugues Herbert). He fell in the 1st round on his only other Grand Slam appearance as a wild card at the 2014 US Open (l. Federico Delbonis).


  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Rubin fell in the final round of qualifying at the US Open (l. Karen Khachanov) and in the 1st round of qualifying at Roland Garros (l. Dennis Novikov). He didn’t attempt to qualify at Wimbledon. This is the first time he has qualified for a major in 5 attempts.


  • Rubin defeated Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 57 64 64, Roberto Carballes Baena (ESP) 64 36 62 and Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 62 64 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here. It was his first attempt to qualify for the Australian Open.


  • Rubin is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time. By defeating Fratangelo in the 1st round here, Rubin recorded his 3rd career Tour-level match-win. His only other Tour-level match-wins came in reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at both the Australian Open and Delray Beach (d. Sam Groth, l. Jeremy Chardy) in 2016. He fell in the 1st round in all 5 of the other Tour-level events he has contested.


  • Also in 2016, Rubin reached the final at the Stockton Challenger (USA) (l. Frances Tiafoe) and the semifinals at the Maui Challenger (USA) (l. Di Wu). He reached 2 further Challenger quarterfinals at Sarasota (USA) and Tallahassee (USA) and also finished runner-up at the USA F8 Futures.


  • Prior to coming here Rubin played at the Noumea Challenger (CAL), where he reached the 2nd round (d. Mats Moraing, l. Adrian Menendez-Maceiras).


  • Rubin is bidding to defeat a Top 20 player for the 2nd time. He won his only previous meeting with a Top 20 player when he defeated No. 18 Paire in the 1st round here last year.


  • Rubin reached a career-high ranking of No. 166 on 6 June 2016. He plays here at No. 200.


  • Rubin reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 6 in January 2013. He won the boys’ singles title at 2014 Wimbledon, defeating Stefan Kozlov in the final, and also reached the quarterfinals at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Filip Peliwo). He never contested the boys’ singles event here.


  • Rubin is coached by Stan Boster and former US Open semifinalist Robby Ginepri, who reached the round of 16 here in 2004.




Tour-level head-to-head: Tomic leads 1-0

2014     Rome-1000 Qualifying   Clay (O)            R32      Estrella Burgos             75 63

2014     Bogota                         Hard (O)           SF        Tomic                           76(2) 67(5) 76(5)


A 2nd Tour-level for the pair and their first at a Grand Slam. Tomic won the pair’s only previous Tour-level meeting, in 3 tiebreak sets, at 2014 Bogota.


Tomic has not lost to a player ranked as low as No. 103 Estrella Burgos at a Grand Slam since he lost to No. 179 Daniel Evans in the 2nd round at the 2013 US Open. The last time he lost to a player ranked outside the Top 100 was at 2015 Newport, when he fell No. 156 John-Patrick Smith in the 1st round.



                            TOMIC                                         v                              ESTRELLA BURGOS


24                                          Age                                          36

27                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            103

3                                          Titles                                          2

38-27                      Career Grand Slam Record                       5-11

16-8                         Australian Open Record                          1-2

160-140                              Career Record                                78-64

115-87                         Career Record – Hard                           33-36

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

8-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           6-4

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

92-78                        Career Tiebreak Record                         34-24

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0


  • TOMIC is bidding to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open for the 6th time. This is his 9th consecutive appearance at the Australian Open and his 29th Grand Slam overall.


  • Tomic advanced to the 2nd round with a 62 61 64 victory against Thomaz Bellucci in the 1st round on Monday.


  • 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.


  • Last year here, Tomic equalled his best Australian Open performance by reaching the round of 16
    (l. Andy Murray). He also reached the round of 16 here in 2012 (l. Roger Federer) and 2015 (l. Tomas Berdych).


  • 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 one of 11 Australian men to start this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most since 2003 when there were also 11. 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 6 former Australian Open junior singles champions to reach the 2nd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw. 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. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.


  • Tomic is coached by his father John.


  • ESTRELLA BURGOS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result.


  • Estrella Burgos recorded his first Australian Open match-win by defeating Aljaz Bedene 76(2) 75 06 63 in the 1st round here.


  • Estrella Burgos’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the 3rd round on his US Open debut in 2014 (l. Donald Young).


  • Estrella Burgos is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time since winning the title at 2016 Quito (d. Thomaz Bellucci).


  • Last year here, Estrella Burgos fell to Daniel Brands in the 1st round. He also fell in the 1st round on his debut here in 2015 (l. Jurgen Melzer). This is his 3rd Australian Open appearance and his 12th Grand Slam overall.


  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Estrella Burgos reached the 2nd round at Roland Garros (d. Illya Marchenko, l. Feliciano Lopez), but lost in the 1st round at both Wimbledon (l. Marcel Granollers) and the US Open (l. Joao Sousa).


  • Estrella Burgos’s 2016 highlight was defending his title at Quito, a year after becoming the first player from Dominican Republic to win a Tour-level title at 2015 Quito (d. Feliciano Lopez). He also reached the final at the Cali Challenger (COL) (l. Darian King) and 2 other Challenger quarterfinals.


  • Estrella Burgos is bidding to end an 11-match losing streak against Top 30 opponents. His last victory over a Top 30 player came at 2015 Barcelona, when he defeated No. 9 Marin Cilic. He has a 4-15 win-loss record against Top 30 players overall but has never beaten a Top 30 opponent at a Grand Slam.


  • Estrella Burgos is a former Top 50 player. He broke the Top 50 for the first time after winning the Morelos Challenger (MEX) in 2015 and reached a career-best ranking of No. 43 in June 2015. He ended 2016 at No. 102, the first time since 2013 that he has finished a year outside the Top 100.


  • Estrella Burgos holds multiple Davis Cup records for Dominican Republic. He has played in 45 ties, won 41 singles rubbers, 21 doubles rubbers and played for 18 years – all records for Dominican Republic players. In 2015, he helped Dominican Republic into the World Group play-offs for the first time, where the team lost 4-1 to Germany. Dominican Republic hosts Chile in Santo Domingo in an Americas Zone Group I first round tie on 3-5 February.


  • Estrella Burgos is currently without a coach. His fitness trainer is Matias Rizzo.







Head-to-head: first meeting


Querrey has not lost to a player ranked as low as De Minaur at Tour-level since he fell to No. 315 Daniel Munoz-De La Nava at 2010 Madrid-1000.


                         QUERREY                                      v                                     DE MINAUR


29                                          Age                                          17

32                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            301

8                                          Titles                                          0

40-39                      Career Grand Slam Record                        1-0

10-10                        Australian Open Record                          1-0

286-236                              Career Record                                  2-2

197-151                        Career Record – Hard                            2-2

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-2

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-2

4-10                          Career Five-Set Record                           1-0

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

142-143                      Career Tiebreak Record                          2-0

  • 2017 Tiebreak Record                                    2-0


  • QUERREY is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 5th time and equal his best Australian Open result.


  • Querrey’s best Australian Open result is reaching the 3rd round here on 4 occasions – 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’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). He defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round to 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 will play defending champions Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares in the 1st round.


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


  • Wild card DE MINAUR is bidding to reach the 3rd round here on his Grand Slam debut.


  • Aged 17 years 347 days, De Minaur is bidding to become the youngest man to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Rafael Nadal (17 years 243 days) at the 2004 Australian Open. By reaching the 2nd round here, De Minaur is the youngest man to reach the 2nd round at a major since Borna Coric (17 years 298 days) at the 2014 US Open.


  • De Minaur advanced to the 2nd round here after defeating Gerald Melzer 57 63 26 76(2) 61 in the 1st round on Monday. It was his 2nd career Tour-level match-win and his first 5-set match.


  • De Minaur warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at Sydney, where he defeated Benoit Paire for his first Tour-level match-win before retiring against Andrey Kuznetsov with an abdominal strain. He also qualified at Brisbane, where he fell to Mischa Zverev in the 1st round.


  • Last year here as a wild card into qualifying, De Minaur fell to Kimmer Coppejans in the 1st round of qualifying. It is his only attempt to qualify for a Grand Slam. He entered the junior event here, reaching the semifinals of the boys’ singles (l. Jurabek Karimov) and winning the boys’ doubles title with Blake Ellis.


  • De Minaur’s best result in 2016 was reaching his first Challenger final as a qualifier at Eckental (GER) (l. Steve Darcis). He also reached the quarterfinals at the Mouilleron Le Captif Challenger (FRA) (l. Peter Gojowczyk) and finished runner-up at 2 Futures events in Spain.


  • De Minaur climbed over 1000 places to raise his ranking from No. 1551 at the end of 2015 to No. 354 by the end of 2016. He plays here at a career-high ranking of No. 301.


  • De Minaur reached a career-high junior ranking of No. 2 in February 2016. He finished runner-up in the boys’ singles event at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Denis Shapovalov) and reached the semifinals of the boys’ singles at the 2016 Australian Open. He was part of the Australian team that finished runner-up at the 2013 World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov, losing 2-0 to USA in the final.


  • De Minaur lives in Spain with his family after his parents closed their business in Sydney. He returns to Australia each year for the summer tournaments.


  • De Minaur is coached by Adolfo Gutierrez.

All statistics courtesy of the Grand Slam Media team, Australian Open Men’s Information Team and the International Tennis Federation.


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 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.





Australian Open 2017 – In Their Own Words – Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Others in Pre-Tournament News Conferences

(January 14, 2017) Top-ranked players at the Australian Open held pre-tournament news conferences on Saturday. Here are the transcripts of the conference from the interview section Australian Open tournament website.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Q. How does it feel to be the top seed at a slam?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t feel any different really to normal, to be honest.

Q. What are your feelings coming into this tournament? Was the preparation this winter as good as you wanted?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think it went pretty well. Doha went well. Played some good stuff, especially at the end of the event. Yeah, I mean, the off-season, I would have liked to have been a couple weeks longer. But, you know, I made sure I got enough rest. You know, I’ll get hopefully a bit of time in February as well.

But, yeah, I did some good training over in Miami. There’s a lot of good players over there for practice. It went well.

Q. You’re playing in the middle of the afternoon on Monday when the forecast is pretty hot. Would you have preferred to have had a bit more practice time in hotter conditions?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, but there’s not really much else you can do about it. I mean, obviously in Doha, the conditions were pretty cool. You’re playing most of your matches in the evening. Also, if you do well here, you’ll often play at least three matches in the evening, sometimes four.

So, you know, it’s good practice for that. But obviously the day matches here can get, you know, brutally hot. I think maybe the Hopman Cup is probably where you get the best conditions or most similar conditions to here to start the year.

But, yeah, I’ll just have to deal with it, just like all of the other players will.

Q. Have you been impressed with Dan’s effort this week?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I haven’t seen loads of the matches. I saw the end of his match yesterday. I saw the first set and a little bit of his match with Thiem. But obviously he turned that match around kind of after I went out for dinner.

Yeah, I mean, it’s obviously a great week for a lot of Brits actually. Obviously Jo winning, as well, was great. My brother’s in the final. Yeah, it will be probably, you know, the best week that Britain’s had at tour level forever probably.

Q. When you practice, how much does the fact that Djokovic is normally looming in the latter stages of not just the slams, but tournaments like Doha, how much does that feature in the way you go about things?
ANDY MURRAY: In terms of the way I practice or…

Q. Tactical awareness, preparing for big matches.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, in terms of tactical awareness, I sort of study, watch video, to learn about things that I could do better or things that have worked well. Obviously, don’t do so much of that on the practice court. But there’s certain patterns of play that you practice that hopefully will help against certain players. Then also there’s things that are extremely important to your game and what makes your game effective, you know, not just against one player, but against the whole tour.

I feel like my movement and my speed around the court is a very important part of my game. That’s something that I try to work on all of the time without thinking about, you know, other players.

But, of course, there’s certain things you would practice, what would help you against the top guys, for sure.

Q. Not all the players have been able to beat you lately. David Goffin was one of them in Abu Dhabi, in the exhibition there. What do you think of him and do you think he could cause one or two upsets here?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think he’s a really, really good player, obviously. He’s very quick around the court. He’s made improvements most years really, last few years. But as you get closer to the top, it becomes harder and harder to do that.

So, you know, it will be an interesting year for him. He works hard. I practice with him quite a lot, as well. He’s a good guy. Down-to-earth. Very quiet and relaxed.

Yeah, I hope he does well. But he’s, yeah, a very, very good player.

Q. What do you make of your opponent? You played him a few years ago.
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t remember loads about that match. We played on Margaret Court. I don’t remember too much about that match. I saw him playing a bit at the US Open. He had a good run there a few months ago. Also had a very tight match with Wawrinka there.

You know, he’s not easy. He fights very hard. He’s got a great attitude. Plays predominantly from the back of the court and moves well. He doesn’t give you too many free points.

But, I mean, I’ve only played him once. I’ve never practiced with him. And that match, it was a long time ago. It would have been, I don’t know, 2008, ’09, something like that.

Q. Roger was asked earlier if he could remember what it was like when he gained the No. 1 ranking. He said he felt that other people treated him differently. Is that something that you’ve experienced? Have you had any feelings like that?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really. I don’t think so. I mean, yeah, I haven’t really noticed it. It kind of happened for me right at the end of the year, so I haven’t been kind of on the tour much as the No. 1 player. Just one week really in Doha. So I haven’t noticed it yet.

I don’t know if that will come over time, if I’m able to stay there or not. But, yeah, I mean, it’s only been really a few weeks around the tour with that ranking. I haven’t noticed much change.

Q. Looking back 12 months now, how much what was going on at home with Kim affecting you during the tournament here?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was a tough tournament. Yeah, obviously the situation with, you know, Kim and the baby coming was tough. Then with what happened with Nigel kind of during the event made it really kind of awkward because there was times where I was thinking, like, you know, I want to go home. But then also my father-in-law was here and in hospital.

It was, like, I want to be at home for the birth, but then I’m not just going to sort of leave whilst my father-in-law is also in hospital.

Yeah, it was tough, and certainly not a position I would want to put myself in again, or my wife, or any of my family really.

Q. How close did you come to withdrawing before you lost?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, a few times. I mean, I don’t know how to say how close. But, yeah, it was certainly something that was talked about a lot, especially the second week of the event.

Q. Just get your reaction to Michael Downey resigning. Were you surprised to hear the news?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I wasn’t really surprised. I think everyone kind of thought that’s always what was going to happen there. It’s disappointing really, because it’s just another change for British tennis. Someone new will come in with a different direction for another three, four years, then it will change again.

I think for a system that’s — maybe everyone would say that’s not really worked for quite a long time, for change to happen, you need someone or a team in there that’s going to be in it for the long haul and not just a few years.

So I really hope the next appointment is something long-term. You can’t expect results, obviously, immediately. I don’t think there should be loads of pressure on that person to get stuff done straightaway. But, yeah, I’d like to see a long-term appointment so that there’s actually, you know, a chance for change to happen, but then stick. I think if you just do three years, then another three years, just keep switching all the time, it’s not good for anyone.

Q. In that you think it wasn’t going to be for the long haul?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, in terms of him moving back to Canada. I don’t think many people expected it to go longer than the term that he was signed up for.

But, yeah, I mean, I just hope that we get a long-term replacement. Don’t want it to be just a few years.

Q. Roger and Novak used to say that once you’ve reached the No. 1, you have to work double as hard to stay there. Do you see it like this?
ANDY MURRAY: I hope not (laughter). I hope not.

Well, yeah, I mean, I do think it is a mindset thing, because I think it could be quite easy that once you get to No. 1 that you think, Well, actually, I just need to keep doing what I doing.

The reality is, in sport, that things obviously keep moving on, the game will get better, I’ll obviously get older, the young guys will continue to improve, and also Novak and Roger and Stan and Rafa and all the guys at the top are still going to be wanting to get there. So that’s why having someone like Ivan on my team who has been in that position before and knows what that’s like has been important. I need to continue to improve. I for sure need to keep working hard.

I don’t think necessarily working harder than I have in the past, but just having the mindset I need to keep getting better and try to improve my game. Any weaknesses that are in my game, to try to get rid of them.

So, yeah, that’s how I feel about it.

Q. Your record here is really good. You haven’t actually won the thing. Do you feel like you’re in a really good position right now to go one step further?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, look, I obviously feel pretty confident after the way that last season finished. I do love it here. I love the conditions. I have played really well here over the years, and just haven’t managed to obviously get over the final hurdle.

But, yeah, I think I’m in a decent position, for sure, to do it. I think I have a chance to win here. Obviously nothing’s guaranteed. But, yeah, why not? I’m playing well. Practice has been good. I feel healthy. I’ll give it a good shot.

Q. Any other players called you Sir yet, Andy?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, yeah, but not genuinely, I don’t think (smiling).

Q. The host broadcaster is going to refer to you as Sir Andy. How does that make you feel?
ANDY MURRAY: I’m more than happy just being Andy. That’s enough for me. Yeah, if they call me Andy, that’s cool, I’d be happy with that (smiling).


Novak Djokovic

Q. You obviously had a bumpy at times second half of the last year. With the off-season, title in Doha, beating Andy there, do you feel more or less back on track? Is it that quick a fix or is it more a process still going?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I feel that already in London, World Tour Finals, I played very well, comparing to the three months, four months before that, where I was, you know, kind of struggling to find that right level in quality of tennis.

But, you know, I’ve worked very hard as I guess most of the players in the off-season, trying to get myself in a right state of mind, in a right shape and form. I couldn’t ask for a better start of the season, saving some match points in the semifinals, playing a really exciting match against Verdasco, then the next day against Andy. You know, thrilling final. It was great.

I got a lot of match play. Arriving to Melbourne, really excited to compete.

Q. You have a quite brutal first round against Verdasco again. How do you see that one?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, I hope I will not get to the stage where I have to defend match points.

Again, you know, Fernando is a very complete player on any surface. In a given day, if things go right, he can beat really anybody on any surface, as I said. Nadal last year in five sets, he won first round. He has won against most of the top players. He’s not overwhelmed by, I guess, the occasion of playing on center court. He has had that experience many times.

So, again, a lot depends, of course, on how I feel, how he feels. It’s the first match of the Grand Slam. We both need to start with the right intensity, of course. We’re going to be obviously striving to do so.

But I’m expecting a tough one, there’s no doubt about it.

Q. Can you run us through your coaching team at the start of the season, let us know whether you’re thinking about bringing somebody else in.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I’m not thinking of bringing anybody in. This is the coaching team that there is, yeah.

Q. Marian Vijda?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Yes. And Dusan Vemic is the second coach.

Q. It’s going to be hot in a few days. Do you relish the heat or do you struggle?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t know still a player that enjoys playing in 40 plus or 35 plus. It’s same for everybody, you know. It’s not easy, obviously. In the end of the day, that’s what you expect. You come to Australia during the summertime, and the conditions can get quite challenging and extreme.

But, as I said, you’re preparing for that. Same for you and your opponent.

Q. On the Verdasco draw, people have called it a nightmare. Do you consider it a nightmare draw or…
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I still haven’t had in I nightmares, so I can’t call it a nightmare draw. I just see it as a huge challenge. I hope I’ll be able to deliver.

Q. Do you see yourself as being in sort of a similar position to where you were three years ago, where you’re having to reestablish the air of invincibility?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I never had an invincibility, although I thank you for the compliment. Nobody is invincible. I never thought of myself as a superior player on the court, even though of course at times I was very confident, I was winning a lot of matches.

But, you know, knowing how it feels on the court, if you get overconfident, that’s why I don’t want to get into that kind of state of mind. I still want to put myself in a position where I’m quite even to other players, fight for this trophy as anybody else, even though I’m defending champion.

The fact that I’ve done so well in Melbourne Park the last 10 years of my career basically, it’s been the most successful Grand Slam that I’ve had, of course gives me a lot of thrill, a lot of confidence and excitement to approach it.

Q. Putting aside invincibility, do you feel there’s similarities to where you were three years ago?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I can’t compare, really, the seasons. I’ve been saying this before. Every year brings a new challenge personally and as a player. You’re just a different, different person. Every cell in your body every day changes.

It’s hard to really compare any kind of year. I just see it as a learning curve, as a process of developing into a more mature player, person, trying to get the best out of, you know, the circumstances, the live conditions that you’re in in the moment.

Q. The prospect of the seventh record-breaking title, does that sit in your mind, even at this stage?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Honestly, one of the reasons I’m here is to try to win every match that I play on, and eventually the title. I’m not the only one that is sitting here and talking about the title.

I love playing this sport. I love competing. I came in here as all the other 127 players to fight for this trophy, to enjoy competing. Of course, it’s an incentive, it’s motivation.

Q. Is there any specific reason as to why you do so well here? You do well everywhere, but especially here.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Well, one of the reasons is probably because it’s beginning of the year. I personally feel, I see many players feel very inspired and motivated to play their best tennis. They have been through a period of five, six weeks with no official matches. They recharge their batteries. They’re eager to get back on the court and play the sport.

It’s so early in the season, and we already have a first Grand Slam, one of the four biggest events in sport. I think that’s enough motivation for you to start off the season in best possible fashion.

Conditions play their role, for sure. I mean, I love playing on hard courts. Especially night matches play a bit slower, which I like. I guess it’s a combination of things.

Q. When you announced that you and Boris were going to go your separate ways, Boris did an interview in which he said that perhaps you haven’t been working as hard in the recent months as you had earlier on in your career. Do you think that is accurate? If so, do you think that has changed now?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Boris and I have had an incredible three years. I can’t be more grateful to him, to our partnership, to our relationship, than I am. We’ve had amazing success. It’s all I can say.

I don’t want to go back and comment on anything. I kept a very friendly relationship with Boris. We just went separate ways.

Q. Obviously titles, preferably a Grand Slam, is most important to you. How essential is it to you to get back to that No. 1 ranking?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: As a consequence of the results, if I become No. 1, that’s great. Of course, that’s what I want. But it’s not my main priority, let’s say. I really would like to take one tournament at a time and try to win as many matches as possible. Then, as I said, as a consequence to that, if I become No. 1, I’ll be thrilled.

Q. A word of the comeback of Roger Federer. What do you expect from him?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I don’t expect anything, and everything. With Roger, you can always see a top level and quality of tennis. I mean, that’s what he brings. He brings this aura of a champion on and off the court. The sport definitely missed him.

It’s great to see him back, no question about it. From a colleague/player perspective and point of view and fans, everybody loves to see Roger. He’s one of the most important people that ever held the racquet. Of course, for our sport it’s great to see him.

Q. What do you think is the most challenging part for a comeback after a half-year absence?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: I think he’s going to answer that question better. But the fact he was absent because of his injury, I think that’s obviously going to be the concern, maybe, or to see how that’s going to play out.

But he didn’t seem to have any issues playing in Perth. He’s fit. I’m sure he’s very motivated because he hasn’t played any official tournament ever since Wimbledon, I think.

With all his experience, talent, everything he has achieved in his life, I don’t think it’s going to take too much of a time for him to really get back into that kind of competitive zone.

Q. Yesterday we noticed you were blowing your nose during practice. You appeared to have something with your eyes as well. Any lingering health concerns at all?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: No (smiling). It was probably the only time I blew my nose, when you saw it. I’m a human being, as everybody else. No, it’s all good.

Q. Last year’s Australian Open was also associated with some revelations about match fixing. 12 years on, what are your reflections how far the sport has come, where we are on that journey, if you like? Anything more on that?
NOVAK DJOKOVIC: Ideally, we don’t want to see any kind of match fixing occurrences and situations. But unfortunately they do occur from time to time.

I don’t think there are too many. I mean, we haven’t experienced too many, even though every time something surfaces, of course everybody, especially media, makes a great deal about it.

But generally, you know, looking I think ATP and all the authorities are doing a good job in kind of tracking down those kind of potential match fixing matches. I haven’t had chance to see too many cases. Yes, there are some. On a lower level, as well, lower category of the professional tournaments.


Serena Williams

Q. You said in Auckland how windy it was there, wasn’t a great chance to assess how you were playing coming into Melbourne. Do you feel now that you’re here, you have a better sense of how you’re feeling under court?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I felt great going into my last event. Hopefully I can improve on that. Well, I can’t get worse, so that’s also very exciting. Hopefully I’ll be able to improve on that.

Q. Does it feel good to be back?

Q. Or you’re so occupied on what you were doing?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’ve been spending so much time on the court, so… But it feels really good to be back, just hitting on Rod Laver, hitting on all the stadiums, it’s a good feeling.

I love it here. It’s such a great tournament for me, so… Feels really good.

Q. In general, is there something in your game, because of the time off, you feel you really need to improve quite a bit to be back to where you were?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I always go in every off-season trying to improve pretty much everything all around. There’s things that I definitely focus on more than others. But for the most part… I don’t really talk about those things. For the most part I go off, try to do better in a lot of things.

Q. This winter when you sat down with the team, did you talk about a different approach for this season? What was the mindset coming into 2017?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Yeah, I definitely wanted to work on some things, like I just said. Every season I always sit down with Patrick, I have a conversation on what I want to improve on. We work towards that.

Q. How do you view last season? We never really had a chance to get your opinion. Obviously Wimbledon I think is the highlight.
SERENA WILLIAMS: For me, it wasn’t a great season. I think for other people it would have been wonderful. For me, it wasn’t.

It was what it was. I’m still hitting.

Q. Health permitting, how much do you want to play this year?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I definitely don’t want to play a lot, but I don’t think I’ve played a ton throughout the past. I’ve played a lot. I’ve always been super consistent the past five, six years. I definitely want to play probably around… Maybe not as many events.

If I can keep my consistency, that’s all.

Q. The reason I ask is last year you weren’t able to play that much, partly because of injury.

Q. You mentioned it wasn’t a great year by your standards. Is there a certain amount you feel you do need to play in order to still find your best?
SERENA WILLIAMS: No. I think actually last year’s schedule would be perfect for me. But I was injured a lot last year, especially after Wimbledon. My year basically ended after that, so… If I could have played the tournaments that I would have played, I think that would have an ideal, perfect schedule for me.

Q. When you talk about last year and how injuries kind of interrupted it at different segments, with the time off, do you think you were able to kind of let your body heal up in terms of the things that were bothering you last year, or was it still a little bit of an issue during the off-season or pre-season training?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I got a lot better. I had a little bit of a problem initially in the pre-season. Just did a ton of therapy, exercises. I was able to get a lot better.

I felt that if I hadn’t of taken that time off, could have been bad for me.

Q. Have you seen the forecast for Tuesday, the warm weather, how that will affect things?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I haven’t seen it. Is it supposed to be hot?

Q. 38.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Uh. Okay, better be ready.

Q. You’re playing Belinda, someone that has beaten you before. Thoughts about playing against someone as good as her right out of the gate?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I think it will be good for us both. I don’t know if she played here last year. Was it last year? She was quarterfinals, I think. I’m getting my years mixed up. Anyway, she’s done well here before.

So, yeah, she’s had a good win over me. It’s never easy for me. So I always go out there, and all I can do is do my best. I didn’t come here to lose in the first round, or the second round, or at all. If I can play the way I’ve been practicing, it will be fine.

I know she’s been playing well, so it will be good for both of us.

Q. In the six months that Roger was unable to play the sport because of injury, he spoke about a glimpse of life without tennis, but he still kept in touch with it, he still has the passion for it, it helps to motivate him for this year. Do you keep across the sport when you’re unable to play? Does that give you extra motivation, refresh you?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I don’t really keep up with it as much. I feel like when I take a break, I just need to really take a complete break, both physically and mentally. I definitely kind of take a step back.

But tennis is a sport that I absolutely love, that I definitely see myself — it’s my life, you know, for the rest of my life, whether I’m playing or whether I’m not playing. It’s definitely something that has made an incredible impact in my life.

Q. A few weeks ago you posted some personal, exciting news. Can you tell us a little bit about that.
SERENA WILLIAMS: Well, can you elaborate (smiling)?

Q. You said you were engaged.

Q. That, remember?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I’m just kidding (smiling).

Yeah, it’s been really great. I’ve said from the beginning, I just didn’t want to think about it until after Australia because I was, like, Grand Slams mean a lot to me. I was, like, Well, I’m not going to think about it.

It’s almost a little unreal right now because I haven’t taken it in. I’m being rather selfish and focused on my career.

Q. You made it sound like it was a very romantic moment.
SERENA WILLIAMS: It was. It was. I’m actually just a really good writer, so… If you guys want any tips, I’m around (laughter).

Q. Does it feel different?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Again, not really because I don’t think I’ve had an opportunity to, like, let everything sink in. I won’t allow it to sink in because I’m so focused. It was right in the middle of pre-season. I’m really focused training, cardio, all kinds of stuff.

Now I’m on the road, already back at work. I don’t want to get too happy because I want to stay focused (smiling).

Q. The record, moving past Steffi, been around for a while. These days does it mean anything to you? What are your thoughts on that opportunity?
SERENA WILLIAMS: Oh, I’m not talking about that. I’m just here to play and to win obviously, but just to play.

Q. I know you said you don’t want to get too happy. Do you feel like you need a certain amount of anger or something, a drive or focus, to switch on to full gear?
SERENA WILLIAMS: I wouldn’t call it anger, but I would definitely say drive and focus. What’s the word? Sacrifice? Yeah, sacrifices that you definitely have to have, so…


Roger Federer

Roger Federer

Q. How does it feel to be sitting in that chair? Were there any moments in the last 12 months when you wondered whether you might not be sitting in that chair right now?
ROGER FEDERER: No, 12 months ago I was always going to come back because my knee wasn’t so bad, so I never thought to miss the Australian Open a year later. But, of course, after Wimbledon, the race was on for Australia really, trying to make it for here.

I mean, I knew I had plenty of time. Probably in actual fact, if I would have kept everything short, it would have taken me four months then. That was pushing it. I would have had to take chances, test the knee earlier than what would have been good. But by giving myself six months, I had enough time, except if I had some setbacks. I never had that. So actually at the end I had plenty of time.

But so I always felt like I was going to be here. I’m happy I’m here, though. That means the job was well done. I can thank my team for that.

Yeah, was an interesting last six months, to say the least.

Q. What did you miss most?
ROGER FEDERER: Miss most? From here, you mean?

Q. Generally, when you were out. What was it about tennis that you missed?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, from tennis.

I guess you do miss the matches at some point. You miss the feeling of winning, walking onto a stadium, seeing the guys. You know, it’s like an extended family to some extent anyway. You walk around here, it’s probably the same for you. You see faces you haven’t seen in a while. It’s just nice to see everybody again.

Plus I have a lot of friends on the tour, you know, because I’m the returning guest for like 20 years everywhere I go. It feels good to see those familiar faces every single year. It’s something I couldn’t quite enjoy the last six months. That’s probably what I missed the most.

Q. Are you happy how the body has reacted, the preparation, you feel everything is in order?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, it’s under control. I felt great. I felt Hopman Cup was great preparation. We’ll see if it was perfect or not. But conditions felt virtually identical to me. Center court in Perth was sort of similar size. Court speed felt the same. Obviously same continent, all that stuff.

It felt really good. Then practice was more about just managing, maintaining, not overtraining, but nevertheless still play enough to get used to the conditions here again, even though it’s the same. You know how it is, you just have to put down the hours, play the sets. I did that.

Yeah, it’s just more quiet now, whereas in Dubai I was really forcing the issue. I was training extremely hard. I don’t have to do that anymore this week, so I feel like it’s been a light week.

Q. How do you know you’re going to be able to handle the long four or five sets that the Australian Open brings up?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess it’s slightly the unknown. You could then argue that it’s the same for everybody. We don’t play four-setters, five-setters every single week. You only play them in Davis Cup now and in Grand Slam play. I went through a year where I didn’t play any five-setters, an entire year.

You could think that’s a good thing for longevity, but it’s not a good thing because you don’t know how it feels to play a five-setter anymore. Yeah, a lot of guys haven’t played four-setters or five-setters in a long time, or never in their life. From that standpoint, I don’t feel like it’s a huge advantage or disadvantage for them.

I trained as hard as I possibly could, so I will be ready for it. I did numerous sessions where I trained over two and a half, three hours. I feel I’m ready.

But, like I said, it is the unknown. It’s the part that I can only once I’ve been there.

Q. There’s a lot of unknown for you in your draw because you play a qualifier, then another qualifier. Does any of you sneak out today to watch the qualifying matches, guys you don’t know, or is it not worth scouting until you know?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I mean Severin and Ivan, my coaches, are out and about checking it out.

Yeah, it would be good to know who I play. I guess I could tell you what I think. Like this, I’m waiting to find out. Once it’s out, it’s actually a good thing because then you can start actually mentally preparing for the Aussie Open. Is it a lefty, a righty? It’s a big deal. Is he a big server, a grinder? A bit of an unknown here the first round because that’s the part of the draw I care most about because of having not been playing.

Q. Do you feel you have to play catch-up having missed six months, more new faces you’re unfamiliar with than usual?
ROGER FEDERER: Not really, I don’t think. I’ve never known all the guys in qualifying. There’s always new faces coming up every season. The guys, a lot of them, who played futures or challengers a year ago may be 300, next thing you know they’re in the top 100. It’s nice to see those new faces. It’s nice to see the changes. It’s no different this year, I don’t feel.

Q. You will remember what it was like to first become world No. 1, which is what Andy is obviously experiencing this week. Does it feel any different? Do you get looked at differently, do you feel? Do you have a different sense of perception?
ROGER FEDERER: I mean, I think it definitely feels different, yeah, because everybody comes up to you and says, You’re the best. You start walking around a bit differently. Just feel more confident overall in your shots without having had to play. It’s a good thing. Usually when you win, you know, it solves everything.

From that standpoint, there’s only one virtually the last four months. I’m sure things have been very smooth for him in his life, family, everything is great. What is there to talk negative about? The negativity goes out of the door a little bit, which is a good thing in tennis. When you can think and feel positive, that rubs off into match play.

Then I guess you come to a point when you just can’t let it affect you, you just have to remind yourself how hard you had to work to actually get there. It’s going to require that plus more to stay there.

But I feel like because Andy is not 18 years old. He knows all about that. I don’t think the ranking in this regard changes him in a big way. I think he’s too laid back for him to also change in terms of attitude towards us.

Yeah, like I said, I’m super happy for him. He deserves it. He’s been in there for a long time. He’s had some tough losses, some great wins over the year. He never kind of strung it together that it would pay off. This time it did, so it’s great for him, great for the sport.

Q. From your perception, somebody who played the role of No. 1 player in the world, dominated many years, in many ways this year you’re kind of an underdog. You talked about the unknown. Are you looking forward to being that, the underdog?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, why not for a change? I mean, I prefer to be the favorite. Underdog is okay. Yeah, no, it’s fine. As long as I’m healthy and I feel like I can go four, five sets, I can go many matches in a row, then I think it’s going to be fun. If I feel like I’m in pain in the matches, then obviously it’s no fun. Then it doesn’t matter what your seeding or ranking is, it’s always the same.

But, no, it’s a great draw because I’m in the draw. So for me I’m super pleased that I made it here, that I have an opportunity to win matches. How many rests to be seen. I’m cautious myself. So, yeah, clearly an underdog this time around.

Q. Do you like the new logo of the Australian Open?
ROGER FEDERER: It’s okay (smiling).

Q. You were here last year when the headlines about match fixing were in the news.
ROGER FEDERER: I thought we were going to finish on a good one (smiling).

Q. There’s been 12 months of debate, a lot of people calling for money even in the qualifying of Grand Slams. What do you think of that notion? Is there anything left undone, something else we could be doing to address the problem?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I mean, some guys who have been called for match fixing are ranked extremely low. That’s at the very beginning stages, I mean you can’t be offering — I don’t know how much prize money is there. You’re playing in futures or tournaments they’re playing in.

I think it’s important that the tournament does the utmost. The Integrity Unit is analyzing the situation. I think we’re going to get a report back in a couple months, what I heard, which I think is great. That’s going to change the sport for the better.

Clearly we have no space for that kind of behavior in our sport. The good thing is that it’s really only zero point something percent of players that actually have done something over the course of so many matches and so many players. I think we’ve done actually okay.

Like you said, there can always be more done. But I think also through experiences, you learn through those mistakes, whoever did them, the tour, the player, the Federation, I don’t know. It’s tough. But I think important is to support players and educate them the right way to make them aware of the dangers potentially, also what lies ahead as a player you don’t know. That’s where it’s good to have a mentor, older brother on the tour you can lean on and ask for advice.

I felt I was lucky early on in my days that I had that. I had a great coach who was on the tour before. I had guys like Marc Rosset, former players that I could always ask for advice, sound advice, because they’d been on tour for 10 years. Or just ask my parents. But they didn’t have a tennis background, so it’s more tricky there. Maybe the Federation, as well. I think it’s very supportive in a tough environment sometimes.



Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka

Q. What’s your mindset going into this tournament after winning the most recent Grand Slam?
STAN WAWRINKA: I’m happy to be back, like every player probably. I think I’m work well in the off-season. Started well in Brisbane. I think my level is there. I’m ready to start the tournament. Excited to start the first Grand Slam of the year, first one against Klizan, a tough player that I played only a few years ago, but is a really dangerous player.

It’s going to be interesting to see the first match.

Q. What is the most dangerous aspect when you play against a lefty?
STAN WAWRINKA: Well, depends who you play. For sure, if you play Rafa, if you play Klizan…

I think for me, I don’t have really problem because he is a lefty player. I’m quite confident with my backhand, so it depends all about me, the way I’m going to start, the way I’m going to play.

Q. Last year you started the season in India. Now you move starting the season in Australia. Is there a special reason to do that?
STAN WAWRINKA: No. I’ve been playing India for nine years in a row. I always enjoy there. I always liked it there.

But I heard a lot of good things about Brisbane. Roger played also. He always told me was a great tournament. I wanted to change a little bit to see some new city, some new tournament. It’s also good mentally. So I took the decision to start here in Australia.

I think was a great week. I really enjoy there, the city, the people at the tournament, the fans. Was a lot of fans. Think was a perfect start of the year.

Q. You said you wanted to change a bit. Did you also change something in the preparation? What was the special focus in this off-season for you?
STAN WAWRINKA: Didn’t really change anything big. I had good time. I’m happy the way I did my off-season. Was some good quality fitness-wise and tennis. Keep improving, keep trying to find what I can improve in my game, keep pushing myself.

I’m really happy with the level I’m playing right now. I know that if I can keep pushing during the year, keep doing the right thing, the big result will come.

Q. I saw you and Roger are already out of Davis Cup in the U.S. Is that an easy decision for you, having to go to a different continent?
STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, schedule-wise it’s really tough after one month in Australia to go back to States, to come back to play in Europe, then go back to States after. It is never easy to not play Davis Cup, but with that schedule, was really tough for me to be available for the team.

Q. The local reaction to the draw, forecasting past round one?
STAN WAWRINKA: Not really, because it can be in the fourth round. I’m not there yet. He’s not there yet neither. For me it’s all about focus, what we do the first round. If I won the first round, then it’s going to be the second round.

We all know how the draw is. We all look the draw, full draw, we all see what can be the draw for after. But at the end the focus, it’s in the first match because if you don’t pass it, you never get to that match.

Q. Last year you had Richard Krajicek for the grass court season. Do you plan to have another coach?
STAN WAWRINKA: For the season or for the grass?

Q. The grass court season.
STAN WAWRINKA: Grass is really far away from where I am right now, so… Not really, no. I focus on everything we have before starting the first Grand Slam now. That’s the main focus.


Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

Q. You’re in the same quarter as Murray and Federer. After your Brisbane performance, how confident are you that you can go deep in the Australian Open?
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, it was great run last week in Brisbane. First time to get a final. So I’m really happy with my start of the year. Yeah, we’ll see. Have a tough first round. Try to play one match at a time. Yeah, hope I can make to second week.

Q. How are you feeling physically at the moment? Obviously you have an off-season. It’s an unusual schedule in a way that you finish your long year, have a break, then suddenly you have one of the biggest events of the year straightaway.
KEI NISHIKORI: Yeah, feeling pretty good. I had a good off-season. I rest a lot before I do the training session. Had a good off-season, you know. Good training, good practicing. I thought I, you know, started well this year.

So, yeah, it’s going to be really important how I do here to get a lot of confidence for start of the season. Yeah, feeling pretty good after I hurt in Brisbane in the final, but I feeling pretty good.

Q. You’ve obviously been a top-10 player now for quite a long time. What do you think you’re still capable of doing in this sport?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, it’s been three years now maybe to be in top 10. Well, I got really mentally strong. I think I’m more consistent and much more mature for everything, you know, even off the court, on the court too.

Yeah, everything is getting better now.

Q. Do you think you can win one of these tournaments? You reached a Grand Slam final. From what you’ve seen of your level, and everybody else’s level, do you think you can win a Grand Slam?
KEI NISHIKORI: Well, yeah, that’s what I believe in myself. I hope I can get a Grand Slam title sometimes. But I haven’t get big title yet, even the Masters tournaments. That’s something what I need for my confidence and experience.

Yeah, my goal this year is to win a big tournament.



Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic

Q. Why did you change your coach to Krajicek?
MILOS RAONIC: It was just a timing of how things went. I feel like for me to make the steps I want, especially forward, specifically with that focus, you have these two guys that move very well laterally. I don’t think I’m ever going to be the best guy from the baseline by any means, especially not against them. If I’m going to take it to them, it’s by coming forward. So I wanted to improve in that aspect.

Q. Why did you add Richard Krajicek to your staff?
MILOS RAONIC: That’s the same exact question.

No, it’s really to help me be more efficient going forward. I believe you have these two guys that are phenomenal right now at the top of the game covering the baseline. It’s really hard to get by them, especially with the way they move. I can’t expect to move like they do. I think I’ve got to be at least 20, 25 pounds heavier than them. It’s going to be about moving forward.

I think Richard could really help me in being more aggressive, more forward orientated, and more efficient when I’m able to get myself coming in.

Q. With regard to that, a year ago here you seemed to be doing a lot of that. You were going to the net a lot this time last year. You got to the semifinals. You were one set away from the final here. Do you think you need to be up there even more? Does Richard think you need to be up there?
MILOS RAONIC: I wouldn’t say even more. I think it’s about the consistency of it. When I was here last year, I was very efficient at coming forward. I did a lot of things well.

It could be because of the sort of injury. After that I didn’t have really the capacity to train properly. It sort of drifted away. It had come time to March in Indian Wells, Miami, I wasn’t coming in as much. Obviously on clay, it’s its own situation. Wimbledon and through the grass, obviously the situation did help me come forward more. But then through the rest of the summer and fall, I didn’t do it that much.

With those lapses of consistency, it’s really hard to make the true progress. So that goal is to some days it’s going to be more efficient than others. But if I’m able to put myself in that situation more consistently, I will continue to improve.

Q. Is it something that comes naturally to you psychologically, or do you have to actually remind yourself?
MILOS RAONIC: It depends on what the scenarios are. Sometimes against guys that are lower ranked, I can get away with staying further back. Sometimes I’m not disciplined enough, or attention focused on that specific thing in those situations.

Then obviously, you don’t want to be arriving to a quarterfinal or a semifinal in these big tournaments and expect yourself to be efficient coming forward. So it’s about obtaining that perspective, that command within myself to do it from the beginning of the tournament, so that when it does get to later stages where it’s not very optional, it’s something I need to do if I want to give myself the best opportunity to win. It’s been already tried, tested and true by then.

Q. How do you feel game-wise coming into the tournament after the few matches you had since the start of the tournament?
MILOS RAONIC: I feel good. Obviously this year is a lot different than last year. Last year the first matches of the year were the most important to me because I didn’t play at the end of 2015. So I really needed to get an understanding of where I was at. Right now I have a much better understanding of where I’m at, and now it’s really about I know what I can get out of myself. It’s more important to be mentally prepared, sort of grit my way through and get that out of myself. Some days I’ll be successful, some days not. But if I’m mental able to really be on top of myself, I’ll give myself a chance to win, and hopefully progress throughout the tournament.

Q. You are world No. 3 right now. Could you catch up Novak and Andy? Do you have confidence?
MILOS RAONIC: I definitely do have that confidence. But it’s going to take some time. They’re significantly ahead of anybody as far as points go and as far as results over the past 12 months.

Q. Have you changed anything in your preparation physically to try to get rid of the injuries you got last year?
MILOS RAONIC: We focus on different things. I think sort of the hours spent on court, we did that a little bit less in the off-season. Most of my injuries do tend to be in the lower half of my body. There was two focuses. Obviously spending less time pounding my lower body on concrete. Spent more time in the gym, sort of changed around that ratio a little bit.

Obviously the off-season was as long as previous years as well. Then focused on losing a little bit of weight, refocusing on that. Something that can help me throughout the year. Obviously those hours spent with a few extra pounds here and there can make a difference.

Q. What are your experiences with Krajicek?
MILOS RAONIC: They’ve been very positive. We spent somewhere close to I believe now eight to ten days together. We spent the last week of the off-season together. We spent Abu Dhabi together. It’s been very positive.

We’ve focused on a lot of things, especially obviously coming forward being the main thing. Last year there was a few things that I did well. There was two specific matches I was — two important matches I was able to get ahead a set and a break. I gave that away. We focused on in those situations I could take better care of my serve. Then we focused a little bit technically on cleaning things up at the net so I can be a little bit more efficient, where I position myself, how I cover the net, so forth.

Q. Is he now your head coach or is there no difference between the two coaches?
MILOS RAONIC: Virtually there’s really no difference. Richard is going to be doing mostly tournaments with me, where he’s going to help me getting the best out of myself. Ricardo is more doing the weeks when I sort of go home, do the training weeks, these kind of things.

I think both of them have equally as important a role as the other.

Q. You mentioned you focused on when you’re a set and a break ahead, that kind of situation that you had with Andy.
MILOS RAONIC: Yeah, there were two situations. There was the situation in Queen’s and obviously in the semifinals there.

You can’t really put yourself in that situation through practice. You got to deal with those situations. There was attention put into what do I need to do differently or what can I expect in those scenarios that I look for.

I believe obviously the situation in Queen’s was quite different from the one in the O2 because the one in Queen’s, it came down to one or two points, whereas in the O2 it was 4-4, I had mistakes, I believe. It’s how to manage those situations, being a little bit more aware of them.

Q. What is the conclusion?
MILOS RAONIC: The conclusion is sometimes I have to take more time. Sometimes I’d veer off what I was doing to get myself to that point. It’s being more disciplined, remembering those things, sort of sticking to that, no hocus-pocus.

Q. I can’t imagine anything worse than trying to lose weight over Christmas personally.
MILOS RAONIC: Thanksgiving, as well. That wasn’t easy (smiling).

No, it’s something that actually I started preparing for all the way in September, after the disappointment at the US Open, just being aware of that. I knew I can’t really expect too much from myself, especially changing habits while I’m playing.

The grunt part of it, the main focus of it was done in those three, four weeks that I had.

Q. Did you change your diet completely?
MILOS RAONIC: To some extent, you know. I think it’s more before I have what I can and cannot eat, then just manage it. Now it’s I have what I should eat and how much of it I should eat.


Garbine Muguruza


Q. I was watching the tournament in Brisbane, watching some of your matches there. You seemed super motivated. You seemed really excited to be back out on the court. Do you feel a little bit different this year, maybe refreshed from the off-season and so forth?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I don’t feel very different. I think it’s just like the continuation, I don’t know if it makes sense, of the last year.

I know it’s a new start. Like you said, I’m very motivated. I think I’m in a great position to be, and looking forward to play, try to find my best level, hopefully more weeks.

Yeah, that brings me a lot of motivation.

Q. Have you done anything different in your off-season this time compared to previous years?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Not really something different. I think I did a good preparation with my team. We focus a lot my kind of weak parts of the body, just to not get injured, or to be more days more prepared for the matches.

I spend a lot of time on the court. But I think it’s part of the pre-season, you know, schedule.

Q. Since Brisbane, what have you been up to in terms of trying to get your body as fit as possible for the tournament?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, when I stop Brisbane, I just rest actually for a lot of days. Like rest, did nothing, no tennis, no fitness. I just trying to recover with my physio until I arrived here, and I started playing again. You know, just refreshing my body from those difficult matches to try to be here 100%.

Q. How have things been feeling for you on court physically and rhythm-wise?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I think good. I had enough off days to prepare. I think it took me long than I thought to recover from those matches.

But, yeah, I feel good. I’ve been training here for the past three days. Yeah, I feel ready.

Q. I imagine this tournament has some pretty fond memories for you. It’s probably the first time I really became aware of your potential, the matches you had here two or three years ago. What is it like to play here compared to the other slams for you?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, I remember this was the first Grand Slam — was it first one? Was not the first one that I played the main draw, but was the first one that I win a match in the main draw. I was very happy. So it brings me a lot of memories, you know, getting into more level matches. I remember playing on Rod Laver and Hisense. Like you said, very good matches that make me more, you know, self-confidence.

I think I always play well here, so I’m very happy to be back. It’s one of our favorite tournaments, Australian Open. They improve a lot of things every year, which is amazing for us. My manager still remember the first match he saw me here. It was 14-12 the third set, so is funny (smiling).

Q. Every slam offers different challenges, like specific things to the US Open or the French or Wimbledon that make it difficult. At the Australian Open, what are the particular challenges of playing this tournament and trying to win it?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: I usually fight with the heat. I mean, I think not only me, everybody fights against the heat. Sometimes is very tough. I know when you play in the beautiful center courts, there’s air-conditioning. But we all started in the outside courts, you know, where you have to fight. It’s 40 degrees. You’re exhausted.

So I think that’s the most harder. But I think there’s a lot of good things here. I think I feel when I come to Australia there is like a tennis month. It’s like crazy. I’m okay, tennis month. I put the TV, everybody is watching tennis. The fans, they’re so involved in this month because of the tennis.

Q. I remember a match you played at the US Open against Johanna Konta a couple years ago. She won that match. It was incredible. She’s gone on from there to be a top-10 player. She just won in Sydney. Is that a surprise to you, that she’s managed to go from the player that beat you that day? Did you expect her to be as high as she is right now?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Well, before we played that match, I knew her before. She used to train sometimes in Spain. I remember that match. It was like five-hours match. It’s true that since that year, kind of, she went very like this, up.

I think she’s just a very good player, and she’s showing it. I mean, everybody takes their moment and their timing to start climbing. But she’s definitely showing a lot of consistency since last year. She’s improving, improving. I saw little bit in Sydney.

So, yeah, she’s playing great.

Q. When you think back to those early days when you would play here at this tournament on the outside courts, nobody knew who you were, your manager is walking around outside taking a look, how different was it to play a first-round match when you were a little bit less known, a little bit more anonymous, compared to what is the feeling like nowadays as a top player playing the first match as a Grand Slam? Mentally and emotionally, how different is that?
GARBINE MUGURUZA: Is different but is not that far away. Okay, like, five years ago I came here, I’m like, I’m in Australia. It’s a Grand Slam. I walking through the rooms and I see all these top-10 people. Amazing, I follow them and stuff. You are so nervous, so nervous.

But now you come and you’re so nervous, too, for different reasons. Is a very important tournament, you work so hard to go out there and play good and perform well. It’s different, but at the same time emotionally it takes a lot of energy.




Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios

Q. The knee update, please?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, it’s feeling really good. I’ve done four or five treatments on it. Got one more tomorrow. Yeah, it’s feeling a lot better since I last competed, which was in Perth. So I’ve had massive improvements in my knee.

Q. And the treatment is?
NICK KYRGIOS: Just putting, like, patches on my knee. It’s another way to insert some cortisone in my knee.

Q. Happy about the Hisense situation?
NICK KYRGIOS: Definitely. I think Hisense is one of my favorite courts, if not my favorite. I feel confident on that court. I love the way it looks. I like the dimensions of it. It’s a great serving court. Yeah, I like playing there.

Q. When you played the Fast4 just a few days after Perth, you looked pretty good. Were you feeling pain-free?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah, a couple, two days. I think I played four days after. Yeah, I had a couple treatments. I had to test it out there. If I wasn’t able to play Fast4, I probably wasn’t going to look good to play a best of five match. I had to test it out there. It was still giving me some pain, but definitely feeling some improvement already.

Q. How do you feel about your draw?
NICK KYRGIOS: I think it’s very good. Obviously you get rewarded with a good draw the higher your seeding is. I played well last year. Got my ranking to top 30 in the world. I’ve been awarded with a pretty good draw.

Saying that, Elias can play some pretty high-level tennis. Everyone in the draw can, can beat anyone on the day. I got to go out there and not expect to win the match. I got to go out there and just play and we’ll see how it goes.

Q. What are your expectations, Nick, coming in here, given obviously you haven’t played a regular tour event for a while, and the knee? Where are you setting the bar?
NICK KYRGIOS: You know, I’m never been a player to play many tournaments before a Grand Slam. I like to come in pretty fresh. So my expectations are high. I still feel like I can do some major damage and get to the second week and really cause some upsets, so…

My expectations are still pretty high.

Q. Do you get a sense from the Australian public, there’s been some rocky moments lately, do you get a sense that everyone is behind you and wants to see you play to your full potential?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. I thought in Perth everyone was behind me. In the Fast4, as well. I think it would be silly not to. We got two players in the top 30 that can do really well and go deep in the draw. We got a lot of guys in the draw that can do well, younger guys. Jordan Thompson is playing well now. It’s exciting. It’s an exciting time for Australian tennis. Yeah, I think everyone should just get behind everyone because we all can play well.

Q. Did you do much different in the off-season this year compared to previous years?
NICK KYRGIOS: I had a bit more of a schedule this year. I had a strength conditioner. We’ve been working pretty hard. Yeah, I guess it was a couple weeks where I didn’t have him this year. I kind of did my own thing. I think that’s how my knee started flaring up a little bit. Live and learn, hopefully next year I’ll get it right.

Q. Do you feel a different player than last year when you sat in that chair?
NICK KYRGIOS: Yeah. I feel like last year I was an established top-hundred player. I hadn’t beat top guys on a consistent basis. I feel like now I know what I can do on the court. Last year I was pretty consistent throughout the year. Won three titles. Got to 13. I feel more comfortable on the court. I know what my game is, I know how to play it. I know I can beat anyone on the day.


Bernard Tomic

Bernard Tomic

Q. How would you sum up your preparations?
BERNARD TOMIC: Pretty good. I was practicing very well. And, yeah, I got a bunch of exhibitions in, so it was important for me get matches regardless of win/loss.

I’m feeling pretty confident. I play a tough player first round here, so it’s going to be a tough match. He’s not easy to play for me, so I have to get ready for this match with all my effort.

Q. You expect he’ll make you work pretty hard? Is that the way he goes about it?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, he’s very intense. He’s beaten a lot of top players. I think he’s reached almost top 20 in the world, won multiple titles. For me he’s a top 10, 15 player on clay. It’s going to be tough.

His ranking now is 60, 70. He’s one of those players, where he’s playing well, he’s not an easy player to play.

I have to come into this match 100% from the first point. That’s going to be very important for me, you know.

Q. What do you make of your draw more generally?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I saw the first two matches potentially. It’s tough. Everybody in the first round can play. I don’t look any more further ahead. The times I’ve looked further ahead, I’ve sort of lost. I think you have to respect everyone. Everybody can beat everybody here. It’s a Grand Slam. Everyone is playing to win, playing for themselves at the best level. They’ve prepared at their best.

For me this first round is important. After that I’ll see who I play, but I really don’t care.

Q. It’s going to be hot, Monday and Tuesday.
BERNARD TOMIC: It’s not going to be easy. I just have to deal with it. It’s going to be the same for everybody on that day. Tuesday is going to be tough. I have to be hydrated, ready. We’ve seen many times here at the Open where people are not physically ready, have to withdraw. It gets sometimes out of hand sometimes with the heat. It’s something you have to play, not just the opponent, but the heat. I guess I have to be ready for this.

Q. There’s been a lot spoken about your fitness. Where would you rank it out of 10?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think honestly, if I can say there are 50 people fitter than me outside of the top 70 to 150 in the world. There are some players not as fit as me inside the top 10, 15 in the world.

Will fitness help them? I don’t think so. I feel obviously the big servers, Isner, Raonic, Kyrgios, Karlovic are there. I don’t think fitness can help them. Fitness has got me… I’ve based my sport, what I’ve got in my career, with my serve, my ability to play tennis.

I think there are many fitter players than me that are outside the top 100 in the world. I think we can skip this question.

Q. Has your weight stabilized?
BERNARD TOMIC: I’m not going to answer that.

Q. How would you describe your sort of hunger or desperation for bigger and better things this year, at this tournament, and in 2017 generally? How high of goals do you set for yourself, what is success, what is failure?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, top 10 is my goal. Top 20, because my goal two years ago, a year and a half ago. I achieved that from being 130 in the world prior to two surgeries from that. Now my goal is to get to top 10 and stay there many years. You have to work for this. It’s not going to happen overnight.

I think my year last year was pretty solid. I didn’t play many tournaments. I think I pulled out of two Masters Series. I think I only play two Masters Series out of the nine. My ranking ended 26 at the end of the year, from a start of 17, 18. I think I did reasonably well last year compared to the tournaments I missed.

Yeah, this year I have to play all the Masters Series and try to do well at them. I’m looking forward to this year.

Q. Are there big steps between you and the top 10 or are you already doing everything right?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I think there are a lot of good players in the top 20, top 30 that are top-10 players. You got to get there. You got to earn it. Whether it comes like that or in four, five years, you know, you obviously are going to get your chance. If you’re consistent, you work hard, do the right things, you have a big chance at this.

There are, like I said, many, many players from top 20, 30 in the world that are amazing tennis players, potentially play better than some of the guys in the top 10. But it’s a different game. You have to be more consistent, you have to work for this. It takes a year. It doesn’t take three tournaments.

Q. You’ve been pretty consistent here throughout the years. Is that because it’s at home, the time of year? How do you explain that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I think this is my ninth Australian Open. I’m 24, just turned. This is my ninth Australian Open. It’s crazy to think how long it’s been. I obviously played my first match year at 16, where I think I won the youngest match. It’s gone pretty quickly. I always played well. Always made a lot of third rounds, fourth rounds. I’d like to go a step further, play better.

But, yeah, it’s obviously a tough draw. It’s going to be tough. I think I’ve got to use the moment, use the crowd. Obviously the fans get behind me, I’m sure they will. They always get behind our Australian players and support them to their limits. I think that’s what makes us play really good in Australia.

Q. When you say you’re not looking at the wins and losses, other people are saying it’s not great preparation. What make you more confident, what makes you shrug this off?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, yeah, I think I chose to play a few different events as opposed to playing Sydney like I played in the past four, five years. So I feel like, yeah, Brisbane I lost to a former world No. 3. It was a tough match. I take a lot from it. I went down to Sydney, played the exhibition. Same as Kooyong. Different sort of matches, I was working on a few things. I don’t really rate these matches as winning or losing, Sydney and Kooyong. That’s not important to me. What’s important for me is to get out on the court, do my thing and work on a few things I needed to do. And just to be ready mentally for the Open. I played very good in my past here where I haven’t been prepared for tournaments. Sometimes it happens just like that. Sometimes I prepared well and not been as ready.

But that’s tennis. Players work hard, try their ass off, sometimes you lose. Sometimes you’re less prepared, and you do well.

Q. You’re looking forward to the fans getting behind you? To 10,000 Aussies. Be put out on Hisense?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think Hisense is an amazing court. It’s huge. The atmosphere builds there. Everybody is behind everybody. It’s a good court.

Regardless of where I play, I think I’m going to have huge support. It’s an amazing feeling to see people supporting in a Grand Slam the Australian players. It’s very motivating. I hope the fans can all support us.


Belinda Bencic

Belinda Bencic

Q. How did you find out about your first-round opponent? What was your reaction?
BELINDA BENCIC: Twitter (smiling). My Twitter was blowing up. I was like, What’s going on? That’s when I saw it.

My first reaction was actually, like, really happy. So I think I’m super pumped, like excited I get to play on the big court, I guess.

Yeah, like everyone is like, Oh, bad luck with the draw. Me, I’m, like, pretty happy and excited about it.

Q. Why do you think it’s not bad luck?
BELINDA BENCIC: Well, I think we’re going to play on the big court. It’s a big match, playing against Serena Williams. It’s what everyone’s working for. To play Australian Open, of course like first round, but that’s how it is. I’m just pumped about it, yeah.

Q. What are your memories of that match at the Rogers Cup against her?
BELINDA BENCIC: Memories, like, they never go away. They’re always there. The best ones, for sure.

I still remember, like, the last game, like every point, everything. It was, for sure, my biggest win until now.

I hope I can take this memory and put it to positive energy to be, like, super confident on the court, and play good.

Q. Do you remember thinking after that match or when you talked to your father, whoever, about what exactly you thought you did well in that match to get that win?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yes, I think I did very well that I always, you know, even though she killed me the first set, I always stayed there, putting the balls back, playing, trying the best. I always was there.

At some point she also got a little bit, like, down in the match. That’s where I kind of could take the overhand and get to the third set, yeah.

Q. It seems as though you’ve had a tough time in the last year or so physically. How do you feel right now? If we were to look at 100%, where are you right now?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, exactly, last year was very tough. I got one injury, then it was a circle into the next one. I just didn’t stop. I was really happy about it. I came back, didn’t play very good.

Now I think I’m really motivated to play, first of all. I’m so happy to be here.

Physically I have nothing that bothers me, except this thing in Sydney. No, I think I’m pretty close to 100%.

Q. People see you as a dangerous floater, somebody who can cause trouble. Do you feel yourself that way? Do you feel like somebody that Serena should be not afraid of, but somebody that can possibly make some noise here?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, of course I want to see myself that way. I think I had good result when I was playing. Of course I was injured. It was not that great. But first of all, every first-round opponent is a dangerous floater, so you have to be careful with everyone.

But, I mean, we played each other two times already. We both know what to expect now. I think it will be, for sure, a good match, yeah.

Q. How is the toe?
BELINDA BENCIC: It’s good. It fell off (laughter). If you want to see a video or something.

No, no, it’s okay. The physio take good care of me, they tape it for the match, for the practices. When I stop, it’s not that bad. I made a hole into my shoe, so I don’t put it like this.

But it’s a common tennis injury. It’s the first time I had.

Q. Can you talk through your pre-season a little bit. Where did you do it? What was the main priority, especially given your last season? What was the main thing you were working on?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, I practice in Florida, at Evert Academy. We flew straightaway to Perth. I think the main priority was for sure to stay healthy. I didn’t practice that much like I’m used to. I didn’t work that much on fitness, that much on tennis. My priority was to stay healthy, to always feel good on the court.

I think we did pretty well. Then I had a great first tournament in Perth, so that help me a lot to get the matches again. It was amazing. Put me in a positive mood from the first tournament in the year.

Q. Do you remember what sort of game plan it was that worked against Serena last time? Are you already thinking, I know it worked, I can do that again?
BELINDA BENCIC: Yeah, for sure I remember. I’m going to try to do that again. I’m not going to tell you now what exactly because then she will know (smiling).

Q. Quick turnaround from Sydney over to here. How are you feeling with all of the matches in your body through the first two weeks of the season?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, to be honest, I feel very good. I think much better than in China after the first couple matches. Of course, losing the match rhythm, your body not used to the matches last two months…

I feel good. Of course, losing finals always disappointing. But still a good week. Couple great matches against top players. So hoping I can play the same good tennis here in Melbourne.

Q. Your opponent in round one is a former world No. 31. She actually beat you in your last meeting in the French Open. What was your reaction when you saw she was your first-round opponent?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yes, well, it’s a tough draw for sure. We played so many times. Obviously in Paris the last time, but we had a lot of good three-set matches I think on every surface.

Well, the draw is the draw. We’ll see after the match.

Q. Your performance in Sydney, you said yourself you couldn’t have played any better. You must be pretty confident heading in.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, I’m very confident. I really hope I can play the same tennis, even the tennis I played in the final.

Well, of course, every tournament is different story. Especially in the tough first round. Well, I still have two days to practice here, adjust to surface and conditions. We’ll see.

Q. Pironkova can be a tricky opponent. Does it help you kind of having the string of wins and the matches? It’s almost like you’re mid tournament form instead of going in completely cold.
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Yeah, for sure, tournament like Sydney is helping a lot. Playing pretty much two, three days later against a good player for sure is better than playing as a first match.

So, like you said, Pironkova is a very tricky opponent. I’m expecting everything from her side. For sure it’s going to be a lot of running. I’m going to really have to work on each point.

Q. Have you had a chance to hit on these courts yet?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Not yet. I just arrived like two hours ago.

Q. With the heat in Sydney, it was a hot week there, how does that make you feel heading into the tournament? Does that make you feel more confident with the conditions?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I was the lucky one playing in the evenings. But it was still very humid and hot. But, yes, well, that was for sure a very good warmup before here. I know it’s going to be hot as well here next week.

We’ll see the schedule. Of course, playing second or third match isn’t going to be easy.

Q. Most people talk about your chances of winning Wimbledon, but you’ve had good success here in the past, semifinals last year. What helps you in your game here at Melbourne Park? What has been the challenge of making the final here?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, every Grand Slam is different. We can see even different top seeds, different opponents.

What is helping? I really feel good on this center court. I like to play here. I like Australia. I’ve been always playing good tennis here. Two semis. Of course, that’s always very close till the end. Hopefully I can do one step forward and play seven matches here.

Q. Does Kerber and everything she did last year play on your mind at all in terms of being a player of that generation, being able to have that very unexpected breakthrough? Do you think of that at all? Is it a separate thing?
AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA: Well, I think this is big inspiration for everyone. Winning two Grand Slams the same year, other couple big finals. That’s for sure something amazing. She really played unbelievable tennis whole season. She just proved that she can do it. I mean, two Grand Slams just from pretty much nowhere.

But, well, I think in moments that’s going to happen. I think she just proved that last year, that she can really play great tennis, beating even Serena in the final.


Karolina Pliskova

Q. You had the week off. How are you feeling after Brisbane? How is the body feeling fitness-wise and all that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I took just two days off, then I’ve been practicing here since Tuesday. Even yesterday. I had three days off.

But I’ve been feeling good so far. Yeah, I was even ready for Monday start, but will be ready even for Tuesday.

Q. How are the courts playing for you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I was practicing few times on the outside courts, which I think is pretty fast. Obviously the bigger courts are not that fast, I would say, but still fast.

I like it. So let’s see.

Q. Has your life changed very much in the Czech Republic after being in the US Open final?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Not much. It was already kind of before the same. When we won the Fed Cup final, then it changed, I would say. I don’t know how many people are following this tournament in Czech. But Fed Cup is just the biggest thing in Czech.

So little bit, and now it’s still about the same, so… It’s not that bad, but like people recognize me a little bit.

Q. Do you mind that? Do you care that people recognize you?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I don’t need this, to be honest, no. I’m fine with that. I just know it. It cannot get any other way than this. But I don’t need it, definitely not (smiling).

Q. Has your preparation for Grand Slams changed over the years or is it pretty much the same preparing for the Open, as it was in New York, other slams before that?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say this week is similar to New York actually with the playing. I won Cincinnati, then I would withdraw from New Haven. I’m trying to be 100% ready, even if I feel something a little bit after that week in Brisbane. If you’re playing well, have a lot of matches, I don’t see any reason to play another tournament which is ending Saturday, then you would have to still play on Monday, which I think it’s tough, especially in these conditions here in Australia.

That’s what I did in New York, as well. So I just did it here.

I don’t know if it’s going to worked. But I just want to leave everything in this tournament, in this Grand Slam. For me the main goals are Grand Slams. So I want to be ready for it.

Q. Which Grand Slam do you think you have the best chance to win?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: Well, I should now say US Open because I was in the final there. But, yeah, I think I have chance little bit everywhere. It’s smallest I would say obviously the clay, French Open.

Q. Do you consider yourself as one of the favorites to win this year, after winning Brisbane and playing so well over there?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would definitely not take me as a favorite of this tournament. It’s a big draw. There is a lot of players. I just take it step by step.

I just know my opponent from the first round. I want to pass this one. Then we can talk about the next one.

There is still I think many more players better than me. I guess everyone is in shape and everyone is excited to play this Grand Slam. It’s the first Grand Slam of the year. Everyone was working hard in the off-season, so it’s tough to say. We will just see after few rounds here.

Q. You just got a new coach. What do you want from a coach?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I just want him to believe in me and just to prepare me for the tournament which I want to play the best tennis, which are all the Grand Slams, like I said. Just to be ready and give me the advices which I need, just to know little bit about me, my game. I want him to go the way where I want to go. We both decided we definitely want to play aggressive tennis. He’s just pushing me this way, to be better player than I am now.

Q. What do you like from on-court coaching? How can he help?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: So far with my new coach I did it just once in Brisbane. Was not that needed there. So let’s see in the next tournaments.

But, yeah, it’s more about maybe tactics, what to play. Obviously you call coach when you are losing, it’s about the same. He sees it definitely different from the place where he’s sitting than me on the court. Maybe he can just give me few advices, what to play, what not to play, where she’s better or not. Also little bit to motivate.

You have one minute. You cannot say much.

Q. What’s the primary memory you have when you won the junior title here?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: It’s seven years now, so… I still remember, of course I do. But, yeah, it was my first Grand Slam what I’ve played. So obviously the final, what I was playing on Rod Laver, it was huge for me. I was small and scared, and then I won. So was a big thing, first big result what I ever had.

Q. What do you make the vibe of the Melbourne? You did so well at the US Open. That’s a tournament that’s very New York. It’s crowded, loud, hot, traffic. Melbourne is very different from that. Does this environment suit you during your off time?
KAROLINA PLISKOVA: I would say this is little bit better place for me than New York. But I don’t want to compare. Every city is different. Here you have time. Doesn’t take you one hour to get to the hotel, which is nice. Even the weather I would say it’s quite similar. Can be colder. Can be also more hot here.

Yeah, every Grand Slam is different. I think this can be the place where I can play my best tennis as well, because the courts suit me. The weather as well, the balls as well. Why not here?