January 21, 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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2017 Australian Open – Day 4 Men’s Preview

 

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 4 MEN’S NOTES

Thursday 19 January

2nd Round Bottom Half

 

Milos Raonic

Featured matches

 

No. 2 Novak Djokovic (SRB) v (WC) Denis Istomin (UZB)

No. 3 Milos Raonic (CAN) v Gilles Muller (LUX)

No. 6 Gael Monfils (FRA) v Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)

No. 8 Dominic Thiem (AUT) v Jordan Thompson (AUS)

No. 9 Rafael Nadal (ESP) v Marcos Baghdatis (CYP)

No. 11 David Goffin (BEL) v (Q) Radek Stepanek (CZE)

No. 15 Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) v Hyeon Chung (KOR)

No. 18 Richard Gasquet (FRA) v Carlos Berlocq (ARG)

No. 24 Alexander Zverev (GER) v (Q) Frances Tiafoe (USA)

 

On court today…

 

  • Six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic will look to reach the 3rd round here for the 11th straight year when he takes on wild card and world No. 117 Denis Istomin. Djokovic has only once lost to a player ranked outside the Top 100 in the last seven years – when he fell to No. 145 Juan Martin del Potro in the opening round at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event last year.

 

  • Hyeon Chung, only the second man from Korea to play in the 2nd round here in Australian Open history, is bidding to break more ground for his nation and become just the first Korean man to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam since Hyung-Taik Lee at the 2007 US Open. Standing in his way is the 15th seed and a man in form – this month’s Brisbane champion Grigor Dimitrov.

 

  • Radek Stepanek and Frances Tiafoe are 2 of the 3 qualifiers in action today from the 7 who progressed to the 2nd round here. There haven’t been as many as 3 qualifiers through to the 3rd round here since Marcos Baghdatis, Jean-Rene Lisnard and Bobby Reynolds all reached that stage in 2005.

 

  • On Court 8, No. 20 seed Ivo Karlovic will hope to continue the momentum from his marathon 1st round win over Horacio Zeballos when he takes on Australian wild card Andrew Whittington. At 84 games, Karlovic’s 67(6) 36 75 62 22-20 victory broke the record for most games in a match at the Australian Open since the tiebreak was introduced in 1971, surpassing the 83 games in Andy Roddick’s win against Younes El Aynaoui in the 2003 quarterfinals.

 

2 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (SRB) v (WC) DENIS ISTOMIN (UZB)

Head-to-head: Djokovic leads 5-0

2010     Australian Open           Hard (O)           R32      Djokovic                       61 61 62

2011     Miami-1000                   Hard (O)           R64      Djokovic                       60 61

2013     Montreal-1000               Hard (O)           R16      Djokovic                       26 64 64

2014     Australian Open           Hard (O)           R32      Djokovic                       63 63 75

2014     Dubai                           Hard (O)           R32      Djokovic                       63 63

 

A 6th hard court meeting for the 2 players and their 3rd at the Australian Open. Istomin has taken just one set off Djokovic in their 3 previous match-ups – winning the opening set at 2013 Montreal-1000.

 

Djokovic has lost to a player ranked outside the Top 100 on only one occasion since he retired due to illness against No. 319 Filip Krajinovic at 2010 Belgrade – when he fell to No. 145 Juan Martin del Potro in the 1st round at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event. The lowest-ranked player he has lost to at the Australian Open is No. 68 Paul Goldstein in the 1st round in 2006.

 

DJOKOVIC                                      v                                        ISTOMIN

 

29                                          Age                                          30

2                                    ATP Ranking                                  117

67                                         Titles                                          1

229-36                     Career Grand Slam Record                      31-34

58-6                         Australian Open Record                         8-10

757-155                              Career Record                              195-209

502-92                         Career Record – Hard                         109-127

6-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

6-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

27-8                          Career Five-Set Record                          12-7

4                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         3

211-118                      Career Tiebreak Record                         99-86

3-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • DJOKOVIC is through to the 2nd round here after defeating Fernando Verdasco 61 76(4) 62 in the opening round on Tuesday night.

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for an 11th consecutive year. The last time he lost in the 2nd round at any Grand Slam event was at 2008 Wimbledon, when as No. 3 seed he fell to Marat Safin in straight sets. No. 75 Safin is the lowest ranked-player to defeat Djokovic at a major.

 

  • Djokovic is looking to win his 7th Australian Open title and take sole ownership of the record for the most titles here ahead of Roy Emerson, who won 6 Australian titles in 1961, 1963-67.

 

  • Djokovic is bidding to become the 8th man in history to win at least 7 titles at any Grand Slam event and move into joint 2nd place for the most titles at any one major behind Rafael Nadal (9 Roland Garros titles) (see Preview page 2).

 

  • Last year here Djokovic equalled Roy Emerson’s record of 6 Australian titles after defeating Andy Murray 61 75 76(3) in the final. He also won the title here in 2008 (d. Jo-Wilfried Tonga), 2011 (d. Murray), 2012
    (d. Nadal), 2013 (d. Murray) and 2015 (d. Murray). This is his 13th Australian Open and his 49th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the majors in 2016, Djokovic won his first title at Roland Garros, defeating Murray 36 61 62 64 in the final to become the 8th man in history to complete the career Grand Slam. Having won the previous 3 majors, he also became the 3rd man in history to complete a non-calendar year Grand Slam after Don Budge and Rod Laver. He finished runner-up as defending champion at the US Open (l. Stan Wawrinka), but Sam Querrey ended his run of 30 consecutive Grand Slam match-wins in the 3rd round on his title defence at Wimbledon.

 

  • Djokovic won 7 titles in 10 finals in 2016. As well as becoming the first man to win the first 2 Grand Slam titles of the year since Jim Courier in 1992, he also won the titles at Doha (d. Nadal), Indian Wells-1000
    (d. Milos Raonic), Miami-1000 (d. Kei Nishikori), Madrid-1000 (d. Murray) and Toronto-1000 (d. Nishikori).

 

  • Djokovic surrendered his No. 1 ranking and fell to No. 2 in the world for the first time since June 2014 when Murray reached the final of 2016 Paris-1000. He missed the chance to reclaim the top spot when he fell to Murray in the title match at the ATP World Tour Finals.

 

  • Djokovic warmed up for the 2017 Australian Open by defeating No. 1 seed Murray 63 57 64 to win the title at Doha. He saved 5 match points against Verdasco in the semifinals before ending Murray’s 28-match Tour-level winning streak in the final.

 

  • Djokovic has been coached by Marian Vajda since June 2006. He announced Dusan Vemic as his assistant coach earlier this month after parting ways with 2-time Australian Open champion Boris Becker in December 2016. His wider team includes physios Miljan Amanovic and Gebhard Phil-Gritsch.

 

  • Wild card ISTOMIN is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd time and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Istomin advanced to the 2nd round here after defeating qualifier Ivan Dodig 61 64 36 75 in the 1st round on Tuesday to record his first Australian Open match-win since 2014.

 

  • Istomin’s 1st round win over Dodig was his first Tour-level match-win since he won 2 matches during Uzbekistan’s 3-2 Davis Cup defeat to Switzerland in September’s World Group play-offs.

 

  • Istomin’s best Tour-level result in 2016 was reaching the 3rd round at Wimbledon (l. David Goffin) – the only other time he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins in 2016 along with Davis Cup. 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.

 

  • Istomin’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the 3rd round here in 2010 and 2014, losing to today’s opponent on both occasions. He is contesting his 11th Australian Open and his 35th Grand Slam overall.

 

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

 

  • 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.

 

  • Istomin has won just one of his 33 previous matches against Top 10 opposition, defeating No. 5 David Ferrer at 2012 Indian Wells-1000. He has a 0-10 win-loss record against Top 10 opposition at the majors. His career-best win at a major came against No. 15 Nicolas Almagro at the 2013 US Open.

 

 

  • 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.

 

 

 

 3 MILOS RAONIC (CAN) v GILLES MULLER (LUX)

Head-to-head: Muller leads 2-0

2011     Wimbledon      Grass (O)         R64      Muller              2-3 ret. (right hip injury)

2012     Valencia            Hard (O)           R32      Muller              75 76(1)

 

A 3rd meeting for these 2 players, but their first in over 4 years.

 

                           RAONIC                                        v                                        MULLER

 

26                                          Age                                          33

3                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            28

8                                          Titles                                          1

59-23                      Career Grand Slam Record                      28-34

20-6                         Australian Open Record                        10-10

262-121                              Career Record                              202-177

185-76                         Career Record – Hard                         145-118

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   6-1

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              6-1

8-5                           Career Five-Set Record                          11-6

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         5

162-102                      Career Tiebreak Record                       148-115

0-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            5-0

 

  • RAONIC is bidding to maintain his record of always having reached the 3rd round here. This is his 7th Australian Open appearance and his 24th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Raonic advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Dustin Brown 63 64 62 on Tuesday.

 

  • 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.

 

  • Lefthander MULLER is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd time. This is his 11th Australian Open appearance and his 35th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Muller advanced to the 2nd round here for the 3rd consecutive year after defeating Taylor Fritz 76(6) 76(5) 63.

 

  • Last year here, Muller reached the 2nd round, where he lost in 5-sets to John Millman. He has a 12-6 win-loss record in 5-set matches and a 2-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Muller reached the 2nd round at Wimbledon (d. Santiago Giraldo, l. Andrey Kuznetsov), but fell in the 1st round at both Roland Garros (l. Marcos Baghdatis) and the US Open (l. Gael Monfils).

 

  • Muller’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at the 2008 US Open (l. Roger Federer). His best result at the Australian Open is reaching the round of 16 in 2015 (l. Novak Djokovic).

 

  • Muller warmed up for the Australian Open by winning his first Tour-level title at Sydney. He ended a run of 5 defeats in Tour-level finals by defeating Daniel Evans 76(5) 62. He also reached the doubles final with Sam Querrey, losing to Thanasi Kokkinakis/Jordan Thompson in the title match. He fell in the 1st round at Brisbane (l. Jared Donaldson).

 

  • Muller plays here on a career-high ranking of No. 28, first attained after winning the title at Sydney earlier this month.

 

  • Muller’s best results in 2016 were finishing runner-up at ’s-Hertogenbosch (l. Nicolas Mahut) and Newport (l. Ivo Karlovic). He also reached the semifinals at Sydney (l. Grigor Dimitrov), Sofia (l. Roberto Bautista Agut), Nottingham (l. Pablo Cuevas) and Basel (l. Kei Nishikori) and reached 3 further quarterfinals.

 

  • Muller is bidding to end a 19-match losing streak against Top 5 opposition. He has not beaten a Top 5 player since defeating No. 5 Nikolay Davydenko in the round of 16 at the 2008 US Open. Overall he has a 3-22 win-loss record against Top 5 players – but all 3 of those victories have come at the Grand Slams.

 

  • Muller has played Davis Cup for Luxembourg since 2000. He has played a total of 30 ties and has a 54-17 win-loss record in the competition. He carried the flag for Luxembourg at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

 

  • Muller is the only man from Luxembourg to have competed in Grand Slam tournaments in the Open Era.

 

  • Muller entered the men’s doubles here with Marcos Baghdatis. The pair defeated Cheng-Peng Hsieh/Tsung-Hua Yang 61 64 in the 1st round on Wednesday.

 

  • Muller is a former junior world No. 1 and was named the 2001 ITF Junior World Champion. He won the boys’ singles title at the 2001 US Open (d. Jimmy Wang) and finished runner-up in the boys’ singles at 2001 Wimbledon (l. Roman Valent).

 

  • Muller is coached by Alexandre Lisiecki and Benjamin Balleret. His physical trainer is Frank Eicher.

 

 

6 GAEL MONFILS (FRA) v ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV (UKR)

Head-to-head: Monfils leads 3-0

2013     Australian Open          Hard (O)           R128    Monfils             67(7) 76(4) 63 63

2013     Winston-Salem             Hard (O)           SF        Monfils             76(9) 63

2015     Monte Carlo-1000          Clay (O)            R32      Monfils             76(5) 76(6)

 

A 4th career meeting for the pair and their 2nd at the Australian Open. Dolgopolov has won just one set against Monfils – winning the first set of their first meeting here in 2013.

 

                          MONFILS                                       v                                   DOLGOPOLOV

 

30                                          Age                                          28

6                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            69

6                                          Titles                                          2

83-39                      Career Grand Slam Record                      28-25

22-11                        Australian Open Record                          9-6

392-221                              Career Record                              189-175

247-133                        Career Record – Hard                         118-104

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-2

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-2

15-12                         Career Five-Set Record                           7-7

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

158-110                      Career Tiebreak Record                         78-77

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • MONFILS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 9th time.

 

  • Monfils advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Jiri Vesely 62 63 62 in his opening round match on Tuesday. It 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 join 2nd place with Mark Woodforde on the list for the most attempts before reaching the last 8 here in the Open Era. He fell to Milos Raonic 63 36 63 64. This is his 12th appearance at the Australian Open and his 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • 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.
  • DOLGOPOLOV is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 3rd time.

 

  • Dolgopolov advanced to the 2nd round here after defeating Borna Coric 63 64 36 76(7) in the 1st round on Tuesday. He is making his 7th straight appearance at the Australian Open and his 26th appearance at a Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Dolgopolov is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time since he reached the quarterfinals at 2016 Nottingham (l. Gilles Muller). His opening round win over Coric here ended an 6-match Tour-level losing streak and was his first Tour-level match-win since he defeated Jordan Thompson to reach the 3rd round at 2016 Washington (l. Sam Querrey) after receiving a 1st round bye.

 

  • Dolgopolov recorded his best Grand Slam result at the 2011 Australian Open where he reached the quarterfinals (l. Andy Murray). He defeated No. 13 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and No. 4 seed Robin Soderling both in 5 sets to become just the 2nd Ukrainian man to reach the last 8 at a major.

 

  • Dolgopolov’s victory over No. 4 Soderling at the 2011 Australian Open is his only match-win over a Top 10 player at a Grand Slam. He has a 1-5 win-loss record against Top 10 players at the majors overall. He has won just one of his last 10 matches against Top 10 players at Tour-level, with his only win against a Top 10 player in that time coming against No. 8 David Ferrer at 2016 Acapulco.

 

  • At the Grand Slams in 2016, Dolgopolov reached the 2nd round at both the Australian Open (l. Roger Federer) and Wimbledon (l. Daniel Evans). He withdrew from Roland Garros with a left abdomen strain and retired with nausea and fatigue in the 1st round at the US Open while trailing Ferrer 5-6 in the opening set.

 

  • Prior to coming here, Dolgopolov fell in the 1st round at both Brisbane (l. Rafael Nadal) and Sydney (l. Gille Muller).

 

  • Dolgopolov’s 2016 highlights included reaching the semifinals at Acapulco (l. Bernard Tomic) and 4 further quarterfinals – at Sydney (l. Grigor Dimitrov), Rio de Janeiro (l. Nadal), Barcelona (l. Kei Nishikori) and Nottingham (l. Muller).

 

  • Dolgopolov has won 2 career singles titles at 2011 Umag (d. Marin Cilic) and 2012 Washington
    (d. Tommy Haas). He reached a career-high ranking of No. 13 in January 2012, but plays here ranked No. 69 – his lowest ranking since August 2015.

 

  • Dolgopolov has won just one of his last 7 five-set matches with his only 5-set win in that time coming against Jesse Levine in the 1st round at the 2012 US Open. He has a 4-1 win-loss record in 5-set matches at the Australian Open and a 7-7 win-loss record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Dolgopolov entered the men’s doubles here with Gerald Melzer. They fell to No. 5 seeds Feliciano Lopez/Marc Lopez 64 36 64 in the 1st round on Wednesday. He has won one career doubles title – at 2011 Indian Wells-1000 with Xavier Malisse.

 

  • Dolgopolov has played tennis since he was 3 years old. His father used to coach countryman Andrei Medvedev, and Dolgopolov used to practice with the former world No. 4.

 

  • Dolgopolov is coached by Felix Mantilla, who reached the quarterfinals here in 1997.

 

 

8 DOMINIC THIEM (AUT) v JORDAN THOMPSON (AUS)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

THIEM                                         v                                     THOMPSON

 

23                                          Age                                          22

8                                    ATP Ranking                                   76

7                                          Titles                                          0

21-12                      Career Grand Slam Record                        2-6

4-3                          Australian Open Record                          1-3

125-84                               Career Record                                 7-14

57-51                          Career Record – Hard                            6-10

3-2                                   2017 Record                                   4-2

3-2                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-2

3-2                           Career Five-Set Record                           1-3

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

52-50                        Career Tiebreak Record                          2-5

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • THIEM is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 2nd straight year and equal his best Australian Open result.

 

  • Thiem advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Jan-Lennard Struff 46 64 64 63 in the 1st round on Tuesday.

 

  • Last year here, Thiem recorded his best Australian Open performance by reaching the 3rd round. As the No. 19 seed, he defeated Leonardo Mayer and Nicolas Almagro before falling to David Goffin in 4 sets. 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 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.

 

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

 

  • Thompson recorded his first match-win at the Australian Open after coming back from 0-2 down for the first time in his career to defeat Joao Sousa 67(2) 46 63 62 61 in the 1st round. It was his first career 5-set match-win and improved his career 5-set win-loss record to 1-3.

 

  • By reaching the 2nd round here, Thompson has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 2nd round on his Roland Garros debut as a wild card in 2016, defeating Laslo Djere before falling to Ivo Karlovic in 5-sets.

 

  • Thompson is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the 2nd time. Prior to coming here, he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time after reaching the quarterfinals as a wild card at Brisbane, where he fell to Kei Nishikori in his first career meeting with a Top 10 player. He also reached the 2nd round as a wild card at Sydney (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber).

 

  • Thompson’s career-best win came against No. 21 David Ferrer in the 2nd round at Brisbane earlier this month – his first win against a Top 30 opponent. He has a 1-5 win-loss record against Top 30 opposition overall.

 

  • Last year here, as a wildcard, Thompson fell to Thomaz Bellucci in the 1st round. He also lost in the 1st round as a wild card here in both 2014, when he fell to Jerzy Janowicz in 5-sets, and in 2015 (l. Sousa). He failed to qualify here as a wild card into qualifying in 2013.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Thompson fell in the 1st round as a direct acceptance at both Wimbledon (l. Roberto Bautista Agut) and the US Open, where he fell in 5 sets to Steve Darcis.

 

  • Thompson’s best results in 2016 were reaching the 2nd round as a wild card at both Sydney (l. Bernard Tomic) and Roland Garros and as direct acceptance at Washington (l. Alexander Dolgopolov). He also won 4 Challenger titles – at Cherbourg (FRA) (d. Adam Pavlasek), Anning (CHN) (d. Mathias Bourgue), Ho Chi Minh City (VIE) (d. Go Soeda) and Traralgon (AUS) (d. Grega Zemlja).

 

  • Thompson broke into the Top 100 for the first time on 2 May 2016 after winning the Anning Challenger. He reached a career-high ranking of No. 75 after reaching the quarterfinals at Brisbane but plays here at No. 76.

 

  • Thompson won his first Tour-level doubles title in doubles as a wild card at Brisbane earlier this month alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis. He entered the men’s doubles event here alongside Luke Saville, falling 62 75 to No. 16 seeds Dominic Inglot/Florin Mergea in the 1st round on Wednesday.

 

  • Thompson played in the boys’ singles event at the Junior Australian Open in 2011 and 2012, losing in the 1st round on both occasions. He finished as runner-up with Nick Kyrgios in the boys’ doubles at the 2012 US Open. He also represented Australia in the 2008 World Junior Tennis Finals and the 2010 Junior Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Finals.

 

  • Thompson is coached by Des Tyson.

 

 

 

 

 9 RAFAEL NADAL (ESP) v MARCOS BAGHDATIS (CYP)

Head-to-head: Nadal leads 8-1

2006     AMS Indian Wells          Hard (O)           QF        Nadal                75 60

2006     Wimbledon                  Grass (O)         SF        Nadal               61 75 63

2007     Dubai                           Hard (O)           R32      Nadal                36 62 63

2007     AMS Madrid                  Hard (I)             R32      Nadal                64 64

2007     AMS Paris                    Hard (I)             SF        Nadal                46 64 63

2009     Beijing                         Hard (O)           R32      Nadal                64 36 64

2010     Cincinnati-1000             Hard (O)           QF        Baghdatis         64 46 64

2011     Madrid-1000                  Clay (O)            R32      Nadal                61 63

2015     Stuttgart                       Grass (O)          R16      Nadal                76(5) 67(4) 62

 

A 10th career meeting for the pair, but their first on a hard court since 2010, when Baghdatis recorded his only career victory against Nadal in 3 sets at 2010 Cincinnati-1000.

 

Nadal won the pair’s only Grand Slam meeting in straight sets in the semifinals at 2006 Wimbledon.

 

                           NADAL                                         v                                     BAGHDATIS

 

30                                          Age                                          31

9                                    ATP Ranking                                   36

69                                         Titles                                          4

204-31                     Career Grand Slam Record                      62-45

46-10                        Australian Open Record                        25-12

809-175                              Career Record                              343-243

384-118                        Career Record – Hard                         223-161

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   4-2

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-2

17-8                          Career Five-Set Record                          16-8

3                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         3

200-131                      Career Tiebreak Record                       142-110

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • 2009 Australian Open champion NADAL is bidding reach the 3rd round here for the 11th time. This is his 12th appearance at Melbourne Park and his 47th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Nadal advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Florian Mayer 63 64 64 in the 1st round on Tuesday.

 

  • 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 was one of 7 Grand Slam champions to start 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 Andy 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 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.

 

  • BAGHDATIS is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 9th time.

 

  • Baghdatis advanced to the 2nd round when Mikhail Youzhny retired due to illness while trailing 63 3-0 in the 1st round on Tuesday.

 

  • Baghdatis is a former Australian Open finalist. He reached the final here in 2006 – his only appearance in a Grand Slam final to date – losing to Roger Federer in 4 sets.

 

  • Last year here, Baghdatis fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the 1st round. This is his 13th Australian Open and 46th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Baghdatis reached the round of 16 at the US Open (l. Gael Monfils) – his best result at a Grand Slam since he reached the same stage at the 2009 Australian Open. He reached the 2nd round at Roland Garros, where he fell to Tsonga in 5 sets, but fell to John Isner in the 1st round at Wimbledon.

 

  • Baghdatis’s best results in 2016 were finishing runner-up at Dubai (l. Stan Wawrinka) and reaching the semifinals at Newport (l. Ivo Karlovic). He reached 4 further Tour-level quarterfinals – at Montpellier
    (l. Richard Gasquet), Houston (l. Jack Sock), Halle (l. Alexander Zverev) and Nottingham (l. Pablo Cuevas).

 

  • Baghdatis is bidding to end a 9-match losing streak against Top 10 opposition at the Grand Slams. His last victory over a Top 10 opponent at a major came in the round of 16 at 2007 Wimbledon, when he defeated No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko. Overall, he has a 5-13 win-loss record against Top 10 players at the Grand Slams.

 

  • Baghdatis has won 8 of his last 9 matches against lefthanders. His only loss in that time came against Gilles Muller in the 2nd round at 2016 Tokyo.

 

  • Baghdatis is a former Top 10 player. He broke into the Top 10 following 2006 Wimbledon, where he reached the semifinals, peaking at No. 8 in August that year. He ended 2016 ranked at No. 36 – his highest year-end ranking since 2012 – and plays here at the same ranking.

 

  • Baghdatis is one of the 6 Australian Open boys’ singles champions to reach the 2nd round here from the 7 who started the men’s main draw. He won the junior title in 2003, and finished runner-up in the boys’ singles at the US Open in the same year (l. Tsonga). He was named 2003 ITF Junior World Champion.

 

  • Baghdatis entered the men’s doubles here with Gilles Muller. The pair defeated Cheng-Peng Hsieh/Tsung-Hua Yang 61 64 in the 1st round on Wednesday.

 

  • Baghdatis was part of the Grand Slam Development Fund 14&U East European Team in Europe and the 18&U International Team to the Orange Bowl in 1999. He received travel grants to play ITF Junior Circuit events and Pro Circuit events in 2001 and was the recipient of an ITF Olympic Solidarity scholarship in 2004.

 

  • Baghdatis has played Davis Cup for Cyprus since 2000. He holds the record for the most consecutive singles rubbers won in the competition, having won 38 straight singles rubbers.

 

  • Baghdatis is coached by Juan Spina.

 

 11 DAVID GOFFIN (BEL) v (Q) RADEK STEPANEK (CZE)

Head-to-head: Goffin leads 1-0

2012     Roland Garros               Clay (O)            R128    Goffin              62 46 26 64 62

 

A 2nd career meeting for the pair. Goffin recovered from 2-sets-to-1 down to win their only previous encounter at 2012 Roland Garros.

 

Goffin has only once lost to a player ranked outside the Top 100 at a major – when he fell to No. 122 Jared Donaldson on his last Grand Slam outing at the 2016 US Open.

 

GOFFIN                                        v                                      STEPANEK

 

26                                          Age                                          38

11                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            102

2                                          Titles                                          5

26-18                      Career Grand Slam Record                      58-54

5-3                          Australian Open Record                        15-13

144-105                              Career Record                              384-301

93-65                          Career Record – Hard                         214-171

2-1                                   2017 Record                                   3-1

2-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              3-1

8-4                           Career Five-Set Record                         15-24

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         6

40-46                        Career Tiebreak Record                       162-150

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

  • GOFFIN is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 2nd time. He defeated qualifier Reilly Opelka 64 46 62 46 64 in the 1st round.

 

  • 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.

 

  • Last year here, Goffin recorded his best Australian Open result by reaching the round of 16 (l. Roger Federer). He was just the 4th Belgian man to reach the round of 16 at Melbourne Park and the first since Olivier Rochus in 2005. This is his 4th Australian Open appearance and his 19th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • 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 Ivo Karlovic 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.

 

  • At 38 years 63 days old, qualifier STEPANEK is looking to become 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.

 

  • By defeating Dmitry Tursunov 62 76(1) 63 in the 1st round here, Stepanek became the oldest man to win a match at the Australian Open since Bob Carmichael (38 years 183 days) and Ken Rosewall (44 years 62 days) reached the 3rd round in 1978.

 

  • Stepanek is bidding to reach the 3rd round here and equal his best Australian Open performance. He has reached the 3rd round on 5 previous occasions – on his debut here in 2003 (l. Lleyton Hewitt), and in 2005 (l. Guillermo Canas), 2007 (l. David Ferrer), 2009 (l. Fernando Verdasco) and 2013 (l. Novak Djokovic).

 

  • As No. 1 seed, Stepanek defeated Sekou Bangoura (USA) 63 67(2) 62, Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 63 67(4) 86 and John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 62 64 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here.

 

  • Last year here as a qualifier, Stepanek reached the 2nd round (l. Stan Wawrinka). It was the first time he had to qualify for a Grand Slam since 2002 Wimbledon. He also reached the final of the men’s doubles event with 43-year-old Daniel Nestor, becoming the oldest team to reach a men’s doubles Grand Slam final (l. Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares).

 

  • Elsewhere at the majors in 2016, Stepanek fell in the 1st round as a qualifier at both Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) and the US Open (l. Gilles Simon), and as a wild card at Wimbledon (l. Nick Kyrgios).

 

  • Stepanek’s best results in 2016 were reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at Stuttgart (l. Philipp Kohlschreiber) and the 3rd round as a qualifier at both Barcelona (l. Andrey Kuznetsov) and Toronto-1000 (l. Djokovic) – the only 3 occasions in which he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins in 2016.

 

  • Stepanek won the mixed doubles bronze medal alongside Lucie Hradecka at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event (d. Sania Mirza/Rohan Bopanna).

 

  • Prior to coming here Stepanek reached the quarterfinals as a qualifier at Doha (l. Djokovic).

 

  • Stepanek has won just one of his last 15 meetings against Top 20 opposition. His only victory in that time came against No. 13 Marin Cilic at 2016 Stuttgart. He has lost 18 of his last 19 meetings with Top 20 opposition at the Grand Slams, with his only win in that time coming against No. 16 Mikhail Youzhny at 2014 Roland Garros. He has a 4-26 win-loss record against Top 20 players at the majors overall.

 

  • Stepanek’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals at 2006 Wimbledon where as No. 14 seed he lost to Jonas Bjorkman in 5-sets. It was his 3rd straight 5-set match, having come back from 0-2 down to defeat Juan Carlos Ferrero in the 3rd round before defeating Fernando Verdasco in the round of 16. This is his 14th Australian Open and his 55th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Stepanek is a former Top 10 player having reached a career-high ranking of No. 8 in July 2006. He has won 5 career singles titles, most recently at 2011 Washington (d. Gael Monfils). All 5 of his career singles titles have come on a hard court. He plays here ranked No. 102.

 

  • Stepanek is a 2-time Grand Slam men’s doubles champion having won the 2012 Australian Open and the 2013 US Open titles with Leander Paes. He has won 18 career doubles titles, most recently at 2015 Bogota with Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

 

  • Stepanek lost in the 1st round of the men’s doubles here as No. 12 seed with Vasek Pospisil, falling 62 64 to Australian wild cards Matthew Barton/Matthew Ebden in the 1st round.

 

  • Stepanek is coached by Petr Korda, who won the title here in 1998.

 

 

 15 GRIGOR DIMITROV (BUL) v HYEON CHUNG (KOR)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

The last time Dimitrov fell to a player ranked outside the Top 100 was at 2016 Shanghai-1000, when he fell to No. 131 Vasek Pospisil. The lowest-ranked player Dimitrov has lost to at a Grand Slam is No. 95 Joao Sousa at the 2013 US Open.

 

DIMITROV                                      v                                         CHUNG

 

25                                          Age                                          20

15                                   ATP Ranking                                  105

5                                          Titles                                          0

34-25                      Career Grand Slam Record                        2-4

12-6                         Australian Open Record                          1-1

222-142                              Career Record                                24-26

135-91                         Career Record – Hard                           18-17

6-0                                   2017 Record                                   2-1

6-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-1

5-5                           Career Five-Set Record                           1-1

0                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

92-76                        Career Tiebreak Record                          3-17

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-0

 

  • DIMITROV is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the 4th straight year.

 

  • Dimitrov advanced to the 2nd round after defeating wild card Christopher O’Connell 76(2) 63 63 in the 1st round on Tuesday.

 

  • 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.

 

  • CHUNG is bidding to become the first Korean man in history to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open. Hyung-Taik Lee is the only Korean man to reach the 3rd round at a major – reaching the round of 16 at the US Open in 2000 and 2007, and the 3rd round at Roland Garros in 2004 and 2005, at the 2004 US Open and at 2007 Wimbledon.

 

  • By reaching the 2nd round here, Chung has become the 2nd Korean man to reach the 2nd round at the Australian Open after Hyung-Taik Lee, who reached this stage in 2003 and 2008.

 

  • Chung advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Renzo Olivo 62 63 62 for his first Australian Open match-win. This is his 2nd Australian Open appearance and his 5th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • By reaching the 2nd round here, Chung has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 2nd round at the 2015 US Open (d. James Duckworth, l. Stan Wawrinka). He fell in the 1st round on his 3 other Grand Slam appearances – at 2015 Wimbledon (l. Pierre-Hugues Herbert), the 2016 Australian Open (l. Novak Djokovic) and at 2016 Roland Garros (l. Quentin Halys).

 

  • Prior to coming here, Chung reached the 2nd round as a qualifier at Chennai (d. Borna Coric, l. Dudi Sela).

 

  • Chung missed 3 months of the 2016 season from June-August due to an abdominal injury. He dropped to No. 146 in October 2016 – his lowest ranking since February 2015. Chung reached a career-high ranking of No. 51 in October 2015 but plays here at No. 105.

 

  • Chung’s best result in 2016 was reaching the quarterfinals at Houston (l. John Isner) – the last time he recorded back-to-back match-wins at Tour-level. He also won 2 Challenger titles at Kaohsiung (TPE) (d. Duck Hee Lee) and Kobe (JPN) (d. James Duckworth) and finished runner-up at Nan Chang (CHN) (l. Hiroki Moriya).

 

  • Chung is bidding to end a 12-match losing streak against Top 30 player The highest-ranked player he has defeated is No. 34 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at 2016 Rotterdam.

 

  • Chung is a former junior world No. 7. He finished as runner-up in the boys’ singles event at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Gianluigi Quinzi) and reached the boys’ singles quarterfinals at both the 2014 Australian Open (l. Alexander Zverev) and 2014 Wimbledon (l. Stefan Kozlov).

 

  • Chung is coached by Yong-Il Yoon.

 

18 RICHARD GASQUET (FRA) v CARLOS BERLOCQ (ARG)

Head-to-head: Gasquet leads 3-0

2014     Roland Garros               Clay (O)            R64      Gasquet            76(5) 64 64

2015     Australian Open            Hard (O)           R128    Gasquet            61 63 61

2015     Roland Garros               Clay (O)            R64      Gasquet            36 63 61 46 61

 

A 4th meeting for Gasquet and Berlocq, with all of their previous encounters coming at the Grand Slams. Gasquet has won all 3 meetings to date – including in the 1st round here in 2015 – but Berlocq took Gasquet to 5 sets in their most recent meeting at 2015 Roland Garros.

 

                         GASQUET                                      v                                      BERLOCQ

 

30                                          Age                                          33

18                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            90

14                                         Titles                                          2

96-47                      Career Grand Slam Record                      10-30

21-12                        Australian Open Record                          3-7

458-262                              Career Record                              122-164

271-159                        Career Record – Hard                           26-54

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

11-13                         Career Five-Set Record                           3-4

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

159-131                      Career Tiebreak Record                         47-52

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-0

 

  • GASQUET is bidding to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open for the 9th time. He advanced to the 2nd round after defeating qualifier Blake Mott 64 64 62 in the 1st round on Tuesday.

 

  • 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 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.
  • BERLOCQ is bidding to reach the 3rd round at a Grand Slam for the first time. He defeated Radu Albot 64 76(4) 57 76(8) in the 1st round on Tuesday.

 

  • By reaching the 2nd round here, Berlocq has equalled his best Grand Slam result. He also reached the 2nd round at Roland Garros in 2007 (l. Potito Starace), 2011 (l. Lukasz Kubot), 2014 and 2015 (losing to today’s opponent on both occasions), and as a qualifier in 2016 (l. David Goffin), at the US Open in 2011 (l. Novak Djokovic) and 2013 (l. Roger Federer) and at the Australian Open in 2012 (l. Ivo Karlovic) and 2013 (l. Kei Nishikori).

 

  • This Berlocq’s 8th Australian Open appearance and his 31st Grand Slam overall. He missed last year’s event here. Having played a limited schedule in 2015, he didn’t start his 2016 singles season until Miami-1000 (where he lost in qualifying) due to a right adductor injury.

 

  • Berlocq’s best result in 2016 was reaching the semifinals at Umag (l. Andrej Martin) – the last time he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins. He recorded just one other Tour-level match-win in 2016 – at Roland Garros – and played mainly on the Challenger circuit, winning the title at Blois (FRA) (d. Steve Darcis) and finishing runner-up at Aix En Provence (FRA) (l. Thiago Monteiro) and Campinas (BRA) (l. Facundo Bagnis).

 

  • Berlocq warmed up for the Australian Open at the Canberra Challenger (AUS), where he reached the quarterfinals (l. Alejandro Falla).

 

  • Berlocq is a former Top 40 player, having reached a career-high ranking of No. 37 in March 2012, but plays here ranked No. 90.

 

  • Berlocq’s best surface is clay. 91 of his 122 Tour-level match-wins have come on the surface as well as both of his career singles titles at 2013 Bastad (d. Fernando Verdasco) and 2014 Oerias (d. Tomas Berdych). Just 26 of his Tour-level match-wins have come on a hard court.

 

  • Berlocq has played Davis Cup for Argentina since 2012, compiling an 8-9 win-loss record in 10 ties played. Defending champions Argentina will host Italy in the 2017 World Group first round in Buenos Aires on 3-5 February.

 

  • Berlocq was a member of the South American 16 & under Team to Europe in 1999, funded by the Grand Slam Development Fund.

 

  • Berlocq is coached by Francisco Yunis. His fitness trainers are Horacio Anselmi and Hernan Rojas.

 

 

 24 ALEXANDER ZVEREV (GER) v (Q) FRANCES TIAFOE (USA)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

ZVEREV                                        v                                        TIAFOE

 

19                                          Age                                          18*

24                                   ATP Ranking                                  108

1                                          Titles                                          0

7-6                        Career Grand Slam Record                        1-3

1-1                          Australian Open Record                          1-0

63-48                                Career Record                                 3-12

31-26                          Career Record – Hard                            3-9

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

3-2                           Career Five-Set Record                           0-1

0                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

27-26                        Career Tiebreak Record                          4-8

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

*Turns 19 on 20 January

 

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

 

  • Zverev advanced to the 2nd round here after defeating Robin Haase 62 36 57 63 62 in the 1st round on Tuesday. It was his Australian Open match-win and improved his win-loss record in 5-set matches to 3-2.

 

  • 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 best Grand Slam result is reaching 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.

 

  • 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 Rafael Nadal 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 6 former junior Australian Open champions who have reached the 2nd round here this year from the 7 who started in the draw. Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era.

 

  • Zverev’s brother, Mischa, has already reached the 3rd round, after defeating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 63 76(5) 64 in the 1st round on Monday and No. 19 seed John Isner 67(4) 67(4) 64 76(7) 97 in the 2nd round on Wednesday.

 

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

 

  • Qualifier TIAFOE is through to the 2nd round at a Grand Slam for the first time on his Australian Open debut.

 

  • Tiafoe recorded his first Grand Slam match-win to reach the 2nd round here, defeating Mikhail Kukushkin 61 67(3) 63 62 on Tuesday. He lost in the 1st round on each of his 3 previous Grand Slam appearances – as a wild card at 2015 Roland Garros (l. Martin Klizan) and as a wild card at the US Open in 2015 (l. Viktor Troicki) and 2016 (l. John Isner).

 

  • As No. 2 seed, Tiafoe defeated Marco Cecchinato (ITA) 63 57 75, Yannik Reuter (BEL) 64 60 and Tim Smyczek (USA) 36 60 75 in the 3 rounds of qualifying here. It was the first time he had qualified for a Grand Slam, having failed to qualify on his previous 4 attempts to qualify for the majors – at the US Open in 2014, and the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2016.

 

  • Prior to coming here Tiafoe attempted to qualify at Brisbane, losing to Alex De Minaur in the final round of qualifying.

 

  • Tiafoe’s best results in 2016 came on the Challenger circuit. He won 2 Challenger titles – at Granby (CAN) (d. Marcelo Arevalo) and Stockton (USA) (d. Noah Rubin) – and reached 3 further Challenger finals.

 

  • Tiafoe broke into the Top 100 for the first time, at No. 100, after winning the title at the Stockton Challenger (USA). He plays here at No. 108.

 

  • Tiafoe is bidding to record his first victory against a Top 30 player. He has lost all 4 of his previous meetings with Top 30 opposition. He fell in 5-sets to John Isner in his most recent meeting with a Top 30 player – his only career 5-set match to date.

 

  • Tiafoe is bidding to record back-to-back Tour-level match-wins for the first time in his career. Prior to the 1st round here, he had won just two Tour-level matches in his career, when he reached the 2nd round at 2015 Winston-Salem (d. James Duckworth, l. Thomaz Bellucci) and at 2016 Indian Wells-1000 (d. Taylor Fritz, l. David Goffin).

 

  • Tiafoe had a successful junior career. Aged just 15, he won the 2013 Orange Bowl (d. Stefan Kozlov), becoming the youngest boys’ singles winner in the event’s history. He also reached the boys’ singles semifinals at the 2014 US Open (l. Quentin Halys) and achieved a career-high junior ranking of No. 2. He never competed in the junior event here.

 

  • Tiafoe is coached by Jose Higueras.

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

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Berdych and Khachanov Take Titles in China

Tomas Berdych

Tomas Berdych

(October 2, 2016) Tomas Berdych defended his Shenzhen title on Sunday beating Richard Gasquet 7-6(5), 6-7(2), 6-3. For the Czech, it’s his 13th ATP World Tour title.

Berdych missed the US Open due to appendicitis, but came back to the tour last week in St. Petersburg reaching the semifinals.

The victory moves him just 330 points behind Rafael Nadal in the ATP Race To London. He is currently in ninth place and the top eight make the Year-End event.

The 31-year-old Berdych last won a tournament at last year’s Stockholm Open.

“Five weeks ago I was in hospital, now I’m sitting here with the trophy,” Berdych said. “Things are changing very quickly. Luckily for me, everything is going well, I’m feeling good, sitting here as a winner. I’m just taking all this as a bonus, that I can play and win some matches.

“I think it was a very solid game. I said after the semi-final that I wanted to raise my game and play better and I think I achieved that against a tougher opponent. I’m very pleased with the way I played.

“The two match points [in the second set] were very tough. He served aces so I couldn’t do anything about that. He started playing very well and deserved to win the second set. I had to battle for the win and sometimes that happens.”

 

In Chengdu, Karen Khachanov became the latest first-time winner on the ATP World Tour when the unseeded player from Russia beat fifth-seeded Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-7(4), 7-6(3), 6-3.

 

“I can’t believe I won my first title,” said the champion. “I am very happy. I have been working hard and I am happy to achieve my first goal.

“In the second, I was thinking to win the set and keep fighting. I was playing against a guy much higher-ranked than me, so I just had to focus on every goal and keep going. You cannot lose focus and be relaxed. I was just pushing myself to the limit and I got the second set and then the third.”
“I fought as much as I could,” said Ramos-Vinolas. “And I think I didn’t play bad. I can play better but he played so well and what can I say, I’m not happy but maybe I’ll be happy tomorrow. It was not so good today, but also he was serving so well and so fast. That’s why I didn’t return so well.”
The 20-year-old will see his ranking move up by almost 50 spots to No. 55.

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Nadal Survives Zverev; Wawrinka Ousted at BNP Paribas Open

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(March 16, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – No. 5 Rafael Nadal came back from 2-5 down and a match point at 3-5 in third set to take down up-and-coming  18-year-old German No. 58 Alexander Zverev 6-7(8), 6-0, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open.

Zverev had a match point at 5-3 in third, but he hit a forehand olley into the net and never recovered from his mistake. The Spaniard lost only two points in his Last two service games to close the match.

“I had match point, so I think I did well there. On match point I sucked, so that was it,” Zverev said.

“I missed probably the easiest shot I had the whole match. That’s what happened.”

“I think it was a great match. I mean, Rafa did what he does best; he was fighting. I mean, he’s known for that. So, you know, I still had chances to win. I had an easy shot at match point and I missed it.”

“Look, in the last three weeks I lost 7-5 in the third to Berdych; 6-4 in the fifth to Berdych; and 7-5 in the third with match point to Nadal. So I know how tough losses feel right now.

” Look, I mean, I think it was a great match. I mean, Rafa did what he does best; he was fighting. I mean, he’s known for that. So, you know, I still had chances to win. I had an easy shot at match point and I missed it.

“I’m out and he’s in the quarterfinals.”

“Very happy for the victory, obviously,” Nadal said. “I have been fighting during the whole match. First set I had big chance with not a difficult forehand down the line that I missed. So that first set probably will be the key, if I was able to hit that forehand right place, no?

“But after that, I think I played a great second set. But at the beginning, sometimes when win a set that easy is dangerous for the beginning of the next one, no?

“The beginning of the third he played aggressive, and I think I stopped a little bit the rhythm, so I was in trouble, no?

“Was a great victory. You know, it’s obvious that I played against a great player, a player who was serving unbelievable, at the beginning especially. He served well whole match apart from some double faults.

“”But you think when somebody is serving with that speed in the second serve, some double faults are the normal thing, no?

Is a great victory, as I said before. I’m very happy about it. I am especially happy about the mentality on court, the spirit of fight during the whole match, believing that I can win a match during the whole time even in the tougher situations.”

Nadal talked about the adjustments he needed to make against Zverev.

“Well, beginning of the match he was serving over 133 first serves and second serves over 120.

“I was trying to return inside the court, as I did every day, but with the second serve 120 miles with a lot of spin, 124, 123, 120, was impossible, no?

“At the beginning when that happened I was in a little bit of trouble, because I felt like I cannot lose my serve, because if I lose my serve and he was serving that way, is impossible. So I felt a little bit the pressure at the beginning.

“But then I think I returned really well during the whole match, no? First serve. Second serve I decided to go back three, four meters behind the baseline, because from inside he was — he’s young, ready to take the risks, and if the opponent wants to take the risk on the second serve and he’s having success, it’s difficult to make something, no?

“”I decided to go back and tried to put more balls in, and I think worked well. I think I had enough breaks to win the match.

“Negative thing is I lost my serve twice in the third, something that cannot happen, especially after having the break back. But that’s it. No, no, no, the match was tough. I think any player can win, and is true he had a big chance with match point and that volley.

“Sorry for him. I think at the same time, I deserve victory like this after couple of loses with big chances to win, too.”

Belgian’s David Goffin, ranked 18th in the world, stunned third seed Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (5) to reach the quarterfinals of Inidan Wells on Wednesday. The victory for Goffin ended a 14- match losing streak against top 10 players.

Wawrinka came back from 0-4 down in the second set to 4-4. Goffin served for the match at 5-4, but failed to close and Wawrinka won the next three games to even the match at a set all. In the third set, Goffin against served for the match and could not hold. The match went on to tiebreak. Wawrinka hit a crucial overhead out at 5-5 to give Goffin match point which capitalized on.

There were 13 breaks of serve in the match.

“I was struggling with my serve and it was difficult with the heat,” Goffin said in press. “In the third, it’s tough to fight again with the heat and with the level of Stan. The tiebreaker is like you flip a coin.”

“Well, not too great day, not too great level,” Wawrinka said smiling. “I didn’t have the rhythm yet. Was a match without brain, let’s put it that way.

“Have some tough time to focus, have some tough time to find what I wanted to play and stay calm. Still try to fight. Got lucky to come back twice. Had the chance to finish the tiebreak. I didn’t, and quite simple.”

“I think he got a bit tired and nervous also,” Wawrinka continued. “He start to miss easy shots. Gave me the chance to come back. Can lose quickly, eh?

“Two time I come back. I had the chance in the third set to finish it also at 5-5 to break him again. I didn’t. I didn’t.

“But in general, he deserved to win. You know, it was the time of. Should have finish before.”
Goffin will play No. 10 seed Marin Cilic, who defeated No. 8 Richard Gasquet, 7-5, 5-7, 6-2. Another upset saw No. 12 Milos Raonic beat No. 6 Tomas Berdych 6-4, 7-6 (7).

“A match where you sort of say you felt great but you went out there and you tried to put the pieces together, Raonic said.

“I got ahead a few service games. He served well. He got ahead. I served well. That was pretty much only one point that I would sort of have played differently. Maybe just be a little bit sharper in the second serves in the beginning service games.

“Other than that, it was all good.”

Top seeds Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic advanced easily. Williams defeated defending champion Simona Halep 6-4, 6-3.

“It feels really good to get that win,” Williams said. “She obviously has been in good form the past couple years. So, yeah, I feel really good just to get under there and buckle down and to win that.

No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, who will move up to No. 2 in the rankings, defeated Petra Kvitova 6-2, 7-6 (3) to reach the semifinals. She’ll face Serena Williams in the semifinals.

Asked about returning to No. 2 in the world, Radwanska said: “It’s always a good feeling to be back in this position. I wasn’t long last time, but I think that was a few years ago. It’s always good to be back in that position. Now it’s difficult to be No. 1.

“There is always opportunity, but it’s not about one or two tournaments. To be No. 1 you really have to play the whole season very good, and obviously catch Serena. But she is also playing very good tennis and she will want to play good and be there at No. 1.

“Well, I will try my best, and now I have the opportunity that I’m definitely not really defending much points till the grass, so, well, that’s definitely my spot that I can do that. We’ll see if I can.”

Williams said of the match-up: “She knows how to play in big stadiums and big matches, big games.

“Obviously she does everything so well, including running, and this is a good surface for her because it’s a slow surface. I think I expect there will be a lot of long rallies.

“Honestly, I will be ready. I really like Aga on and off the court. I think she’s super exciting to watch on the court, and off the court I think she’s really one of the nicest people.

“Regardless, I think it will be a really good matchup. Whoever wins will go into the final.”

Novak Djokovic defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.

“I’m actually glad to have a match like this with not much complications,” Djokovic said.

“I think we both started to play well on our service games, and he was 30-Love on that game when I broke him. Then he missed four first serves. I managed to step in and return very well on those four second serves that I got and just used the opportunity.

“You know, after that I was feeling more comfortable also on the return games even though Feliciano is a very difficult player to play against. He’s left handed and he has a big first serve and he can hit angles, comes to the net, so very strong, physically moves well.

“But I was very solid. I didn’t allow him to come to the net too many times. It was a good performance.”

Kei Nishikori beat John Isner 1-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (5) plays Nadal in the quarterfinals.

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No. 53 Federico Delbonis Surprises No. 2 Andy Murray in Third Round of BNP Paribas Open

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

(March 14, 2016)  INDIAN WELLS, California – No. 2 Andy Murray lost to No. 53 Federico Delbonis 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (3) in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday in a two-hours and 46 minutes.

The southpaw from Argentina trailed 1-4 to the Brit in the third set, won five of the next six games to serve for the match at 6-5. Murray broke Delbonis’ serve to get to a tiebreak which Delbonis won 7-3 to get the biggest victory of his career. Murray’s loss is the biggest upset of the men’s tournament so far.

“Obviously a tough one to lose in the end, having, you know, kind of fought hard to get myself in a winning position you know, 4-1-up,” Murray said.

“The 4-2 game that I got broken was a tough one in the third set. I was up 30-Love in the game and had a few volleys in that game. You know, he came out with some good passing shots. I could have done a bit more with the volleys maybe.

“But, yeah, I didn’t play a great tiebreak. That was disappointing. Obviously he had the chance to serve it out, and then I got back in there and didn’t play a great breaker.”

Murray has not had a great history at Indian Wells, with his best result coming in 2009 when reached the final. “I think it’s just the conditions here I have just struggled with throughout my career. I have never really felt that I played my best tennis here.

“I have tried and had many different preparations where I’ve got here early and spent a lot of time on the courts, and sometimes I arrive later, like this time from Davis Cup. You know, obviously it takes time to get used to new conditions regardless of where it is, but I have just never really found a way to get comfortable here throughout my career.

“It’s a shame.”

 

Asked if this was his biggest win, Delbonis said: “No, I have like a couple of big wins, but in situation was special, you know. For that tournament, for that surface, for me is the best win.

“And, well, I have — I was like quiet all the match that I know he wants to be aggressive in that third set. I don’t do it my job until the 4-1. I have to play it more to his forehand.

“That, when I do that, I can break. I can play from the 4-2 to the tiebreak and I get a big win for that, you know.

“I have another one (win). The title in Sao Paulo I think is the best one.”

Delbonis did beat Roger Federer when he was No. 5 in the world three years ago in Hamburg.

Asked about his strategy to hit to Murray’s forehand, the Argentine commented: I know that his backhand is pretty good when he’s quiet, you know, in one side. I know that I have to play, hit harder in his forehand to get a good hit or a good position the court, to be aggressive or to move it to him, because this is one of the keys to get a good point.”

“I feel good the surface because it’s not too fast,” he said. “For me, I can slice in that kind of court. I like it. Also, I like it in Australia. Every tournament I come this year I like it so much. I like to play in that kind of court, in that hard courts not so fast.

“For me it’s a good court to be aggressive.”

For Murray, this is the first tournament he has played as a father. February 7, his wife Kim gave birth to a baby girl named Sophia.

A couple of surprises on the women’s side of the draw included former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic, seeded 14 lost to 18th seed Karolina Pliskova 6-2, 6-0 and No. 7 Belinda Bencic was on the short end of a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 score to unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova. With all of the upsets on the women’s side, No. 9 seed Roberta Vinci, who beat 17th seed Elina Svitolina, remains the highest seed in the bottom half of the draw.

On the men’s side of the draw, No. 8 seed Richard Gasquet won 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 over Alexandr Dolgopolov. No. 12 seed Milos Raonic advanced when 17th seed Bernard Tomic retired with a right wrist injury down. 6-2, 3-0. Tomic’s injury puts a question mark on his participation at the Miami Open.

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Easy Victories for Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka set up an All-Swiss Semifinal at the US Open

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

(September 9, 2015) One of the men’s US Open semifinals on Friday will be an all-Swiss affair. On Wednesday, both Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer made quick work of their opponents to advance.

No. 2 Federer moved into his 38th major semifinal, his 10th at the US Open, with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-1 victory over 12th seed, Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Federer’s dominance showed in the statistics. The 17-time major winner hit 50 winners to Gasquet’s 8, hit 16 aces with no break points against.

Federer was asked about if he is surprised that he’slaying at such a high level at his age of 34.

“A little bit,” he said. “I mean, a little bit to the extent where it’s nice to play this way. And maybe at my age to run through, you know, five opponents the way I have done here at the US Open, I don’t consider that normal, to be quite honest, even though I expect it in some ways for myself to come out and play well.

“I’ve played so well over the last one-and-a-half years. I don’t feel like I’m as old as I am. I still feel young. So it’s nice to get rewarded with the hard work and, you know, that actually I’m able to play sort of fun tennis, I maybe call it for myself. Aggressive, pick it up, you know, like half volley it, move in, serve and volley, cut the points short, and if I want to, if I want to, extend the rallies.

“But it feels like on my terms. Then if you win this way, it’s a great feeling.”

anderson-wawrinka-shake-water

Fifth seed Wawrinka broke a string of four string of four straight losses to 15th seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa with a 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 win. The match was moved over to Louis Armstrong Stadium as the women’s matches ran late due to an 85 minute rain delay during the second women’s quarterfinal and rain was expected in the evening.

Wawrinka broke  the 6′ 8″ Anderson’s serve five times. He hit 25 winners, and made just 15 errors to Anderson’s 42.

“I felt I did a good job of resetting myself and getting ready for this next match,” Anderson said. “Wasn’t meant to be today. Stan didn’t make it easy.” The South African upset third seed Andy Murray on Monday.

“It was really tough out there. Was maybe a little bit nervous just with the occasion and a lot of waiting around, switching courts. Obviously something that you deal with, but just getting out there and everything seemed to be going pretty quickly.

“I thought conditions were, you know, quite quick and quite live, especially compared to my last match out there. One poor serve game in the first set and I wasn’t really making too many inroads on his serve.”

“Yeah, for sure the best match of the tournament for me,” Wawrinka said. “I was really happy the way I play. I was focused on doing what I wanted on the match. I was trying to be really aggressive on the return and make him play a mix or some slice, some aggressive play from the baseline.”

How does Federer feel about playing his countryman Wawrinka?

“I think a lot comes through practice for Stan, because he’s worked very hard throughout his career. It took him a while to figure out exactly what his possibilities were. I don’t think he was a guy who always, you know, had enough confidence.

“I always thought he was a better player than he actually was, but somehow something was holding him back maybe. I think only once when he really started to break through and he had some big wins — I recall a big win for him when he beat Hewitt in the fifth deciding match in Davis Cup in Sydney. Beat him on the grass two sets to one down. Came back and won it. Played unbelievable tennis at the end.

“Then I think in practice he started working to hit the ball harder consistently, and today he can consistently bring the power on forehand, backhand, and serve almost anybody when he gets hot.

“I’m happy he found that level of play. Two slams, got Davis Cup, Olympic gold. Has a complete career. Won a Masters 1000. Has everything he ever wanted. He has had a wonderful career.

“Looking forward to playing him, because he definitely is a big test and a big challenge for me. He beat me in straights at the French, so I hope I can do better this time.”

“I think the past three years, for sure, I get closer to him,” Wawrinka said. “My level improved a lot. I’m playing better tennis. So I was always really close from him, if we look Wimbledon last year.

“I will for sure need to play my best tennis. He’s playing really well so far. He loves to play. He know how to play. He had some amazing match. It’s going to be a big challenge. I think I’m ready.”

In the other men’s semifinal, No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face-off against defending champion No. 9 Marin Cilic of Croatia.

 

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Kevin Anderson Upsets Andy Murray to Reach US Open Quarterfinals

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(September 7, 2015) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Andy Murray lost for the first time before a major quarterfinal since 2010 when the third seed was toppled by 15th seed Kevin Anderson 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (0) in the fourth round of the US Open on Monday.

“Obviously something that is disappointing to lose because of that (record)” Murray said of the loss. “Obviously that’s many years’ work that’s gone into building that sort of consistency. To lose that is tough.

“Also to lose a match like that that was over four hours, tough obviously after a couple of tough matches earlier in the tournament, as well, it’s a hard one to lose, for sure.”

The 6’8” South African who his 81 winners broke a 0 for 7 string of losing in the fourth round of majors. Most recently at Wimbledon to Novak Djokovic, whom he led by two sets to none.

“Sitting here having played the match and winning it, it’s hard to describe how I’m feeling,” Anderson said in press. “I felt I played one of the best matches of my career. To do it at this stage, at this round, obviously to get through to the quarters the first time in a slam definitely means a lot to me.”

“I was playing against an excellent player,” Murray said. “He served extremely well. And I would say, you know, the service game I played at 4-1, I was up 40-Love in the second set, got broken there. Then that was really around the time when I was starting to get the momentum a bit back on my side.

“I obviously broke him straight after that, held serve, then had breakpoints the next game. You know, maybe if I’d held serve there at 40-Love, I might have been able to snatch that second set but obviously didn’t. Then fought hard through to the end.”

Anderson will face Stan Wawrinka next. The world No. 5 bested American Donald Young 6-4, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

“It’s going to be just a tough matchup in my next round, Anderson said. “I mean, it’s definitely not going to be any easier than it was today. As I was saying, I think Stan is a terrific player. Especially at majors he’s really stepped it up, I think one of the people you really have to watch out for.

“I’m just so pleased to get through the quarters for the first time here. Got tomorrow to prepare. Right now it’s nice to think about from today’s match. It really meant a lot to me. There’s a lot of good feelings here.”

The South African holds a 4-3 record against the Swiss.

Roger Federer straight setted the last American man in the singles draw, No. 13 John Isner 7-6 (0), 7-6 (6), 7-5. The first set tiebreaker was the first time that Isner has ever been shutout.

Federer will play world No. 12 Richard Gasquet, who defeated No. 6 Tomas Berdych 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1.

As for his match-up against the Frenchman, Federer said: “I’m not sure if I’ve seen maybe Gasquet play as well as he has right now. I really like the way he played in Wimbledon, and also now here. I haven’t seen that much. But the match I saw that he played against Stan and Novak at Wimbledon was impressive. He had a good attitude. He was fighting. Good shot selection. I don’t know, it was nice, you know.

“Now he’s backing it up. I’m sure he gained confidence from Wimbledon. That’s why I expect it to be tougher than maybe in previous years against him or previous times. I know he can play much better at Davis Cup. I know I played very well, as well. Still I expected him to be tougher there, because I beat him in straight sets. I don’t know, he kind of went away. In Dubai, of course, he was injured. That doesn’t count. I don’t remember when I played him the last times.

“I feel like this could be one of the tougher Gasquets I’ve played in previous years, so I expect it to be difficult.”

Two of the women’s quarterfinals match-ups are set. It will be No. 2 Simona Halep against No. 20 Victoria Azarenka, and No. 5 Petra Kvitova versus No. 26 Flavia Pennetta. Halep defeated 24th seed Sabine Lisicki 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-2, fifth seed Kvitova stopped qualifier Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-3, 20th seed Azarenka topped Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 6-3, 6-4 and 26th seed Flavia Pennetta defeated 22nd seed and 2011 champion Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-4.

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Great Britain Clinches Place in Davis Cup Semifinal

 

By Ros Satar

(July 19, 2015) LONDON, UK – In a rollercoaster race to the finish, Andy Murray overcame the worst possible start in the fourth rubber to clinch Great Britain’s place in the Davis Cup quarter-final against France.

 

From the outset though, it looked as though the crowds would be getting their money’s worth as a sluggish looking Murray floundered early against a far fresher looking Gilles Simon at the start of the first set.

 

The Frenchman seemed completely impenetrable on his serve, attacking well and out maneuvering Murray at every turn as he quickly consolidated an early break before wrapping up the first set.

 

While it was imperative that Murray got off to a quick start, getting broken in the first game of the second set was not in the plan, and there was many a furrowed British brow, as he struggled to stay with the Frenchman who was getting the better of the ling rallies, and at one stage reduced Murray to sink to his knees in despair. Even when he did get the break back, the Brit looked too exhausted to even bring forth a fist-pump, despite the crowd willing him on, yet somehow he consolidated.

 

Even in the tie-break, it looked as through the French were running away with it, with a 4-1 lead, but a couple of lacklustre points from Simon put Murray right back in it. Leveling the set saw a bit of a reaction, but there was still an awfully long way for him to go.

 

Murray was on the attack though, racing through the third set now that the momentum was shifting towards this side of the English Channel. But a bad slip after being broken at the start of the fourth set put the French at a disadvantage. Simon had already taken a tumble when his knee gave way as he landed from a serve, but after rolling his ankle, his movement was impaired as the fourth set got away from him completely. That being said, it took Murray four match points to wind up the tie 4-6, 7-6(5, 6-3, 6-0 and for Great Britain to win 3-1.

 

Of course once again the doubles was the pivotal point, no matter how many times team captains want to play it down, and at one stage it must have felt as though the entire tie was France versus The Murray family.

 

French team captain Arnaud Clement said: “It was every time a little push from the British team, a little bit more solid. A lot of sets during this weekend, just can see one or two points are missing and maybe can change but it was always in the same for the British team. So it’s just the British was a little bit more solid than us, and deserve this win.”

 

Leon Smith said: “It’s incredible how he find a way to dig as deep as he can. It is phenomenal what he finds within himself, a set and a break down and that tiebreak, 4-1 down but he fights and he fights and he fights and after a couple of those long brutal rallies, to be able to get up and serve again, ready for the next point. I was sitting there thinking this is why he does the hard work, those moments when he digs into his dark places of training and he finds a way to do it because his legs and his heart have been conditioned to do it, and he does it better than anyone. I have nothing but immense respect.”

 

For Murray it will be another tough battle to go deep at the US Open, and then face two if not three vital matches, if Britain are to keep their hopes of a place in their first Davis Cup final since 1936.

 

He said: “The memories that you have from those matches, like playing Glasgow earlier in the year, I mean I’m sure the whole team would agree the atmosphere was absolutely unbelievable there. You don’t get that in any other event, so you have a lot of memories from the Davis Cup and that’s one of the reasons you’re passionate to play.”

 

Great Britain will now play host to Australia, who fought back from 2-0 down against Kazakhstan in September, following the US Open.

 

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.

 

 

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Brits Serve Up a 2-1 Lead Going into Last Day of Davis Cup Quarterfinal

By Ros Satar

(July 18, 2015) LONDON, UK – Great Britain gave themselves the best chance of advancing in the Davis Cup since the 1980’s after they beat the French to set up a 2-1 lead going into the final day.

 

Although Britain had nominated doubles specialists Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot, there was a widely held consensus that in order for the Brits to give themselves the best possible chance, Andy Murray had to play.

 

Yet he himself had said that he would have to be very honest with the team about how he felt after a long European swing, which saw him win his first titles on clay, Queen’s and then bowing out at the semi-final stage of Wimbledon.

 

His older brother Jamie had the best success of his career to date, making the Wimbledon men’s doubles final with his Australian partner John Peers. He, along with Inglot had paired up in Glasgow earlier in the year, but lost to the Bryan Brothers in a close affair against the United States.

 

Right down to the wire, the decision was made that the Murray brothers would face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Nicolas Mahut in Saturday’s pivotal rubber, and early on it looked as though this might not be the wisest choice, as Andy Murray was broken in the opening game of the match, the French not relinquishing the advantage.

 

The second set was a much tighter affair between the sides, with the Brits finally earning their first break point to hit the front for the first time in the match, and with a far more boisterous crowd than yesterday, the atmosphere was electric as Britain leveled.

 

There was drama to come through, as the court has had very little time to recover to be ready for the tie, and over the course of the two days the players have been taking tumbles. The younger Murray had already tweaked his groin in his first match, and an awkward slip rendered him face down in the grass, not to mention some embarrassingly painful looking manipulation afterward.

 

Yet as the pair battled through a tense tie-break to secure a 2-1 lead, Murray minor was leaping around pumped and getting the crowd behind him. It must have worked as the brothers quickly notched up a 5-0 lead, with the French registering a game on the board, and even pushing Jamie’s serve to a break point, before the doubles specialist stole the day with the final winner on match point – final score 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-1

 

It was a subdued Arnaud Clement who met with the press to defend his choices, and of course he can field Richard Gasquet in place of Gilles Simon tomorrow for the fourth rubber, leaving Tsonga to face James Ward if it comes to a fifth rubber.

 

Definitely not subdued was Jamie Murray whose confidence after his Wimbledon run spilled over as he made the most of being chief speaker after today’s result.

 

He said: “I think the crowd were great from first to the last point. Obviously that tie-break proved critical. I don’t really even remember much about it to be honest other than Andy getting that serve back and Mahut diving, and turning round and seeing Andy six feet off the ground. But you know, that’s the thing [about] home support – it’s brilliant to have it and I think as long as we’re playing home ties, everyone that’s coming to watch us should be there and cheering as loud as they can and trying to help the players, because it does really help us to perform as best we possibly can.”

 

Andy now has to try and get himself in gear for the earlier start on Sunday, especially with mixed reports about weather closing in, although no one wants this to push through into next week.

 

He said: “Got to make sure tonight conserve as much energy as possible, go back, recover properly. Get a good night’s sleep and hopefully come out tomorrow and feel good when I get up. Obviously right now after that match, it’s hard not to feel good.

 

“But I’ve also played matches where you do have a massive high, a massive adrenalin rush during the match and in the evening you can feel quite fatigued as well. I’ve been through that before. Just deal with whatever cards I’m dealt tomorrow when I wake up and hopefully play a good match.”

 

The final day starts with Murray facing either Richard Gasquet or Gilles Simon in the fourth rubber, and if it comes down to a fifth and decisive rubber, James Ward will face Tsonga.

 

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.

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Andy Murray Levels Great Britain versus France Davis Cup Tie at 1-1

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By Ros Satar

(July 17, 2015) LONDON, UK – It was always going to be a tough ask for James Ward to tackle France’s highest ranked singles player (mind you, they are all stacked one after the other in the rankings).

 

With the fans kitted out in red and blue T-shirts, it was les Bleus who took first blood, as Gilles Simon edged past Ward in the first two sets with a single break, just having to up the level of intensity a little.

 

The third set was a runaway though by French standards as Simon closed out the first rubber comfortably under two hours, 6-4, 6-4, 6-1.

 

The Frenchman is no stranger to these courts this year, having reached the semi-finals here earlier this year, before going on to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.

 

Ward had no option really but to praise his some-time hitting partner as ‘crafty’. He said: “He hits the ball very flat and moves very well, so even if guys are serving well, he returns well, he makes a lot of balls. And he’s pretty crafty, he puts the ball in places that are not always easy to attack from.”

 

The disappointment was evident in his body-language as he admitted that he and tea, captain Leon Smith had agreed upon tactics for the game, that just hadn’t worked out well today.

 

Ward said: “The guy moves very well, and even when I feel like I’m being aggressive, you can’t go too much because he gets a lot of balls back. And as I say it was very windy, it was moving around a lot there, so to time the ball perfect is very difficult. Sometimes you’re more worried about getting the ball in than trying to go for a winner and close to the line because the margins are small.”

 

So it was left to Andy Murray to level the tie, with a competitive first set just edged as Jo-Wilfred Tsonga went off the boil, spraying some wild forehands generously around the court.

 

There was a hope for the French though, as Tsonga broke at the start of the second set, and as the pair battled into a second set tie-break it looked again as though the French had the upper hand.

 

A strong fight-back from Murray saw them swap set points between them until finally an unforced error from Tsonga put the Brits in a commanding 2 set to love lead. From there it seemed to get away from Tsonga very quickly, with a nervy serve out by Murray at the end to level the tie.

 

He said: “I thought I did well. I mean the atmosphere helps. The crowd was great today, especially the important moments and yeah I was happy with the job I did today. I didn’t feel like I played amazing. I played some good shots at important times but it was very tough conditions today. It was extremely windy on the court today and swirling around a lot so it wasn’t easy to play very well.”

 

It remains to be seen what possible permutations come out for either teams for what is sure to be the pivotal doubles rubber on Saturday.

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist covering tennis, and can also be found at Britwatch Sports.

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