January 24, 2017

2017 Australian Open – Day 6 Men’s Preview

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 6 MEN’S NOTES

Saturday 21 January

3rd Round Bottom Half

 

Gael Monfils

Featured matches

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

On court today…

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Head-to-head: Raonic leads 3-1

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

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

2014     Tokyo                           Hard (O)           SF        Raonic              61 64

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

 

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

 

                           RAONIC                                        v                                         SIMON

 

26                                          Age                                          32

3                                    ATP Ranking                                   25

8                                          Titles                                         12

60-23                      Career Grand Slam Record                      74-42

21-6                         Australian Open Record                        22-10

263-121                              Career Record                              407-283

186-76                         Career Record – Hard                         241-161

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-1

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-1

8-5                           Career Five-Set Record                         19-12

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

163-102                      Career Tiebreak Record                       130-136

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-2

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Richard Gasquet

Gilles Simon

22

22

22

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

Head-to-head: Monfils leads 12-2

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

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

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

2011     Halle                             Grass (O)          SF        Kohlschreiber    63 63

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

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

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

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

2013     Doha                            Hard (O)           R16      Monfils             64 26 64

2013     Stuttgart                       Clay (O)            QF        Kohlschreiber    64 64

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

2015     Stuttgart                       Grass (O)          QF        Monfils             75 36 63

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

2016     Rotterdam                     Hard (I)             SF        Monfils             63 62

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

                          MONFILS                                       v                                KOHLSCHREIBER

 

30                                          Age                                          33

6                                    ATP Ranking                                   33

6                                          Titles                                          7

84-39                      Career Grand Slam Record                      62-49

23-11                        Australian Open Record                        20-11

393-221                              Career Record                              396-304

248-133                        Career Record – Hard                         195-161

2-0                                   2017 Record                                   5-1

2-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              5-1

15-12                         Career Five-Set Record                         16-10

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

158-110                      Career Tiebreak Record                       161-153

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-2

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Richard Gasquet

Gilles Simon

22

22

22

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Kohlschreiber is coached by Stephan Fehske.

 

 

 

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

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

THIEM                                         v                                         PAIRE

 

23                                          Age                                          27

8                                    ATP Ranking                                   47

7                                          Titles                                          1

22-12                      Career Grand Slam Record                      25-24

5-3                          Australian Open Record                          5-5

126-84                               Career Record                              127-140

58-51                          Career Record – Hard                           66-77

4-2                                   2017 Record                                   5-2

4-2                              2017 Record – Hard                              5-2

3-2                           Career Five-Set Record                           9-4

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

52-51                        Career Tiebreak Record                         58-63

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-1

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Thiem is coached by Gunter Bresnik.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Paire is coached by Thierry Champion.

 

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

Head-to-head: Nadal leads 1-0

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

 

NADAL                                         v                                        ZVEREV

 

30                                          Age                                          19

9                                    ATP Ranking                                   24

69                                         Titles                                          1

205-31                     Career Grand Slam Record                        8-6

47-10                        Australian Open Record                          2-1

810-175                              Career Record                                64-48

385-118                        Career Record – Hard                           32-26

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

17-8                          Career Five-Set Record                           3-2

3                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

200-131                      Career Tiebreak Record                         27-26

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

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

 

Most Australian Open match-wins (Open Era)

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

Ivan Lendl

Andy Murray

48-5

48-10

48-11

Rafael Nadal 47-10
Pete Sampras 45-9

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

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

 

GOFFIN                                        v                                      KARLOVIC

 

26                                          Age                                          37

11                                   ATP Ranking                                   21

2                                          Titles                                          8

27-18                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-49

6-3                          Australian Open Record                        12-13

145-105                              Career Record                              335-288

94-65                          Career Record – Hard                         215-181

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   4-1

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-1

8-4                           Career Five-Set Record                          8-15

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         3

40-46                        Career Tiebreak Record                       347-330

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            4-1

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

Head-to-head: Ferrer leads 2-0

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

BAUTISTA AGUT                                 v                                        FERRER

 

28                                          Age                                          34

14                                   ATP Ranking                                   23

5                                          Titles                                         26

33-17                      Career Grand Slam Record                     142-55

10-5                         Australian Open Record                        41-14

170-109                              Career Record                              696-335

112-72                         Career Record – Hard                         328-178

6-0                                   2017 Record                                   3-2

6-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              3-2

7-3                           Career Five-Set Record                         21-11

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         4

57-43                        Career Tiebreak Record                       155-144

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Ferrer is coached by Francisco Fogues.

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

Head-to-head: Gasquet leads 5-1

2011     Dubai                          Hard (O)           R32      Gasquet            62 64

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

2012     Bangkok                       Hard (O)           R16      Gasquet            57 75 64

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

2015     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         R32      Gasquet           63 64 64

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

DIMITROV                                      v                                      GASQUET

 

25                                          Age                                          30

15                                   ATP Ranking                                   18

5                                          Titles                                         14

35-25                      Career Grand Slam Record                      97-47

13-6                         Australian Open Record                        22-12

223-142                              Career Record                              459-262

136-91                         Career Record – Hard                         272-159

7-0                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

7-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

5-5                           Career Five-Set Record                         11-13

0                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

92-76                        Career Tiebreak Record                       159-131

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Fabrice Santoro

Gilles Simon

22

22

22

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

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

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

2016     Barcelona         Clay (O)            R64      Carreno Busta   75 75

 

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

 

CARRENO BUSTA                                v                                        ISTOMIN

 

25                                          Age                                          30

31                                   ATP Ranking                                  117

2                                          Titles                                          1

9-13                       Career Grand Slam Record                      32-34

2-3                          Australian Open Record                         9-10

78-85                                Career Record                              196-209

36-36                          Career Record – Hard                         110-127

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-0

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-0

2-4                           Career Five-Set Record                          13-7

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         3

34-35                        Career Tiebreak Record                        101-86

1-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-0

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Istomin is coached by his mother Klaudiya Istomina.
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Almagro, Kohlschreiber and Schwartzman Win ATP Titles

Diego Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman

(May 1, 2016) Unseeded Diego Schwartzman came back to win his first career ATP title on Sunday when he upset second seed and former top ten player Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-0 to win the Istanbul Open. Schwartzman, from Argentina rallied from 2-5 down in the second set before marching on to the victory.

It was a career week for Schwartzman, beating top seed Bernard Tomic in the second round and saving a match point in the final eight.
“It was an amazing match for me,” said the winner. “I played well and fought all match. What happened to Grigor with the cramps also happened to me in Australia this year. With my doubles final and title in singles, it’s amazing.

“I’ve practiced really hard to improve my tennis. I played all the points with 100 per cent effort and I need to. All the matches are tough, against Tomic, Dzumhur and Bagnis. I played really well.”

 “I started cramping at 5-2 in the second set, said the Bulgarian runner-up. “It was very unfortunate that I couldn’t close out the match. I have to give credit to Diego.

“I have two big events coming up and hope that I can face one of the top guys there. There will be some altitude in Madrid and I won’t have much time to get ready, but I like it there.”
AlmagroIMG_3445_AlmagroNicolas Almagro came back to beat Spanish countryman Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-3 to win the Estoril Open on Sunday. This was Almagro’s 13th career title. All of his titles have come on clay.

This is Almagro’s first tour-level title since Nice 2012.

 

Kohlscreiber in press

Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber claimed his third Munich crown beating Dominic Thiem of Austria 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (4). The German also won titles in 2007 and 2012.

“Unbelievable. Great story the whole week,” said the champion. “Great performance. Huge final… I’m very happy and pleased with my performance.
“I think it was another great final in Munich.”

“It was a very close final, attractive for the crowd, for sure,” Thiem said. It was very painful for me but Philipp was the better player today, and he deserves to win.
“Almost every final is close because both players never give up. They want to win the title. I’ve won the last five finals… now I’ve lost one. It’s no tragedy, especially against Philipp.”

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Andy Murray Wins First Clay Court Title

Andy Murray fistpump

(May 4, 2015) Andy Murray won his clay court title on Monday in a very tight contest over Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (4), 5-7, 7-6 (4) in the rain-delayed final of the BMW Open in Munich.

For the world No. 3, it’s the Scot’s 32nd career ATP title. He became the first British man to win a title on clay since Buster Mottram won Palma in 1976.

“It means a lot to have won,” said Murray. “It was my first final on the clay, having lost a few semi-finals at Roland Garros, Rome and Monte-Carlo. We played a very high standard match. I just managed to hang on at the end.

“He served unbelievably well. I had very few chances when I was returning. We may even play one another in Madrid on Wednesday. Philipp is a superb competitor and fought right to the end. It is nice to have won my first clay title and I hope to win another one soon.

“The tournament is extremely nice. It has had very good crowds since the beginning of the week and it is nice to play in a club. There is obviously a lot of tennis fans here. We were unlucky with the weather and when it is like it has been it is difficult for everybody. I enjoyed the week.”

“It was a great atmosphere and a great crowd,  said the two-time Munic champion Kohlschreiber of his home country. “We both gave everything. It was so close, but at the end there has to be one winner. Unfortunately, for me, it was Andy. It was a fantastic game.

“It was a very special moment for me, in front of a home crowd. I think I pushed Andy to the limit. We had some unbelievable points. I think, for the spectators who came, it was one of the best Munich finals.

“Munich is always very special. It is my best tournament on the tour. I love playing here and on the clay. This gives me a lot of confidence for the future.”

Both men head to Madrid to compete in the Madrid Open.

 

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Top Seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic Win: Eugenie Bouchard Beaten by the Heat

Eugenie Bouchard

Eugenie Bouchard

(September 1, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – The US Open top seeds had straight set victories on Labor Day Monday. Novak Djokovic, was a 6-1, 7-5, 6-4 winner over No. 22 seeds Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, and Serena Williams defeated No. 50 Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-3, 6-3.

For the Serb Djokovic it’s his 8th straight US Open quarterfinal he’s reached and his 22nd major tournament overall.

“I’m very glad obviously that I had so many consecutive quarterfinals of Grand Slams,” said the Serb. “It says that I do value these tournaments the most and try to always perform my best tennis in them. Obviously motivates me for the future to continue that streak, of course.”

Djokovic will meet two-time major champion Andy Murray in the quarterfinals. Murray beat No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 7-5, 6-4.

For Serena Williams the two-time defending US Open champion, this will be her first Grand Slam quarterfinal this year.

“I never thought it would be so exciting,” Williams said smiling. “Yeah! It feels good. Obviously I don’t want this to end. But I’m just happy that I’m able to be performing a little better at the end of the year.”

Williams has a perfect 5-0 record against her next opponent Flavia Pennetta.

“Of course, she’s better than me, but if I still believe I can beat her, maybe if she doesn’t have a good day I can do that,” Pennetta said. If I get in the court and just play and try to don’t take 6-Love 6-Love, I gonna take 6-Love 6-Love.”

Canadian Eugenie Bouchard was beaten by the heat during her fourth round match-up against Ekaterina Makarova. The Canadian said that she felt dizzy and her vision was blurry as she was bothered by the New York City heat and humidity. She took two medical time outs.

“I was feeling very light headed and dizzy on the court,” said Bouchard. “You know, just seeing things a little blurry. You know, feeling well physically on the court is very important to me, so when I don’t feel that — I just generally didn’t feel good.”

Makarova, the 17th seed from Russia beat Bouchard 7-6 (2), 6-4, ending the Canadian’s streak of reaching at least the semifinals of each major in 2014.

“I definitely felt a lot of outside expectations and pressure to win matches. I felt more like it’s normal if I win and it’s a bit more of a disaster when I lose,” Bouchard said. “But that’s something that I need to block out.”

“I remember as a junior a few times in Australia when it was hot I felt this way. Last year here actually in the second round I felt it a little bit. You know, once in a while I get a little bit light headed. That’s what happens.”

Makarova said: “Today was really tough condition definitely. So humid, and sometimes I think because of that the game was going like up and down. Against Bouchard it’s always tough because she’s running good. She’s also really — like physically she’s hard. So I think it was really good match, and I’m really happy that in the end of the first and the second set I was a little bit more aggressive.”

In round of 16 men’s matches on Monday night, No. 3 Stan Wawrinka beat No. 16 Tommy Robredo 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2, No. 5 Milos Raonic fell to  No. 10 Kei Nishikori 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-4, in a match which ended at 2:26 a.m. Tuesday, equaling the latest finish in US Open history.

Two-time US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka rallied past qualifier 145th-ranked Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

“I didn’t have a lot of data on her or, you know, much of an idea,” Azarenka said. “I think she played exceptionally well today. I’m not sure if I would have watched the matches before that would help me a lot, I think because I felt like not knowing much she still played on a really high level and pretty consistent through the whole match. She gave a fight, and she wasn’t afraid to go big on the important moments. I was a little bit surprised that she’s not that tall, and she hits the ball and unleashes her forehand with so much power. So that was quite surprising. But, you know, I think she’s a young player. She has a good future if she keeps going this way.”

 

Next for Azarenka will be Makarova. The Belarusian evaluated her next challenger.

“I think she’s a very tough opponent because she’s very consistent. You know, she reads the game really well. We had some tough matches in the past. I think she’s not afraid to play against top players. She handled herself well against, you know, big names in Grand Slams. She’s definitely playing well. I’m looking forward to that match.”

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It’s Deja Vu All Over Again and Again for John Isner and Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Third Round of the US Open

ISnerparty with the pros

(August 28, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOW – For the third straight US Open American John Isner will be playing German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round.

On Thursday, Isner was on target with his serve firing 30 aces past No. 77 Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany to win 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-2.

The 13th-seeded Isner hit 30 aces and saved the only break point he faced in a 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-2 victory over 77th-ranked Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany on Thursday at Flushing Meadows. The 22nd seed Kohlschreiber advanced to the third round when Michael Llodra retired with an injured left elbow.

In a “weird” and “bizarre” circumstance as Isner put it, he’ll be facing the German at the US Open yet again.

“I have beaten him more times than he’s beaten me overall,” said the 13th seed. “But he’s beaten me here. No matter where I play him I know the match is going to be tough because he’s an extremely good player. Very good. I thought, you know, our matches the last two years have been pretty high quality. I remember last year I wasn’t disappointed with how I played. You know, he just played better than me. Simple as that. In a few days’ time I’m just gonna have to try to be better than him.”
“I’m very excited. It’s going to be another fun match,” Isner said.

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Day Five Dubai Round-up – Federer Bests Djokovic in Three Sets

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

By Florian Heer

(February 28, 2014) DUBAI – Semi-final day at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships saw the tournament’s two most successful players, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, go up against each other for a place in Saturday’s final.

The event’s theme “Stars will collide” became reality when both met for the 32nd time on the ATP World Tour with the Swiss leading their competitive head to head series by 16-15 before the match. The stands were fully packed when the players entered the stadium under floodlight, which created a special atmosphere. The match also started with some entertaining rallies, so that the crowd was in high spirits right from the beginning. Djokovic started with good length in his shots holding Federer back at the baseline. The defending champion capitalized on his first and only break point in the second game of the opening set to eventually take the frame in the ninth after 35 minutes.

In the second set, the Swiss again had to save break points in the fifth game before he was 30-0 up in the following when play was suspended for about five minutes due to drizzle in the desert at still about 20 degrees Celsius in the evening hours. So the match resumed quickly and Federer was wide awake and gained his first break of the match. Federer served out in the in the ninth game taking the match the distance. Djokovic struggled in his opening service game in the final set and double faulted at break point. The 17-time-Grand Slam champion was now able to play more aggressively, coming to the net as often as possible and so put a lot of pressure on the Serb. Federer broke a second time in the fifth game through great cross court forehand passing shot. The Swiss, obviously backed by the crowd, outplayed Djokovic at the end winning 6-3, 3-6 6-2 for the first time from a set down.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

“Novak got the crucial first break, which is always big when top guys play each other and he is better than anybody with the lead,” Federer said afterwards. “So I knew I was a bit in trouble and it wasn’t looking good at all because he has the tendency to really then run with it and then play more freely on his serve. For me it was just a matter of trying to play consistently but also remain aggressive. Sometimes I also tried to be a bit overaggressive and to see if it works out. If it doesn’t’, you can always pull back a little bit. Overall I’m just happy I was able to deliver a good performance,” the Swiss added and was also impressed playing in such a great atmosphere. “I think the fans just wanted to see a great match. I do not know what they were chanting if it was, Nole, Nole or Roger, Roger,” he laughed. “Maybe there were more fans of myself in the stadium or more for Novak but I think it was a very enthusiastic and polite crowd and it was a dream playing out there today,” Federer said.

Djokovic had to admit the today’s defeat. “Roger deserved to win. He played in the second part of the match better and was more aggressive and played all around the court really well,” the Serb stated. “I dropped my opening service game in the third set, which was quite a bad game for me. I started making a lot of unforced errors as well and just wasn’t able to move well. He felt that this is the opportunity and he used it. The momentum changed and he stated to make less mistakes but look, I lost to Roger and that’s not a bad loss,” Djokovic said and has left for Indian Wells without winning a title in the season for the first time since 2006.

 

Tomas Berdych

Tomas Berdych

Earlier in the afternoon number third seed and last year’s finalist Tomas Berdych opened proceedings on Centre Court against Philipp Kohlschreiber. The Czech had emerged victorious in seven of their eight previous meetings, including the last three in a row.

Yesterday the German became the 23rd active player to reach the landmark of 300 match wins on the ATP World Tour by beating Tunisian Wild Card Malek Jaziri. Kohlschreiber made an impressive start into the encounter, returning well and capitalized on his first break point in the opening game. It was only the second time during this week Berdych lost his serve. The German seemed to remain solid with his baseline shots until the last four games, in which the 30 year-old still only made three points. Consequently, the third-seeded Czech broke serve in the twelfth game taking the opening set in 38 minutes. The second frame should become an even one as well as until the twelfth game again, in which Kohlschreiber couldn’t hold serve and after 88 minutes Berdych converted his second match point to advance into the final for the second successive year in Dubai.

In the beginning of the match I probably forgot myself at the room and just came out right after. This was definitely not me,” the Czech stated about his bad start into the match. “Then I was ready and I took the first set. Basically the similar stuff happened in the second set. Philipp was very solid, didn’t give me much chances at all on his serve. Then I got one in the last game and I took it,” Berdych was happy with his performance.

Philipp Kohlschreiber

Philipp Kohlschreiber

Kohlschreiber, who actually played a fine match apart from the end of each set was still satisfied with his week in Dubai. “Overall it was a very great tournament. Today was also great to play in front of such a nice crowd. Nonetheless it takes for sure a couple of maybe minutes, hours to get over the loss,” Kohlschreiber said right after the match. “Today, the only chance I had for a break was at the beginning of the match but then over the time he put more pressure on me and I didn’t serve so well. I had to go over many second services and this makes it always tight against these top guys,” the German explained.

In Saturday’s final Federer is facing Berdych for the 18th time leading 11-6 in head to head record but the Swiss had to admit that the Czech beat him last year here in Dubai in a very convincing way.

In the doubles final the two top-seeded-pairs will meet for the title. Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic defeated Danield Brands and Florian Mayer in two tie-breaks and Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi advanced by winning 6-2, 6-0 against Tomasz Bednarek and Lukas Dlouhy.

Florian Heer travels the tennis tour with a focus on ATP Challenger events and the ITF Futures Circuit.  Follow his twitter account @Florian _Heer.

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Gemany Completes 4-1 win over Spain in Davis Cup

_B4H1528-001

By Florian Heer

(February 2, 2014) FRANKFURT, GERMANY – Final day of the first round Davis Cup tie in Frankfurt and Team Germany ran out of players for the last two singles matches. Only Daniel Brands was nominated to take on Roberto Bautista-Agut for the single dead rubber on Sunday. It was officially announced by Team captain Carsten Arriens that Tommy Haas, Florian Mayer and Philipp Kohlschreiber were injured. The spectators in the Fraport Arena answered with catcalls and the following match was played in a weird atmosphere.

Nonetheless the encounter between Brands and Bautista became an interesting affair with tennis on a very high level. In the end it was the German, who had the advantage in the decisive moments. Brands won the first set in the tie-break and gained the only break of the match in the tenth game of the second frame winning 7-6, 6-4 after 80 minutes.

 

“I tried to do my best and put some effort into winning one point for Spain,” Bautista-Agut said afterwards. “Nonetheless it was very difficult for me to go on court today. It was like having zero motivation, as we are still disappointed,” the Spaniard added. “All of our players gave their best but the German team was very strong throughout weekend,” Team Captain Carlos Moya said. “Of course we are disappointed as we wanted to win but there is still an opponent who also has a word to say and Germany played very well,” Moya stated.

Due to the missing third rubber, the German fans were also disappointed and as a consequence the president of the German Tennis Federation, Karl Altenburg, announced that there will be show match in Frankfurt in summer as a compensation for today’s ticket holders.

 

“I really can understand that the fans are angry,” team captain Carsten Arriens told the press after he had been barracked by the fans inside the arena. “I’ll think about the things, which happened in the arena in the next couple of days. We were really surprised by the reactions from the spectators and maybe we also underestimated the situation. Nonetheless I hope that the positive aspects from Friday and Saturday will remain the dominant facts for the fans. I do not want to embellish the situation but Tommy, Flo and Philipp did a great job the last two days and that’s what I want to point out. Unfortunately all three are injured,” Arriens tried to explain. “We had two fantastic days here in Frankfurt and I really want to thank the spectators for creating a great atmosphere and their support, it was something special for me, too, having the tie played in my hometown” the captain said. A very successful weekend for the German team has come to an end but today’s occurrences will probably leave a bland aftertaste.

Germany will play France the first weekend in April for a chance to make the Davis Cup semifinals.

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Top Seeds Advance in Melbourne Despite Extreme Heat Conditions

Nadal

(January 14, 2014) On a day which saw soaring temperatures, the Australian Open saw top seeds advance on day two of the tennis’ first major of the year. Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Roger Federer,  Juan Martin Del Potro, Maria Sharapova and defending champion Victoria Azarenka  moved into the second round despite temperatures which went over 42 Celsius (108 Fahrenheit).

In addition to the heat, the tournament was beset by retirements, not linked to the heat – six in all which included top American John Isner (ankle) the 13th seed, 12 seed Tommy Haas (shoulder) and 21st seed Philipp Kohlschreiber who withdrew before play, Radek Stepanek (neck).

Nadal was only on the court for a set up 6-4 when his opponent Australian Bernard Tomic retired with a groin injury.

“I know how tough is this situation, I had the same a few years ago at this tournament,” Nadal said. “Since the beginning, I saw a little bit he had some problems on the leg.”

“It was sad,” Tomic said.  It’s unfortunate.  You know, this opportunity I had to play against Rafa was huge for me.  Could have used a lot of it.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t compete.  It was very difficult for me to say sorry to the crowd.  I don’t think they quite knew what was wrong with me.”

Federer began his record 57th consecutive major tournament with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 win over Australian wild-card James Duckworth.

Just over a week after beating Federer in Brisbane, Former Lleyton Hewitt fell in his home slam in five grueling sets to No. 24-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy

Men’s seeds advancing included No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 11 Milos Raonic, No. 16 Kei Nishikori, No. 22 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 31 Fernando Verdasco.

On the women’s side No. 5 Agnieszka Radwanzka, No. 8 Jelena Jankovic, No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 11 Simona Halep,  No. 13 Sloane Stephens, No. 16 Carla Suarez Navarro, and No. 20 Dominika Cibulkova.

In the women’s upset of the day, No. 19 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova fell  6-3, 6-3 to Elina Svitolina.

Related Articles:

Players React to the Heat at the Australian Open

Nishikori Wins Five-Set Test Under Scorching Heat in Melbourne

Dimitrov Recovers form to best Klahn at Australian Open

One-on-One with American Tennis Player Tim Smyczek

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Rafael Nadal Rallies Past Philipp Kohlschreiber to Gain US Open Quarterfinals

Nadal 89m1

(September 2, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Rafael Nadal  has improved his record on hard court his year to a perfect 19-0 with a 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 win on Monday night  over Philipp Kohlschreiber  in the fourth round of the US Open.

The world No. 2 from Spain, who won the US Open in 2010, was expected to play Roger Federer in a blockbuster quarterfinal, but will instead play fellow Spaniard Tommy Robredo who upset the Swiss in straight sets.

“You always pay attention a little bit to the scores in the other courts,” Nadal said.  “David was playing.  Tommy and Roger were playing.  So when you are in the changeovers, you see what’s going on.

“But I don’t put attention.  I just saw and that’s it.”

Nadal was asked if he was surprised that he and Federer had never played each other at the US Open: “For two times we were one point away.  For this time we were one match away.  But is always the same, no?  You make the confrontations before the draw.  When the draw is coming and in the first round you always talk about quarterfinals.  To be in quarterfinals you need to win four matches.  That not easy for nobody.  That’s a point that I say.

“When I see the draw, I think about my first round.  If I win, I think about my second.  That’s it.

“No, no, I don’t see the quarterfinals or the fourth round before the first round.  You know how tough is every tournament, every match.  In conditions like today is even tougher.”

Nadal spoke about Robredo’s comeback from a serious injury and all of the hard work his compatriot put in.

“We practiced in Barcelona before I fly to Viña del Mar, the first tournament in Chile.  I never had any doubt about Tommy.

“You see when a player is serious, when a player is ready to work, a player who feels the game and the passion, have the passion for the tennis.  The beginning, when he was coming back, he didn’t win lot of matches in Chile, in Sao Paulo, in Acapulco, I was talking with my coach.  I said, He will be there for sure at the end of the season because he’s ready to work and he’s a serious player.  The players who are ready for the work and are ready for fight the tough obstacles that the competition brings you are the players at the end of the season are in the best position in the rankings.

“What he is doing is great.”

Nadal has not had his serve broken the entire tournament and said that he was fortunate to keep the streak going against his German opponent.

“Four matches without losing the serve is great,” Nadal said.  “I don’t want to lie you.  Happy for that.  But I felt at the beginning today I didn’t serve my best.  But then in the next sets, I am very happy the way that I served.  I was able to win a lot of points and I start a lot of points in a good position.”

 

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Deja Vu All Over Again – Philipp Kohlschreiber Knocks Out John Isner Again in Third Round of the US Open

 

 

Philipp Kohlschreiber

Philipp Kohlschreiber

(August 31, 2013) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Not even support from the fans at Flushing  Meadows could help John Isner to a victory over Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber. The German beat the American again at the US Open in the third round on Saturday 6-4, 3-6. 7-5, 7-6(5). Last year the Germany also beat the American in the third round at the US Open.

Whereas Isner’s last match he complained about fans showing support for his French opponent Gael Monfils, this match there were chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” in the second set, and “Here we go, John! Here we go!” in the fourth set.

“I had a feeling that the crowd would be on my side today,” Isner said.” The crowd was fantastic, you know, cheering me on. I wished I could have done them a little better. What happened in my previous match had no bearing on today. How I acted out there wasn’t, you know, from my previous match against Monfils. That wasn’t why I was getting amped up too much.”

So how did the No. 22 seed beat Isner again at the US Open.

“I think it was also this year pretty close one,” Kohlschreiber said.  “Maybe I’m guessing a little bit, you know, taking the right corners.

“I think the only good thing is that I try to make him move a lot.  I don’t go for winners, or like with the first serve I try to have high percentage.  I think that’s one of the key moments that, yeah, I’m able to move him around.

“Maybe he doesn’t, yeah, like being pushed from corner to corner.  I don’t know.  I played very well today, and also last year.  It’s always tough, but it was like I said very good match for me today.”

John Isner

John Isner

As to how the German beat him again, Isner said:”Just a tough player. He’s very solid, and I thought he played a solid match today. You know, I let him off the hook there at the end of that fourth set. I felt like, you know, a lot of times I’d serve out a set and do so, but I didn’t. He played a good game, but I didn’t make any first serves in that 6-5 game. Tactically, I didn’t mixup my second serve enough against him, so he was able to camp out and know that it was pretty much going to his backhand. Looking back on it, I should have changed that.”

The German will have the daunting task of playing Nadal in the round of 16. “I think it’s going to be a total different setup for the match, more rallies, maybe less service winners,” he said.

“But I’m really looking forward.  You know, had some good matches against him, especially on hard court.  Basically I know a little bit how I have to play.  We don’t have to say he’s in pretty good shape winning almost, yeah, every match on hard court.

“So it’s going to be really tough, but I’m really looking forward to play on Ashe.  And I’m happy with my performance today.  I think I also will play a really good match against him.”

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