June 28, 2017

Rome: Rafael Nadal Extends Win Streak, Angelique Kerber Loses

Rome: Rafael Nadal Extends Win Streak, Angelique Kerber Loses

(May 17, 2017) Rafael Nadal extended his winning streak to 16, while the top seed on the women’s side Angelique Kerber was knocked out of Rome on Wednesday.

Fourth seed Rafael Nadal advanced to the round of 16 when his opponent, fellow Spaniard and friend qualifier Nicolas Almagro injured his knee and was forced to retire with Nadal leading 3-0.

“He felt something on the knee,” Nadal said.  “It’s difficult to see what’s going on now just after what happened.”

 

 

Angelique Kerber

 

For the second day in a row, the world No. 1 failed to advance in Rome. Tuesday it was Andy Murray. On Wednesday Angelique Kerber failed to get past her first opponent in Rome, beaten by Estonian qualifier.  Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-0.

“I think it’s for sure not the easiest time right now for me, but I think that I have to looking for solutions right now,” Kerber said. “I think that my movement is not the best, especially on clay.

“I think my legs are always important for my game, but I really not feeling so good on clay court. But, yeah, right now I have — yeah, I will try to going back home and thinking what can I do to be back in Paris. I mean, this is the next big goal.”

“Everybody knows I’m not a clay court specialist,” Kerber said to media. I was not playing good last year, as well. I had a great year, but I mean, these few weeks I was not playing good.

“And, yeah, this year it’s the same. Of course, I mean, it’s a new situation also to being No. 1 but you cannot thinking about this. I mean, it’s still a big privilege, but I try to finding my way to coming back.

“It’s not the best time now, but you have always up-and-downs, and this is a challenge to coming back maybe stronger.”

Anett Kontaveit

 

It was a career match win for qualifier Kontaveit.

“It feels great” said a smiling Kontaveit. “My first time beating the No. 1 in the world, so, you know, I’m super excited.”

 

Venus Williams who won the Italian Open back in 1999 held back a determined Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-3.

“The first couple of matches I am still kicking into competition, but I have always been a fast starter,” noted Williams. “I think I have had to be because I have never played as much as other players or in general. When I come to play, I’ve got to be ready to play or else, you know, I’m not going to get a lot of chances.

“So, yeah, mentally I am prepared to at least try to be in the tournament.”

Williams was asked in press about her sister Serena having a baby and becoming an Aunt again: “It’s all exciting. I mean, it’s so interesting because when you play this kind of, when you live the life of a professional athlete, you feel forever young,” she said.

Commenting on what she is looking forward to in becoming an Aunt: “I guess spoiling the kid and making Serena’s job harder .”

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY

RESULTS – MAY 17, 2017
Women’s Singles – Second Round
[Q] A. Kontaveit (EST) d [1] A. Kerber (GER) 64 60
[2] K. Pliskova (CZE) d L. Davis (USA) 61 61
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [Q] J. Ostapenko (LAT) 26 62 61
E. Makarova (RUS) d [4] D. Cibulkova (SVK) 16 61 63
[6] S. Halep (ROU) d L. Siegemund (GER) 64 64
[8] E. Svitolina (UKR) d A. Cornet (FRA) 64 76(11)
[9] V. Williams (USA) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 64 63
[12] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d A. Sevastova (LAT) 76(4) 62
T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [14] B. Strycova (CZE) 64 62
[15] K. Bertens (NED) d [Q] C. Bellis (USA) 64 60
[Q] D. Gavrilova (AUS) d C. Garcia (FRA) 75 36 63
J. Goerges (GER) d J. Jankovic (SRB) 26 76(2) 61
[Q] M. Barthel (GER) d [Q] Q. Wang (CHN) 63 64

Women’s Doubles – Second Round
[2] Y. Chan (TPE) / M. Hingis (SUI) d N. Hibino (JPN) / A. Rosolska (POL) 46 75 11-9
[3] S. Mirza (IND) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d [Alt] O. Savchuk (UKR) / E. Svitolina (UKR) walkover
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / A. Hlavackova (CZE) d [PR] L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 62 75
First Round
K. Bondarenko (UKR) / K. Siniakova (CZE) d [7] G. Dabrowski (CAN) / Y. Xu (CHN) 76(6) 64
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) d K. Bertens (NED) / J. Goerges (GER) 63 36 12-10
A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) d S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 26 61 10-8
[WC] S. Errani (ITA) / M. Trevisan (ITA) d C. Mchale (USA) / M. Niculescu (ROU) 26 64 10-8

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d B. Paire (FRA) 63 16 63
[4] R. Nadal (ESP) d [Q] N. Almagro (ESP) 30 ret. (knee)
[5] M. Raonic (CAN) d [PR] T. Haas (GER) 64 63
[7] K. Nishikori (JPN) d D. Ferrer (ESP) 75 62
[8] D. Thiem (AUT) d P. Cuevas (URU) 76(4) 64
[13] J. Sock (USA) d J. Vesely (CZE) 64 36 76(1)
R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [15] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) 67(6) 61 64
[16] A. Zverev (GER) d V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64
S. Querrey (USA) d [Q] J. Struff (GER) 64 63
J. del Potro (ARG) d K. Edmund (GBR) 75 64

Men’s Doubles – Second Round
J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA) d [3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) 75 63
[8] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Granollers (ESP) d N. Mektic (CRO) / A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 61 64

Men’s Doubles – First Round
J. Sousa (POR) / F. Verdasco (ESP) d D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 67(6) 64 10-6
O. Marach (AUT) / M. Pavic (CRO) d [Alt] T. Huey (PHI) / M. Venus (NZL) 62 36 10-6
SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 18 MAY 2017

CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) vs [16] A. Zverev (GER)
WTA – [5] J. Konta (GBR) vs [9] V. Williams (USA)
ATP – R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs [2] N. Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – [13] J. Sock (USA) vs [4] R. Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [2] K. Pliskova (CZE)

NEXT GEN ARENA start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] A. Kontaveit (EST) vs [16] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
Not Before 12:00 noon
ATP – [9] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [6] M. Cilic (CRO)
ATP – [12] T. Berdych (CZE) vs [5] M. Raonic (CAN)
Not Before 4:00 pm
WTA – J. Goerges (GER) vs [Q] J. Ostapenko (LAT) or [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [8] D. Thiem (AUT) vs S. Querrey (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs [7] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
WTA – [12] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs [6] S. Halep (ROU)
Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs J. Isner (USA)
ATP – [7] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs J. del Potro (ARG)
Not Before 5:30 pm
WTA – [8] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [Q] M. Barthel (GER)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – F. Mergea (ROU) / A. Qureshi (PAK) vs [5] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA)
ATP – [1] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs J. Sousa (POR) / F. Verdasco (ESP)
ATP – B. Baker (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) vs [4] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
ATP – After Suitable Rest – A. Zverev (GER) / M. Zverev (GER) vs [2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
ATP – After Necessary Rest – [7] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs R. Bopanna (IND) / P. Cuevas (URU)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – [6] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs O. Marach (AUT) / M. Pavic (CRO)
WTA – [WC] J. Jankovic (SRB) / A. Petkovic (GER) vs K. Bondarenko (UKR) / K. Siniakova (CZE)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – E. Makarova (RUS) vs [15] K. Bertens (NED)
WTA – After suitable rest – J. Konta (GBR) / L. Siegemund (GER) vs [WC] S. Errani (ITA) / M. Trevisan (ITA)

COURT 4 start 12:00 noon
WTA – [6] A. Spears (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs E. Hozumi (JPN) / M. Kato (JPN)
WTA – A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) vs B. Krejcikova (CZE) / S. Zheng (CHN)
WTA-After suitable rest – [1] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS)

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Rafael Nadal Wins Madrid Open for 30th Masters Series Title

Rafael Nadal Wins Madrid Open for 30th Masters Series Title

(May 14, 2017) Rafael Nadal won his third straight clay court title on Sunday defeating Dominic Thiem 7-6 (8), 6-4 to win the Madrid Open, for the fifth time in his career for his 72nd overall career crown. With his 30th Masters title win, he equals Novak Djokovic for most Masters 1000 series events.

It’s his 15th straight match win. With 34 matches won on the year, he leads the tour.

The 14-time major champion from Spain will move up in the rankings to No. 4 ahead of Roger Federer. Nadal also leads in the Race to London for the year end tournament title and World No. 1.

“I think it was a tough match since the beginning, especially here in altitude, which is difficult to make breaks against a player like Thiem,” Nadal said. “Returning the ball is difficult, especially when he hits it so high.

“Since the beginning, I was playing with a lot of pressure. Fortunately I managed to come back and break. I think he made an error, so I managed to break again.

“After that, I calmed down. I think I played a good first set. Anything could have happened at the end of the first set. But I think I played well the important points at the end of the first set. I saved a few set points playing some good shots with my forehand. After that I went for it.

“I knew at the beginning of the second set, it was going to be very important. Once you finish a first set like that, it’s normal to lower your level a little bit. I had to play well in the second set. I started with a break, so that was very good towards what I had to do after that.”

It was the 30-year-old’s second straight victory over the 23-year-old, whom he defeated in the final of Barcelona two weeks ago.

“I think it was a good fight out there,” said the Austrian. “I was much, much better and much closer than in Barcelona. I think I already had worse weeks in my life than this one.”

“I gave everything that I could,” Thiem explained. “But there were many or some chances in the first set. But obviously if you want to play a close match, if you want to have a chance winning against Rafa on clay, I mean, you have to play your best. There’s no other way. And, of course, it would be enough against many other players.

“But, I mean, it was a final of a Masters 1000, my first one, against the best player on this surface ever. Sometimes against the best players in the world, you even lose when you play well. That’s the thing in tennis: there’s only one winner.”

 

Rafael Nadal

“To try to win Roland Garros, you don’t need to be No. 4 or No. 1 or No. 5, what you need is to play tennis very well,” Nadal said. “I don’t think it changes a lot for me. What I’m really happy about is to achieve a title like this here in Madrid. I see myself being able to win important titles and achieve my goals.”

 

“These last few weeks have been very special. I’m very happy for what I achieved,” Nadal said. “It means a lot to me to win at home, it’s always a special place for me.”

Dominic Thiem

“It was a good fight out there. I was much, much better and much closer than in Barcelona,” Thiem said. “Sometimes against the best players in the world, you even lose when you play well.”

 

“Of course, it were unbelievable two weeks in Spain: Barcelona and Madrid. I’m going to enjoy the next hours, then I’ll think about Rome. It’s, again, a big and important tournament.

“Now that I did it once, play really well in such a big tournament, next step is to maintain this level to the next week. That’s what I will try.”

 

Nadal has won three of the tournaments leading into Roland Garros where he hopes to win his 10th title.

“To try to win Roland Garros, you don’t need to be No. 4 or No. 1 or No. 5, what you need is to play tennis very well,” Nadal said.  “This is the situation right now.”

“If I am No. 4 and I played badly, I’m not going to have chances. If I am No. 5 and I play well, I will have the same chances as if I’m No. 4 or No. 5. It’s just circumstantial.

“In my career, being No. 4 or No. 5, I don’t think it changes a lot for me. What I’m really happy about, I really enjoy, is to achieve a title like here in Madrid, to win a title like this.

“Today is a day to be satisfied, to be happy, and to have this trophy. I thought I was going to take it, but apparently it’s going to stay here. After tomorrow, I will think about Rome. That’s everything I’m thinking right now.

“This is a very emotional period of the season. I really enjoy these tournaments. I just try to go for all of them. I try to compete. In Monte-Carlo and Barcelona I did well, same here. I hope to do the same in Rome.”

 

Related articles:

Rafael Nadal Snaps Seven-Match Losing Streak Against Novak Djokovic to Reach Madrid Open

Djokovic and Nadal to Face Off in Madrid Open Semifinal

Rafael Nadal Wins 10th Barcelona Open

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Rafael Nadal Snaps Seven-Match Losing Streak Against Novak Djokovic to Reach Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal Snaps Seven-Match Losing Streak Against Novak Djokovic to Reach Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal

(May 13, 2017) Rafael Nadal snapped his seven-match losing streak against Novak Djokovic on Saturday, dominating the world No. 2 6-2, 6-4 to reach the final of the Madrid Open. The last time Nadal defeated Djokvovic was in the 2014 final of the French Open.

Djokovic, who was the defending Madrid champion had won 15 straight sets over the four-time titlist. The Serb still leads the head-to-head against the Spaniard 26-24.

 

For Nadal it’s his 14th straight victory and an ATP World Tour leading 33rd match win on the year.

 

“I have been playing well,” Nadal said of the win.  “I think it was a great first set. I hit good the forehand in the first set, good the backhand, too. I was serving well.

“When I was playing that well at the beginning, it’s true that I felt for moments under control, and in the second not. In the second, the match was much more equal, and anything could happen.

“It’s true that I played a little bit shorter. I changed less directions in the second set. I needed to play more shots down the line with my forehand.

“But that’s normal, no? An important match for me. That’s it. But in general terms, I think I played a great match.”

Asked about how important it was to break the losing streak against Djokovic, Nadal said: “It’s one more match. What’s important to me is to make it to another final. As years go by, depending on the type of victories, can fulfill you a little bit more or less. As time goes by, what is important is the titles, not the opponents that you have beaten. It’s just the titles that you have won.

“It’s true that some matches are more important than others. But I’m just here to try to make it the best possible way, to play my best tennis, and of course to beat an opponent such as Novak, it gives you a lot of confidence. It shows you you’re working in the right way.

“But it’s just another match. As I said yesterday, it gives me another opportunity to win another title, which is important to me.”

 

Novak Djokovic

“Rafa was obviously a better player today,” Djokovic said. “He deserved to win. I mean, he was controlling the game from beginning to the end.

“Second set was a bit closer. Maybe I had some chances to be in the lead, 2-All. Was a long game. I lost the break there.

“But, you know, all in all, I did try my best. It wasn’t a very high quality of tennis from my side. I mean, I made a lot of unforced errors, especially first set.

“Just his quality was very high. You know, he managed to do whatever he wanted really, especially in the first set. I was getting a lot of balls back. He was serving well. He was using his court positioning well.

“Today was warmer than last three, four days, so conditions were quite different. The ball was bouncing very high.

“Well, he managed to be better in these kind of conditions.”

 

Djokovic, who has not so far had a good season by his standards, winning only one tournament this year, and fresh off of parting ways with his coaching team was happy to reach the final four in Madrid. “Well, first of all, it was really good to play in semifinals of big event, and to play against one of the top rivals I have in my life. I haven’t had that feeling in months, so it’s great to feel that.

“It was a positive week, a positive experience. I take, as I say, more positives than negatives into the next week in Rome. As I go along, I hope to continue getting better and getting stronger.

“I felt like I was playing well throughout the week. Today maybe slightly I could have played better. But, again, I just had an opponent that was too good.

“Well, I have to move on. Semifinals is a good result. Hopefully I’ll have another good result in Rome.”

 

Simona Halep

In the women’s final, defending champion Simona Halep held on to the title with a 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 over Kiki Mladenovic just under three hours.

“I feel great that I could defend this title,” Halep said afterwards. “It means a lot because it gives me confidence for the bigger tournaments.”

There was controversy during the trophy presentation when former player Illie Nastase was on the podium with Halep. Nastase has been banned from all ITF events due to his behavior at Fed Cup.

For the No. 3 seed Halep this was her 14th career title.

“It’s going to be a tough match whoever I face tomorrow,” explained Nadal. “That’s the reality. We’re saying I will be playing against Thiem. He’s No. 3 in the Race, came from the final in Barcelona. He’s young, has a lot of talent. I think the altitude helps him here. The ball bounces high and it’s difficult to control.

“Talking about Pablo, it’s more or less the same. He is doing really well. He played really well in Monte-Carlo, when he beat Wawrinka. Playing really well, then he lost after that. But it was a very tight match, too.

“Whoever is my opponent tomorrow, it’s going to be a very tough match. The only way to win these kinds of tournaments, because you are playing some of the best players in the world, so you have to play at a very high level to be able to beat them.

“This is my goal. This is what I’m thinking right now, to play really well. That’s the only way to be able to have options for tomorrow’s match.”

Nadal will be going for his fifth Madrid title and 30th Masters 1000 crown.

 

Nadal will tale on Dominic Thiem in the final. Thiem beat unseeded Pablo Cuevas 6-4, 6-4.

“It means a lot to me to play a finals. My first finals in this level,” Thiem said.

“These kind of tournaments are so strong, so it’s amazing for me to go that far. I’m very happy at the moment.”

 

Thiem lost to Nadal in the final of Barcelona in straight sets two weeks ago.

“I think he played a very, very good match in Barcelona. First set there was I think close. I also played well.

“But obviously even if I’m at my best and he’s at his best on clay, probably he’s the better player. If you see his records on this surface, it’s just amazing.

“But, yeah, tomorrow is a new day. I will try to improve the things I didn’t do that good in Barcelona and then we will see what happens.”

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

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

 

Andy Murray

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

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

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

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

Borna Coric

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Novak Djokovic

 

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

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

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

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

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

Rafael Nadal

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Romanian will face Anastasija Sevastova next.

Kristina Mladenovic will play Svetlana Kuznetsova in the other semifinal.

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

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 11 MAY 2017

ATP

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

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

WTA

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

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

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 12 MAY 2017

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

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO start 12:00 pm
ATP – [7] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Granollers (ESP) vs [4] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA)
Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – P. Cuevas (URU) vs A. Zverev (GER)
ATP – [3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [6] N. Mahut (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
ATP – [1] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs [8] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)
ATP – N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA) vs [2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

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

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Djokovic and Nadal Survive Challenges to Reach Madrid Third Round; Bouchard Advances

Novak Djokovic

(May 10, 2017) Novak Djokovic came back from a 0-3 deficit in the third set to get past Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5, while Rafael Nadal needed just under three hours to win 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-4 over Fabio Fognini to move into the final 16 at the Madrid Open on Wednesday.

Asked about his comeback in the third set Djokovic said:” Well, this was the fourth match on the clay court season for me this year, and all of them went 7-5 or 6-4 in the third set. Every match more or less that I’ve played was quite close, dramatic as well. I guess I’m supposed to be tested in every match on clay.

“From positive side, from that perspective, is good for psychological aspects and mental strength and getting confidence back.

“Obviously when you’re not winning too many matches, you have to build the confidence level. So to win the matches like this definitely helps confidence.

“I thought that for almost two sets I’ve played really well. Had 15-40 two times in the second set to finish off the match in straight sets. But, you know, I didn’t use my opportunities.

“He served well. Then he started to swing through the ball. Four games in a row he played really, really well.

“It’s tough to play Nico on any surface. Especially here where it’s altitude, it played quicker a little bit. He loves playing on clay. He was obviously motivated. He has a lot of strength in his shots, a lot of precision. He can, from both corners, hit equally well.

“If he doesn’t make many mistakes, he can really beat anyone. I could feel his very high quality, especially the end of the second set and the beginning of the third.

“But I hung in there and I knew that eventually I’m going to get my chances and going to get some looks on the second serves. When they’re presented, you know, I was ready to use them, which I did.

“Yeah, it was very challenging conditions, as well. Towards the end, a lot of wind. But all in all, a real test for the first match here.”

This was the 12-time major winner’s first match since splitting with his coaching team last week.

As to the speculation on who his next coach could be:”Well, I mean, I understand that people are trying to speculate and trying to look into the possible coaches and create a list because I was saying I would like to have ideally someone who fits into the profile of a person that was kind of in my shoes before, that has been winning Grand Slams. There are not too many of those kind of champions in the history of the sport. I guess it’s normal that people start coming up with names.

“I can’t talk more than that. I’m going to think about who I want in my team. Right now I don’t have yet anyone. But I think by French Open or after French Open, I already going to have someone.”

Defending Madrid champion Djokovic has just one title this year and has been hampered by an elbow injury.

“I’m still finding my way to that consistency level and quality of tennis that I’m looking for. I’m aware that I’m not playing at my best, but I’m definitely believing in myself and the process. Eventually the game will come together.

“I can take a lot of positives from today, as I say, for almost two sets. I was playing really well, consistently, taking my chances, returning a lot of balls back, serving precisely. I wasn’t making too many, you know, errors on the court. Then I had that four-game period which wasn’t that great. But I managed to recover.

“I try to take positives out of it. I know I can identify things that haven’t gone the way I wanted them in the game. But, you know, it’s normal to expect that sometimes you have those ups and downs. I’m going to try to reduce them as much as I can.

“Four consecutive games lost in this level should not happen because otherwise, you know, you’re going to lose the match. I was very close to lose it, as well. He was up 3-Love.

“But as I’ve said, you know, I’m happy with the way I handled the pressure in those moments, just stayed with him, made him play always extra shot. I did my work in the end of the match. So I’m looking forward to the next round.”

Four-time Madrid winner Rafael Nadal saved 10 break points in the first set and had to break serve as Fognini was serving up 5-4 in the first in a very back-and-forth match on Wednesday.

 

“I haven’t played bad, I played really bad,” Nadal said criticizing himself in regard to the match.

“Well, I think that even though I played really badly, my attitude has been very positive. My attitude and the will to win today’s match was there. My level of tennis was not so high today, but I managed to make it through the first round. It was uncomfortable.

“I think before it wasn’t so windy, but when I started playing, it was a really awful day. It was really windy.

“It’s true I’ve been through some difficult days with the issue of my ear, which cost me a little bit of general stability. I feel a little bit strange. But it’s something that is getting better day after day.

“Talking about the game in general, it’s quite simple: I think there was a moment where he was playing really well. There was another moment where both of us played really badly. The third set, we leveled up.

“I think we both played better than what we played in the first two sets. This is a positive thing. But that together with a couple of things, you know, it was the first match in altitude, then it was against an opponent that doesn’t give you a lot of rhythm, and the weather today was not really good. Those three things are not good.

“Also another thing I forgot. I was a little bit nervous today because it was the first day I played, and the conditions were completely different to the previous days. That makes the match very different. Luckily I was able to win, and tomorrow I have another opportunity. Hopefully I’m ready to do much better than today.”

 

Nadal will take on Nick Kyrgios next, who has beaten Nadal before – their first meeting at 2014 Wimbledon.

 

“He’s a very difficult opponent,” said Nadal. “He’s one of the most difficult players you can play. It’s true that I think on clay he’s a very, very tough player. But perhaps here he’s a little bit less difficult to play.

“But here we have the altitude, and that makes him very complicated. He can be even more complicated than a hard court due to the altitude we have here.

“Let’s see what happens tomorrow. If I play late, the conditions will be a little bit slower. But, well, he’s an opponent that’s going to put a lot of pressure on me. He has a very good serve. He’s very aggressive. I have to try to be very solid with my serve, too. I’m going to try to play at a high rhythm.

“I have to play really well to be able to beat him. I think I’m ready to do that. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I think I’m ready to play well because of things in the past months I’ve been playing really well.”

 

In women’s play, Eugenie Bouchard backed up her win over Maria Sharapova, when she advanced to the quarterfinals when No. 1 seed Angelique Kerber was forced to retire with a hamstring injury with Bouchard up 6-3, 5-0.

“All in all I’m very pleased 9with the win), Bouchard said. “I felt I started off a little bit off ’cause the conditions were so different. It was cold. It was really windy from one side to the other, a strong wind. The atmosphere was different from my previous match.

“I just at the beginning felt a little bit out of it, a couple loose errors. But then after that, I got myself together and got my rhythm, felt pretty awesome out there.”

“My first-round win gave me confidence. Feeling a bit better in practice coming into this week gave me confidence coming in.

I thought it was very important today to keep moving my feet a lot and accelerate a lot.”

Kerber talked about her injury with media: “I know it’s the left hamstring. I just felt it in the last game. I think it was not the last point, but the point, like, before.”

“Then the last point when I served, I was sure I cannot play more because I’m actually not the person who is retiring so often. When I feel it, it’s something.

“But I hope it’s not too serious. So I will see it in the next hours or days.”

Bouchard will be play two-time major winner Svetlana Kuznetsova next. “She’s playing well, in general right now, ” said the Canadian. “Also I think she ended the year really, really well. It’s going to be a good battle. I’ve practiced with her before, played against her. I’ve always enjoyed it because she gets a lot of balls back, but she also goes for it. We both have just battled.

“I just want to have fun. I just want to enjoy it and just go for it, as usual.”

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 10 MAY 2017

Singles – Second Round
[2] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [WC] N. Almagro (ESP) 61 46 75
B. Paire (FRA) d [3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 75 46 62
[4] R. Nadal (ESP) d F. Fognini (ITA) 76(3) 36 64
[5] M. Raonic (CAN) d G. Muller (LUX) 64 64
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d D. Schwartzman (ARG) 16 60 64
A. Zverev (GER) d [7] M. Cilic (CRO) 67(3) 63 64
D. Ferrer (ESP) d [10] J. Tsonga (FRA) w/o (shoulder injury)
[11] T. Berdych (CZE) d R. Haase (NED) 76(5) 63
[12] G. Dimitrov (BUL) d I. Karlovic (CRO) 63 75
[16] N. Kyrgios (AUS) d R. Harrison (USA) 63 63
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) d [Q] P. Herbert (FRA) 75 64
P. Cuevas (URU) d N. Mahut (FRA) 57 64 64
F. Lopez (ESP) d G. Simon (FRA) 63 36 76(3)

Doubles – Second Round
[2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d F. Martin (FRA) / D. Nestor (CAN) 57 62 10-7
[3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) 63 76(4)
[4] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) d [Alt] B. Baker (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) 63 64
[6] N. Mahut (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d R. Haase (NED) / A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 76(6) 76(3)

SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 11 MAY 2017

MANOLO SANTANA start 12:00 noon
WTA – C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs [3] S. Halep (ROU)
Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – F. Lopez (ESP) vs [2] N. Djokovic (SRB)
ATP – [1] A. Murray (GBR) vs [LL] B. Coric (CRO)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [16] N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [4] R. Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – E. Bouchard (CAN) vs [8] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO start 12:00 noon
ATP – [6] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs D. Ferrer (ESP)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – K. Bertens (NED) vs A. Sevastova (LAT)
WTA – [14] K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU)
ATP – [12] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs [8] D. Thiem (AUT)
ATP – [PR] T. Haas (GER) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs [8] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)

ESTADIO 3 start 12:00 noon
ATP – [7] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Granollers (ESP) vs F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Huey (PHI)
ATP – [5] M. Raonic (CAN) vs [9] D. Goffin (BEL)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [11] T. Berdych (CZE) vs A. Zverev (GER)
ATP – B. Paire (FRA) vs P. Cuevas (URU)

PISTA 4 start 12:00 noon
WTA – A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) vs [3] Y. Chan (TPE) / M. Hingis (SUI)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – [6] L. Hradecka (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) vs [WC] A. Parra Santonja (ESP) / S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP)
WTA – After rest – [4] S. Mirza (IND) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs I. Begu (ROU) / S. Halep (ROU)
WTA – After rest – K. Bertens (NED) / J. Larsson (SWE) vs [5] T. Babos (HUN) / A. Hlavackova (CZE)

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Andy Murray Moves Into Third Round of Madrid Open

Andy Murray

 

(May 9, 2017) No. 1 Andy Murray opened his Madrid Open with a 6-4, 6-3 win over wild card No. 104th ranked Marius Copil of Romania to move into the third round on Tuesday. The Scot is a two-time winner of the title in 2008 and 2015.

 

“I found it difficult to start,” Murray said. “I haven’t practiced out there. Well, we practiced out there for 25 minutes before the match, this morning at like 11:00. That had been it.

“It was very lively out there. It was probably the hottest it’s been since we’ve been here. Found it a bit difficult at the beginning to adjust to the conditions. Also never played him before. He serves big, comes forward a bit, uses dropshots. It was tricky.

“But when I started to control the points more towards the end of the first set and second set, you know, I was hitting the ball pretty clean, creating a few chances. I didn’t give him any opportunities.

“It was good for the first match.”

 

Murray, who had been nursing an elbow injury syas that he’s trying to get back into form: “I don’t think I’m playing perfectly just now. I think there’s just things I can definitely do better.

“But, you know, the most positive thing about tonight was that I feel like I can serve a little bit better than I did today.

“I had no breakpoints against me. That was something that obviously I’d struggled on serve a bit, especially the last couple of tournaments. So to not give up any breakpoints in the first match was good.

“I think the altitude does also help a bit with that. It’s a good sign for me that my serve is getting better. Hopefully that continues that way.

“When I serve well, the rest of my game tends to follow. It’s an important part of the game for me. You know, when I can get a lot of free points on my first serve, put a lot of pressure on my opponent’s service games, you know, it really helps my game a lot.

“That was the most important thing for me today.”

 

Wednesday’s schedule will include No. 2 Novak Djokovic, who recently parted ways with his coaching team and four-time winner Rafael Nadal who is dealing with an ear infection an asked for a later start in the tournament.

 

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 9 MAY 2017

Singles – Second Round
[1] A. Murray (GBR) d [WC] M. Copil (ROU) 64 63
[8] D. Thiem (AUT) d [LL] J. Donaldson (USA) 63 64
[9] D. Goffin (BEL) d F. Mayer (GER) 76(3) 60

Singles – First Round
[Q] P. Herbert (FRA) d [13] L. Pouille (FRA) 76(5) 67(4) 63
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) d M. Zverev (GER) 63 76(5)
I. Karlovic (CRO) d R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 76(4) 67(9) 76(7) – saved 4 M.P.
B. Paire (FRA) d P. Carreno Busta (ESP) 63 64
A. Zverev (GER) d F. Verdasco (ESP) 75 63
G. Muller (LUX) d [PR] T. Haas (GER) 64 76(7)
R. Harrison (USA) d B. Tomic (AUS) 75 46 62
D. Schwartzman (ARG) d A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 61 63
[WC] N. Almagro (ESP) d [WC] T. Robredo (ESP) 63 36 61

Doubles – Second Round
[1] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d O. Marach (AUT) / M. Pavic (CRO) 46 64 14-12
N. Kyrgios (AUS) / J. Sock (USA) d [5] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 64 64

Doubles – First Round
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d [WC] D. Marrero (ESP) / T. Robredo (ESP) 63 62
F. Martin (FRA) / D. Nestor (CAN) d R. Bopanna (IND) / P. Cuevas (URU) 63 62

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 10 MAY 2017

MANOLO SANTANA start 12:00 noon
WTA – [WC] L. Arruabarrena (ESP) vs A. Sevastova (LAT)
ATP – [WC] N. Almagro (ESP) vs [2] N. Djokovic (SRB)
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) vs [4] R. Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – [1] A. Kerber (GER) vs E. Bouchard (CAN)
Not Before 9:30 pm
ATP – [3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs B. Paire (FRA)

ARANTXA SANCHEZ VICARIO start 12:00 noon
ATP – [6] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs D. Schwartzman (ARG)
ATP – D. Ferrer (ESP) vs [10] J. Tsonga (FRA)
ATP – G. Simon (FRA) vs F. Lopez (ESP)
ATP – [LL] B. Coric (CRO) vs [Q] P. Herbert (FRA)
ATP – A. Zverev (GER) vs [7] M. Cilic (CRO)

ESTADIO 3 start 12:00 noon
ATP – [5] M. Raonic (CAN) vs G. Muller (LUX)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – C. Vandeweghe (USA) vs C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)
WTA – [16] S. Stosur (AUS) vs [3] S. Halep (ROU)
WTA – [Q] O. Dodin (FRA) vs [14] K. Mladenovic (FRA)
Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [12] G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs I. Karlovic (CRO)

PISTA 4 start 12:00 noon
ATP – [16] N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs R. Harrison (USA)
WTA – [Q] Q. Wang (CHN) vs [8] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – K. Bertens (NED) vs I. Begu (ROU)
WTA – [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU) vs M. Doi (JPN)
ATP – F. Martin (FRA) / D. Nestor (CAN) vs [2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

PISTA 5 start 12:00 noon
ATP – [Alt] B. Baker (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) vs [4] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA)
ATP – [11] T. Berdych (CZE) vs R. Haase (NED)
ATP – P. Cuevas (URU) vs N. Mahut (FRA)
ATP – [3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)
ATP – R. Haase (NED) / A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [6] N. Mahut (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

PISTA 6 start 12:00 noon
WTA – A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) vs G. Dabrowski (CAN) / Y. Xu (CHN)
Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – After rest – [6] L. Hradecka (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) vs S. Stosur (AUS) / S. Zhang (CHN)

PISTA 7 start 12:00 noon
WTA – TBA based on result – [WC] L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) vs [5] T. Babos (HUN) / A. Hlavackova (CZE)
WTA – TBA based on result – [1] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) vs K. Bertens (NED) / J. Larsson (SWE)

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Rafael Nadal Wins 10th Barcelona Open

(April 30, 2017) Rafael Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-1 to win his 10th Barcelona Open title on Sunday. This is the second straight week that the 14-time major champion has claimed a title for the 10th time, last week it was the Monte-Carlo Masters.

For Nadal this is his 71st career title, 51st on clay and second tournament win of the year.

“It means a lot to me to win 10 titles here in Barcelona as well,” Nadal said after the match. “To win in Barcelona and Monte Carlo gives me a dream start to the clay season.”

“I’m very satisfied. It’s been an emotional day for me,” Nadal said. Playing in front of my crowd and my club and winning a 10th title here is something that’s impossible to even dream of. It’s very special and unique. I played my best match of the tournament this afternoon against probably the toughest opponent in the tournament, so I’m very happy.”.

Thiem, ranked ninth in the world had a good week beating No. 1 Andy Murray in the semifinals.

“He was hitting to my backhand and I couldn’t really come out of it,” said the Austrian. “The next time I play him I have to change something. He didn’t hit many unforced errors and give me any free points. It’s difficult for any player in the world against him.

“I’m not used to playing two of the greatest players in two days. It was a great experience for me. It was two really good days for me and my game.”

In Budapest Frenchman Lucas Pouille won his second ATP World Tour title, beating Great Britain’s Aljaz Bedene for the Hungarian Open crown.
The win snapped Bedene’s streak at 16 matches, which included two ATP Challenger Tour titles this month in Sophia Antipolis and Barletta, and six wins this week as he raced through qualifying to the championship match.

“I feel very happy with the way I started the clay season,” noted the winner. “To win here gives me a lot of confidence for the future. It’s been a great week and it was nice to see the French supporters in the crowd… My goal for the next few tournaments is to be at 200 per cent of my capacity, so I will do everything I can to be ready.”

“I’m a little disappointed because I had problems with my finger and felt uncomfortable hitting my shots,” Bedene said. “I wasn’t close to the level I should be at to beat Lucas, but he was playing really well. It was like everything went in for him… If I’m going to lose to anyone, it should be against someone who is a good player and a good person, which Lucas is.”

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Dominic Thiem Stops Andy Murray While Rafael Nadal is a Win Away From 10th Barcelona Title

Dominic Thiem

Dominic Thiem Stops Andy Murray While Rafael Nadal is a Win Away From 10th Barcelona Title

(April 29, 2017) Rafael Nadal will be attempting to win his tenth Barcelona Open on Sunday when he takes on Dominic Thiem.

Last week, Nadal became the first man in the Open Era to win a tournament 10 times when he won Monte Carlo. He’s going for a second “Decima.”
No. 1 Andy Murray lost to the Austrian Thiem 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

Rafael Nadal defeated Horacio Zeballaos of Argentina in the other semifinal 6-3, 6-4.

For Thiem, this was his first win over Murray, first win over a No. 1 ranked player and he’s reached his first Barcelona final.

“I got three matches in three days against all different players,” Murray said to media. “Feli (Felicano Lopez) uses a lot of slice and variation, (Albert) Ramos-(Vinolas) yesterday is a lefty and today against Dominic (Thiem), who plays with the kick serve and so much spin. To play two hours today after three yesterday, will be good for me.”

“It’s not a surprise that Dominic is in the final,” Nadal told media. “He is one of the best in the world, and he loves clay. At the beginning of the tournament, he was already one of the main favorites to be in the final.”

“He is a player with a lot of power. He imposes a lot on his shots, and if you let him be comfortable, it’s almost impossible to stop him. It’s going to be a difficult match, the type of match where either you play great or you won’t win.”

“It’s the first win (over a World No. 1), so it’s really something special,” said Thiem to media.

“But it’s also the first win over a Top 10 guy this season. There are many positive things to take from today’s match. For me personally, it’s the best victory this year so far.”

RESULTS – SATURDAY, 29 APRIL 2017

Singles – Semi-finals
[4] D. Thiem (AUT) d [1] [WC] A. Murray (GBR) 62 36 64
[3] R. Nadal (ESP) d H. Zeballos (ARG) 63 64

Doubles – Semi-finals
F. Mergea (ROU) / A. Qureshi (PAK) d J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 63 57 14-12

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 30 APRIL 2017

PISTA RAFA NADAL start 13:00
DOUBLES FINAL – F. Mergea (ROU) / A. Qureshi (PAK) vs [PR] P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Peya (AUT)

Not Before 16:00
SINGLES FINAL – [4] D. Thiem (AUT) vs [3] R. Nadal (ESP)

 

 

Gazprom Hungarian Open
ATP World Tour 250 €482,060 (€540,310 Total Financial Commitment)
Budapest, Hungary (-5 hours GMT)
24-30 April 2017 Surface: Clay
RESULTS – SATURDAY, 29 APRIL 2017

Singles – Semi-finals
[1] L. Pouille (FRA) d [6] P. Lorenzi (ITA) 62 75
[Q] A. Bedene (GBR) d [Q] L. Djere (SRB) 62 64

Doubles – Semi-finals
[3] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d R. Haase (NED) / D. Inglot (GBR) 63 67(7) 10-3

SCHEDULE – SUNDAY, 30 APRIL 2017

CENTRE COURT start 1:00 pm
[3] J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs [4] B. Baker (USA) / N. Mektic (CRO)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[1] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [Q] A. Bedene (GBR)

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Rafael Nadal Wins 10th Monte-Carlo Crown for 50th Clay Court Title, Most in Open Era

(April 23, 2017) Rafael Nadal became the first man to win a singles event ten times, when he defeated countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the Monte-Carlo Masters final on Sunday 6-1, 6-3.

The win not only gave Nadal his 29th Masters title, but his 50th tournament title on clay surpassing Tennis Hall of Famer Guillermo Vilas’ record of 49 clay court championships in the Open Era.

The fourth seeded Nadal has now won an ATP World Tour title for the 14th year in a row. Nadal will also be attempting to win his tenth titles in Barcelona and at the French Open.

“It’s really unbelievable,” Nadal said. “To win 10 times in such an important event like Monte-Carlo is something difficult to describe. Every year has been a different feeling. At the same, it’s always a unique moment every time I have this trophy with me.”

“I feel lucky to keep playing tennis, being healthy all these years and to compete in one of the most beautiful events of the year. Very happy to win another one. It’s a very important day in my career.”

“Nobody likes to play a final and lose 6-1, 6-3.” said Ramos-Vinolas. “But I know how it is. I know that I have another tournament. I have to keep going. I will try to have my feedback with the good things I did this week. Not today, but maybe tomorrow I will be proud of myself, and I will restart again for the next tournament.”

 

It was a career week for Ramos-Vinolas reaching his first Masters final and he’ll be rewarded for it moving into the Top 20 in the rankings.

 

For Nadal, this was his 70th career title.

 

ib vsgbv

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

Roger Federer

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

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

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

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

Federer is the oldest-ever Miami champion.

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

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

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

 

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

 

Rafael Nadal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rafael Nadal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Johanna Konta

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

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

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

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

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

Johanna Konta

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

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

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