October 7, 2015

ATP Completes Review Into Kyrgios Incident, Releases Statement


(August 24, 2015)

News Release


24 August 2015


PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA — The ATP has announced that Nick Kyrgios has been found to have committed the player major offence “Aggravated Behavior” after a review of his comments made during his second round match against Stan Wawrinka at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, Canada, on 12 August 2015.

The ATP has imposed a further fine of US$25,000 as well as a suspension for a period of 28 days from any ATP sanctioned event. However, the fine and suspension are withheld on the condition that, over the next six-month period, ending 24 February 2016, the player:

1)     does not incur any fines for verbal or physical abuse at any ATP sanctioned tournament, or;

2)     does not accumulate fines totalling more than US$5,000 for any other offences at ATP sanctioned tournaments.

Once the player has met those conditions the penalties will be formally dismissed. If the conditions are not met the penalties will be invoked after any appeals process is exhausted.

The ATP review analysed information gathered from various sources on-site and also included a submission on behalf of the player.

In handing down the finding, Gayle David Bradshaw, Executive Vice President, Rules & Competition, said: ‘This incident was egregious and reflected poorly on our sport. Nick has expressed regret, and the best result would be that he learns a lesson from this incident and that he understands he is responsible to the Tour and to fellow players for both his actions and his words. It is with these factors in mind I feel he should have the opportunity to ‘earn’ his way out of additional sanctions.”

Kyrgios had already been fined the on-site maximum of US$10,000 for the offence. In addition, he received a US$2,500 fine for Unsportsmanlike Conduct related to a comment made to a ball person during the match.


Belinda Bencic Wins Rogers Cup in Toronto

Belinda Bencic photo courtesy of the LTA by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images for LTA

By Brodie Widdifield

(August 16, 2015) TORONTO, Canada – Nothing about Sunday’s final between Simona Halep and Belinda Bencic was ordinary.


While everyone would have reasonably expected to see the second seeded Romanian Halep in the final, no one saw the fairy tale run of 18 year old Belinda Bencic coming. The young Swiss eliminated a whos who of top WTA players – Bouchard, Wozniacki, Lisicki, Ivanovic and finally Serena Williams Saturday night.


The dramatic turns of the match itself were befitting to what has been a dramatic week of tennis in Canada overall. With the sun beating down, the players traded five consecutive breaks to kick things off. Both players were changing directions often, creating many long, intriguing rallies from the baseline.


And then, the crowd. While there has been a large contingent of vocal Romanians in the crowd all week, they were the most vocal for the final. At one point, chair umpire Marija Cicak even said the Romanian word for thank you, “mulțumesc”, in order to try and quiet the crowd, which was met with an eruption from the crowd’s Romanian fans.


For all their cheering, Bencic was unfazed as she squeaked out the opening set in a tiebreak, 7-6(5), in well over an hour. “It’s amazing that the atmosphere is so great even if it’s against me. The people are very excited, and really, I feel like it’s the right thing. I think some people in some other tournaments should take an example from here.”


And then the match turned again.


Halep began receiving treatment for her left thigh, which seemed to be impeding her movement. Later in the set she had blood pressure taken, was wrapped in ice and drinking liquids in an attempt to keep her energy up. “We both were fighting so hard,” said Bencic. “We had long rallies, so it was obvious that we were very exhausted, both.” Amazingly, she took the second set in a tiebreak, barely reacting and simply hanging her head as she walked slowly back to her chair.


In the end, Halep was spent and decided to end the match, giving the title to Belinda Bencic 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 3-0 ret. “I was thinking that I need a miracle to finish the match, but at 3-0 I said it is no sense to continue, and I stopped.”


“I had great victories,” said Halep. “So I take only the positives. I’m thinking to play Cincinnati, then I am entered on the New Haven tournament. And then US Open. So I don’t change anything right now. So I will see next days.”


This is the second title of Bencic’s season, and without a doubt the biggest week of the 18-year-old’s career. “I just feel like I improved myself, also in the game, but also in how I understand the game and know the opponents well and try to think on teh court and what I need to do. And I’ve also grown as a player. I think my service improved a little bit. And I feel like I still have potential to go better, to play better and to serve better and just everything.”


“Obviously it’s very big boost for your confidence. Now I actually feel like I belong here, and that I can be really one of the top players. It’s an amazing feeling.”


Brodie Widdifield is the author of the tennis web site mindtheracket.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket. He was covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News.


Rogers Cup Day 6 – Djokovic, Murray to Face Off in Montreal Final

228 Djokovic being interviewed-001

Rogers Cup Day 06: Djokovic, Murray to Face Off in Montreal Final

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin


(August 16, 2015) MONTREAL, Canada – The No. 1 and 2 seeds with face off in the Rogers Cup final for the first time since 2004, as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray both won in straight sets on Saturday. While Djokovic won 6-4 6-4 against surprising Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, Andy Murray streamrolled through 4th seed Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-0.


The head-to-head between Chardy and Djokovic couldn’t have been more one-sided: the Serb was leading 9-0, never having lost a set. The No. 1 was also looking to get his 30th win in a row in Masters 1000 tournaments, while Chardy was reaching the semifinals at this level for the first time. It showed right from the get-go: Chardy, obviously nervous, started with two double faults in a row and got broken right away. Despite some pain in his elbow which required a medical timeout, Djokovic never looked back to win the set 6-4.

At one point, Djokovic seemed more troubled by a certain smell in the stadium than by his opponent…the smell of marijuana: ‘Somebody’s really enjoying his life around the tennis court and he was probably on the seventh sky somewhere’, Djokovic said in his post-match interview. ‘I felt I was playing better as I was inhaling (laughter).’


The second set followed a similar pattern. While Chardy was at times overplaying, Djokovic remained solid throughout, breaking once. The Serb served quite well, never giving Chardy a look at a break point. In the end, the 6-4 6-4 match was somewhat unmemorable.


Djokovic knows he’ll need to raise his level in the final against Murray: ‘I played better than I did yesterday, but still I need to get at least a level or two higher tomorrow in order to win the title’. Indeed, Murray was flawless in his match against in-form Nishikori, as the Brit only dropped three games.


The start of the match was close, as both players exchanged breaks. The match became a one-way street when, down 4-3, Nishikori got broken despite being up 40-0. Murray never looked back, winning the last 9 games of the match. ‘Once I got the first set, obviously that was the end of the match really. Didn’t really play any rallies at all in the second set. He wasn’t moving much’, the second seed analyzed.


Murray and Djokovic will face for the 28th time, with the Serb leading 19-8. Murray hasn’t won against Djokovic since the 2013 Wimbledon final and already has lost 4 matches to the world number one in 2015. On the other hand, Djokovic (only) leads 6-5 in finals.


Serena Williams Beaten by Swiss Teen Belinda Bencic in Toronto Semis


By Brodie Widdifield

(August 15, 2015) TORONTO, Canada – It started quietly, but it ended in fireworks.


Belinda Bencic has been a name of the lips of many WTA fans this year. It started with a coaching partnership with fellow Swiss Martina Hingis, and her impressive win over Agnieszka Radwanska at Eastbourne gave her a first WTA title. She kicked off her hard court swing in Toronto with a series of impressive wins over Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Sabine Lisicki and Ana Ivanovic.


But no one saw this coming.


Bencic took on world No. 1 Serena Williams Saturday night and it quickly looked like match might not be anything more than an exhibition of the American’s ability to change angles and attack. Williams raced out to a 5-1 lead in just 33 minutes, taking the set 6-3.


The young Swiss player did manage to construct some better points at the end of the set, and she managed to get a foot hold in the match. The players traded serves, but Serena’s serving quickly began to deteriorate, eventually ending with her being broken in the middle of the set and taking her frustration out violently on her racquet. “I think I played really crappy today. And I don’t think you would disagree,” said Williams. “I was just really struggling with my serve today and everything wasn’t right with it.”


Belinda failed to close out the second set at first, but eventually broke at 5-6 as the lights got brighter and the noise from the crowd grew louder. “Obviously she wasn’t serving as great as she normally does,” said the Swiss. “But I think I tried to read her serve also I read it better in the end, and I was returning sometimes very good on the big points.”


The struggles continued for Serena into the third set and Belinda raced to a 4-0 lead. Williams fought back to get things on serve. “I was very nervous in that moment, but I told myself today is my chance and I really have to stay focused and be mentally tough, even if I didn’t do it on the first try.” But the Swiss completed the upset, breaking at 4-5 and taking the match 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.


“In the end it was just so loud, and I didn’t think anything.”


The win was undoubtedly the biggest of her young career. “I can’t describe the feeling right now. I was very overwhelmed from the situation on the court, but I’m just so happy the forehand landed in and she couldn’t reach it anymore. It was an incredible feeling. I have no words.”

This was just the second loss on the year for the 33-year-old Serena Williams.


The 18-year-old Bencic will take on Romanian Simona Halep in Sunday’s final. Halep defeated Sara Errani 6-4, 6-4 earlier in the day. “She’s an amazing player. She’s so consistent all of the year and definitely going to be a hard match, but I think today I have to enjoy this victory and tomorrow I will look what I can do against her.”


Brodie Widdifield is the author of the tennis web site mindtheracket.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates.



Singles – Semifinals
B. Bencic (SUI) d [1] S. Williams (USA) 36 75 64
[2] [WC] S. Halep (ROU) d [15] S. Errani (ITA) 64 64

Doubles- Semifinals
[4] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) 63 62
[3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) / K. Pliskova (CZE) 64 76(5)


Singles – Semifinals / Demi-finales
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d J. Chardy (FRA) 64 64
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [4] K. Nishikori (JPN) 63 60

Doubles- Semifinals / Demi-finales
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA) 67(7) 64 10-7
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) 36 61 10-4


CENTRE COURT start 1:00
B. Bencic (SUI) vs [2] [WC] S. Halep (ROU)
[4] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs [3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)


COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

Not Before 3:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)


Rogers Cup Day 5 – Djokovic, Chardy Save Match Points to Set Semifinal Clash

228 Djokovic being interviewed-001

Rogers Cup Day 05: Djokovic, Chardy Save Match Points to Set Semifinal Clash

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin


(August 14, 2015) MONTREAL, Canada – Both Novak Djokovic and surprising Frenchman Jeremy Chardy had to manage Houdini-esque escapes on Friday to reach the semifinals. While the world No. 1 saved two match points against former-top-10-player-now-qualifier Ernest Gulbis, Chardy saved an astonishing seven match points against big serving John Isner.


Isner and Chardy were the first on court, about two hours late due to afternoon rain. It was clear from the start that not much was separating the two: Isner is having a spectacular summer with a title in Atlanta and a final in Washington, while Chardy boasted a surprising 3-0 record against the American. Without much of a surprise, both players held serve until the tiebreak, where Isner was the first to draw blood. Chardy fought well to save a few set points, had one of his own, but Isner scraped through a spectacular 11-9 tiebreak.


When Isner broke early in the second, it seemed like things were in control. But Mother Nature decided to play a role in the match and interrupted play for about an hour. Chardy made the best of the switch in rhythm, as he won the first three games after the return. Both players then served their way to the tiebreak, which turned out to be the longest, and arguably the most exciting, of the tournament. Isner once again took the lead and get to match point, only to see Chardy stay toe-to-toe with him and get set points of his own. The American was the first one to get the chance to have a closing point on his serve, only to see Chardy drive a backhand return winner. This back-and-forth went on until 13-13 in the tiebreak, and seven match points saved later, Chardy ended the set on a service winner.


Isner, who has played a lot of tennis in the past three weeks, looked physically drained at the start of the third set. Nevertheless, he concentrated his energy on his main asset, his serve, which helped him keep points short and get to yet another tiebreak. This time, Chardy was the first to get a mini-break at 5-4, kept it until the end, and completed one of the best wins of his career.


With this win, Chardy reaches his first ever Masters 1000 semifinal. ‘It is a very important moment in a career when you are able to play well in major tournaments’, Chardy discussed. ‘Tennis is all about the Grand Slams and the Masters. If you have good results in those tournaments, it’s a good reward because that’s why you’re practicing.’ Asked about the crowd, who was cheering for him for most of the match, he replied: ‘I believe the Canadians love French players, and we love them, too. Now there are no longer any Canadian players anymore in this tournament, we are their favorite now.’


In the second quarterfinal of the day, Novak Djokovic was a clear favorite against qualifier Ernest Gulbis, who saw his ranking drop from the top 10 in 2014 to 87 at the start of the tournament. Nevertheless, the Latvian is known for his shotmaking and undeniable talent, and the five wins he had so far this week have been a proof of that.


From the get go, you could tell Djokovic was in an off-day: the Serb, a three time champion was missing early in rallies and looked a bit out of sorts. Gulbis took advantage, playing aggressive tennis to get the first set 7-5. The Latvian even got up a break in the second set, only to see the Number One fight back to force a tiebreak. Gulbis took an early 3-0 lead and looked to be creating the biggest surprise of the tournament when he got to match points at 6-4. But he got a bit tense, lost the next four points and the set. Gulbis never managed to get back in the match and Djokovic strearolled through the third set 6-1. When signing the camera after his win, Djokovic wrote the following two words: ‘Very Lucky’.


This was Djokovic’s 29th straight match win in Masters 1000, an incredibly feat. He will be looking to get to 30 against Chardy; it will be the tenth match between the two, with Djokovic never losing a set. ‘I will go on court and I have to try something new, Chardy said. Anyway, if I didn’t succeed, it will be just one more loss (laughter).’


In the other half, 4th seed Kei Nishikori played a near flawless match to beat 7th seed Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-4. He will face 2nd seed Andy Murray, who defeated 2014 winner Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 6-4, 6-4 in a very, very late match in Montreal. Murray leads the head-to-head 4-1, but Nishikori has won their last encounter earlier this year in Madrid.



Singles – Third Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) 57 76(7) 61 – saved 2 M.P.
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [10] J. Tsonga (FRA) 64 64
[4] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [7] R. Nadal (ESP) 62 64
J. Chardy (FRA) d [16] J. Isner (USA) 67(9) 76(13) 76(4) – saved 7 M.P.

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) 63 67(5) 10-8
[6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA) d [3] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 62 64
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 64 62
[PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) d [7] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) 63 67(5) 10-7


COURT CENTRAL start 3:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs J. Chardy (FRA)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs [6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA)

Not Before 8:00 pm
[4] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)


In Topsy-Turvy Match, Simona Halep Bounces Back to Reach Toronto Semis

221 Dubai Halep celebration3 -001

By Brodie Widdifield

(August 14, 2015) TORONTO, Canada – When trying to determine what we should expect from a match we often look to the players’ past matches against each other and how their styles of play compare and contrast. No one would have predicted the topsy-turvy, entertaining affair that took place Friday afternoon in Toronto at the Rogers Cup.


Simona Halep and Agnieszka Radwanska played each other three times in 2014. All three were straight set matches on hard courts, with Halep taking two of three. With the Romanian battling through a grueling three set match with Angelique Kerber on Thursday, it looked like she may fail to even win a game.


“It was difficult, because I was a bit tired when I started the match, and I didn’t have time to warm up very well before because it was raining, and the schedule was a little bit complicated,” said Halep. The world No. 3 won just 13 of 40 points in the first set, and Radwanska rolled to a 6-0 lead.


Halep managed to finally get a service hold and slowly the match began to change. The Romanian took some pace off of her shots which slowed the rallies and allowed her to play with more angles and spin in the slow, grey conditions of Toronto. “After that set I said that I have to change something. I was hitting the balls very strong, and it was not a good idea playing against Radwanska because she knows how to make you run during the point. I just tried during the point to make her run, like with short cross. I think I did a good change, and that’s maybe why I won.”


The second set quickly started to look like Halep’s match against Kerber as the length of rallies increased, including some thrilling ones that ended at the net. A particularly crazy game at 3-3 proved to be the turning point, as after Halep won it, the match was essentially over. She won eight of the following nine games and rolled to a 0-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory to make her first semifinal in Canada.


“I think played my best tennis since Miami. I come from bad results in the French Open and Wimbledon, but players always have ups and downs and I just wanted to stay focused to still believe in myself that I can do some results this year.”


The Romanian continued to thank her wild Romanian fans both on the court and in press after the match. “Today when I was down 0-5, they were supporting me like I was up 5-0. It was amazing, and they gave me power just to stay there, still fighting for the victory.”


Halep will face Sara Errani in the semifinals, who defeated qualifier Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-4 later in the day. Halep will also attempt to become the second straight Romanian to make the final of the WTA version of the Toronto event after Sorana Cirstea made it all the way to Sunday in 2013. Halep leads the head to head, 2-1, and won their only meeting this year in Stuttgart, 6-4, 6-4.


Brodie Widdifield is the author of the tennis web site mindtheracket.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates.


Montreal Rogers Cup Day 4 – KyrgiosGate


Montreal Rogers Cup Day 4: KyrgiosGate

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin


(August 13, 2015) MONTREAL, Canada – There are days when the actual tennis results become secondary, and today was one of them. While multiple matches were going on all around the grounds of the Montreal Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, only one person was on everyone’s mind: Nick Kyrgios.


The Australian rarely leaves anyone indifferent. For example, he came to Montreal with a new hairdo, a Mohawk that’s bleached on one side and bright pink on the other. Some like his showmanship, some believe that he should let his tennis do the talking. But on Wednesday night, everyone agreed that he stepped over the line in his match against Stan Wawrinka.


Right after finishing the first set, Kyrgios and Wawrinka got in a small argument over the Australian’s serving rhythm: Wawrinka felt like Kyrgios would not let him have enough time between serves. Up 30-0, Kyrgios hit an unreturnable serve, got back to the wall, and under his breath, monologued on the intimate past of Wawrinka alleged girlfriend, WTA player Donna Vekic. The comment was picked up by the television microphone, and uproar exploded right away on social media.


Asked about the comment by local television in his post-match interview, Kyrgios justified himself on the ‘heat of the moment’. Later on, Wawrinka deemed the comments as ‘inexcusable’, said he confronted Kyrgios in the locker room and hoped that the ATP would sanction his opponent. And they did.


Indeed, on Thursday, the ATP announced that they fined Kyrgios for the on-site maximum of 10,000$ for insulting comments, as well as an additional fine of 2,500$ for unsportsmanlike conduct related to a comment made to a ballkid during the match. They also gave Kyrgios a ‘Notice of Investigation’, which opens up the possibility of further penalties such as monetary fines and/or suspension from ATP events.


Many wondered how the Rogers Cup fans would react to this situation. When Kyrgios stepped on Court Banque Nationale late on Thursday afternoon for his third round, he was welcomed with insistent booing from the crowd. On the other hand, his opponent John Isner, was strongly applauded. Isner, who had defeated Canadian player Vasek Pospisil the night before, went from the bad guy to the good guy in a matter of hours. And, as the saying goes, the good guy always wins, as Isner got through 7-5 6-3.


Except for a release on his Facebook page, which screamed PR crisis management, Kyrgios had not commented on the situation before his match. Everyone was therefore waiting for the post-match interview to get his side of things. But they didn’t get much, as Kyrgios was obviously closed and not talkative. ‘I just lost’, he said to explain his lack of answers. ‘Is that the only reason? Is the drama over for you?’ a journalist replied. ‘Yeah, yeah’.


It was also obvious that journalists would use other post-match interviews to get the players’ opinion on the subject. Novak Djokovic showed some signs of wisdom: ‘I’ve been here for about a decade, and it’s important to have respect between the players and towards the sport. He has to learn how to deal with that.’ Andy Murray linked the comments to Kyrgios’ age: ‘He’s a young guy who is growing up in the spotlight. There’s been a lot of negativity towards him over the last few months, that isn’t easy to deal with. People need to give him a little break; he’ll learn from it and become a better person.’ Rafael Nadal was a lot less apologetic: ‘Age is not an excuse. Most of the players started the tour very early, it is just about respect. The world of tennis, I think we should be an example for a new generation of kids, obviously yesterday was not one of these moments.’


This story filled up a day which was, tennis-wise, pretty uneventful, as all the favorites got through somewhat comfortably. The quarterfinals will feature number one player Novak Djokovic, who only dropped three games against Jack Sock, against qualified Ernest Gulbis. Isner will face surprising Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, while two blockbuster matches will happen in the bottom half, with 7th seed Rafal Nadal facing 4th seed Kei Nishikori and 2nd seed Andy Murray facing 10th seed and defending champion Jo-Wilfred Tsonga.


Singles – Third Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d J. Sock (USA) 62 61
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d G. Muller (LUX) 63 62
[4] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [13] D. Goffin (BEL) 64 64
[7] R. Nadal (ESP) d [Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) 63 63
[10] J. Tsonga (FRA) d B. Tomic (AUS) 76(7) 63
[16] J. Isner (USA) d N. Kyrgios (AUS) 75 63
[Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) d [Q] D. Young (USA) 64 64
J. Chardy (FRA) d I. Karlovic (CRO) 46 76(1) 64

Doubles – Second Round
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 75 64
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) 64 62
[3] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) d F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Robredo (ESP) 76(4) 63
[5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d G. Monfils (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA) 75 75
[7] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) d A. Murray (GBR) / L. Paes (IND) 64 76(9)


COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
[16] J. Isner (USA) vs J. Chardy (FRA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] E. Gulbis (LAT)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[7] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [4] K. Nishikori (JPN)
[10] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

BANQUE NATIONALE start 2:30 pm
[3] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs [6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA)

Not Before 4:00 pm
[5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
After Suitable Rest – [7] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) vs [PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB)
After Suitable Rest – [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP)


Montreal Rogers Cup Day 3 – Seeds Fall, But Favorites Remain

Montreal Rogers Cup Day 03: Seeds fall, but favorites remain

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin

(August 12, 2015)  MONTREAL, Canada – It was a tough day for seeds in Montreal, but the main favorites for the title managed to get through to the third round. While Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Rafael Nadal and defending champion Jo-Wilfred Tsonga all survived some spirited fights from their opponents, Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic, Gilles Simon, Grigor Dimitrov and Gael Monfils were sent packing in the second round.


Nishikori, who entered the top 4 for the first time this week, had the most impressive win of the day. Except for a small hiccup in the start of the match, the Washington winner was flawless in his 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Pablo Andujar. Asked on the key aspects of his progression, Nishikori replied: ‘I think I’m little more patient than last year. I’ve been playing little more aggressive, but same time I have less unforced errors and I get more free points from my serve.’ Next up for Nishikori is Belgian 13th seed David Goffin, who has had a stellar year. Both players are on the small-side for the modern top players, but Nishikori did think it also has its advantages: ‘I feel like I have a good return, and I am faster than taller guys. Players like Ferrer, Goffin and I are doing well nevertheless, and it’s great to see all the different match-ups.’


While Nishikori is on the upswing of his career, Rafael Nadal has been having a difficult year by his standards. The Spanish champion did not win a French Open preparation tournament for the first time in more than a decade and his ranking has dropped down to number 9. A recent title on clay in Hamburg showed some signs of revival and Nadal, who has great memories in Montreal and is a crowd favorite, is looking to find his hardcourt game back in Canada. Despite getting broken in both sets when trying to close things off against Stakhovsky, Nadal showed signs of his old self and looked very happy with the 7-6, 6-3 win. ‘It was a good match overall. Only bad game I had was at 5-4 (in the first set), the rest was all positive. Important thing is winning; it gives you an opportunity tomorrow’. Next up for Nadal is resurgent qualifier Mikhail Youzhny, a former top 10 player now ranked at 107, who defeated 9th seed Gilles Simon in straight sets.


Youznhy wasn’t the only surprising winner today: fellow qualifier Donald Young, who just last week in Washington won his first main draw match since Miami, played inspired tennis to upset 5th seed Tomas Berdych 7-6, 6-3. He will face Ernest Gulbis, another qualifier, for a spot in the quarterfinals. Bernard Tomic, a 6-3 6-4 winner over US Open reigning champion and 6th seed Marin Cilic, Nick Kyrgios,who got through after a retirement by 3rd seed Stan Wawrinka who had a lower-back injury. Kyrgios made some inappropriate comments during his match against Wawrinka.

Also advancing were Gilles Muller (a winner over Gael Monfils in a third set tiebreak) and Jack Sock (who saved a match point in a grueling 5-7, 7-6, 7-5 win over Grigor Dimitrov) were also all surprising winners.


Other winners of the day included Andy Murray over Robredo, John Isner, who crushed the hopes of local player Vasek Pospisil, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (who worked hard to defeat Bautista Agut 5-7, 7-6, 7-5) and Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who saved a match point in the second set against Leonardo Mayer.



Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d T. Robredo (ESP) 64 75
N. Kyrgios (AUS) d [3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 67(8) 63 40 ret. (back)
[4] K. Nishikori (JPN) d P. Andujar (ESP) 63 63
[Q] D. Young (USA) d [5] T. Berdych (CZE) 76(5) 63
B. Tomic (AUS) d [6] M. Cilic (CRO) 63 64
[7] R. Nadal (ESP) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 76(4) 63
[Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) d [9] G. Simon (FRA) 61 64
[10] J. Tsonga (FRA) d R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 57 76(6) 75
[13] D. Goffin (BEL) d S. Querrey (USA) 64 64
J. Sock (USA) d [14] G. Dimitrov (BUL) 57 76(5) 75 – saved 1 M.P.
G. Muller (LUX) d [15] G. Monfils (FRA) 63 36 76(4)
[16] J. Isner (USA) d [WC] V. Pospisil (CAN) 76(1) 46 63
[Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) d L. Rosol (CZE) 62 57 63
J. Chardy (FRA) d L. Mayer (ARG) 46 76(4) 62 – saved 2 M.P.

Doubles – Second Round
[PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) d [4] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) 63 57 10-3
[6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA) d M. Cilic (CRO) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) 75 64
R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) d [8] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) 76(8) 67(2) 10-4

Doubles – First Round
F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d D. Goffin (BEL) / D. Thiem (AUT) 63 16 10-8
F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Robredo (ESP) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 62 75
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP) 63 57 10-5


COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs J. Sock (USA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
G. Muller (LUX) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 6:30 pm
Possible Time Change – [7] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [Q] M. Youzhny (RUS)
Possible Time Change – [13] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [4] K. Nishikori (JPN)

BANQUE NATIONALE start 12:30 pm
J. Chardy (FRA) vs I. Karlovic (CRO)
[Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) vs [Q] D. Young (USA)
N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs [16] J. Isner (USA)
B. Tomic (AUS) vs [10] J. Tsonga (FRA)
D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)

COURT 9 start 4:00 pm
[3] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Robredo (ESP)
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)

COURT 5 start Not Before 5:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – [7] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) vs A. Murray (GBR) / L. Paes (IND)
After Suitable Rest – [5] M. Matkowski (POL) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs G. Monfils (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA)




Simona Halep Safely into the Final 16 in Toronto While Five Seeds Fall

Halep 2182015-001

By Brodie Widdifield


(August 12, 2015) TORONTO, Canada – While much of the mainstream media’s attention has been on the baffling struggles of Eugenie Bouchard, Simona Halep has quietly had a disappointing 2015. After falling in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, she went on to win Indian Wells – the biggest title of her career. Beyond that, it was disappointment as she fell in the second and first rounds of Roland Garros and Wimbledon, tournaments she had made the final and semifinals of just a year prior.


The 23-year- old Romanian admitted to being tired after Indian Wells and Miami. “At the beginning of the year I played some good tennis, but after I lost at two grand slams were last year I played good tennis. But maybe I couldn’t handle the pressure, and maybe I was a little bit tired. My life has changed a lot. Obviously everyone in my country is recognizing me and it’s a little bit tough. I have to accept and go forward.”


After a post Wimbledon break with her family, Halep decided to play Toronto, and the fans in Canada could not have been happier about her decision. Romanian fans came out in droves to support Sorana Cirstea during her unlikely run to the final in 2013 in Toronto, and they were chanting Simona‘s name after just the first game.


“I’m really happy that I have such a big support. Romanians are everywhere, so I really want to thank them for supporting me. It’s really nice to see our flag everywhere. Many Romanian words in the crowd. So that makes me happy on the court and makes me more, you know, more stronger that I have big support, and I can say that I fight easier.”


The support certainly did not hurt. Halep came out of the gate strong against Jelena Jankovic Wednesday afternoon. Changing directions early in the rally and keeping the ball deep, she was consistently on top in rallies. “I tried just to be aggressive, to take the ball as soon as possible, because I know that she has good defense. I tried to keep my first serve in because she’s returning well. I tried to play her forehand more, because I know she has a strong backhand. I didn’t want to rush myself, just go into the court and just to take the ball fast and to open the court.”


Continuing to move well and keeping errors low, the good form continued into the second set and Halep went on to take the second round match 6-3, 6-4. “I can say that I had stress free because I did not have expectations for this match because I had a long break. But I did pretty well today and I’m really happy I could win in two sets.” The win could set up some of the best matches of the tournament, as Halep will face Angelique Kerber on Thursday and potentially Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals.


Brodie Widdifield is the author of the tennis web site mindtheracket.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates.

$ 2,513,000.00
10- 16 AUGUST 2015

Singles – Second Round

[2] [WC] S. Halep (ROU) d J. Jankovic (SRB) 63 64
V. Azarenka (BLR) d [3] P. Kvitova (CZE) 62 63
B. Bencic (SUI) d [4] C. Wozniacki (DEN) 75 75
[5] A. Ivanovic (SRB) d [Q] O. Govortsova (BLR) 64 76(4)
[6] A. Radwanska (POL) d [LL] J. Goerges (GER) 75 63
D. Gavrilova (RUS) d [7] L. Safarova (CZE) 46 75 75
[Q] L. Tsurenko (UKR) d [8] G. Muguruza (ESP) 75 61
[Q] P. Hercog (SLO) d [11] E. Makarova (RUS) 62 67(2) 75
[13] A. Kerber (GER) d [Q] M. Puig (PUR) 62 63
[15] S. Errani (ITA) d M. Brengle (USA) 63 26 63
[16] A. Petkovic (GER) d [Q] H. Watson (GBR) 64 63
R. Vinci (ITA) d [Q] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) 63 63
S. Lisicki (GER) d B. Strycova (CZE) 76(3) 64
[Q] C. Witthoeft (GER) d A. Riske (USA) 64 57 63
A. Cornet (FRA) d D. Cibulkova (SVK) 63 62

Doubles – Second Round

[3] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) d D. Jurak (CRO) / R. Kops-Jones (USA) 62 62
I. Begu (ROU) / I. Olaru (ROU) d [8] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 76(5) 06 10-4
First Round
[6] S. Errani (ITA) / F. Pennetta (ITA) d [Alt] M. Barthel (GER) / M. Minella (LUX) 61 63
H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE) d [7] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) 64 36 10-8
A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) d C. Chuang (TPE) / C. Liang (CHN) 36 61 10-8
[WC] F. Abanda (CAN) / H. El Tabakh (CAN) d G. Dabrowski (CAN) / A. Rosolska (POL) 75 75
[WC] B. Bencic (SUI) / D. Cibulkova (SVK) d L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / A. Klepac (SLO) 61 76(5)
[WC] S. Fichman (CAN) / C. Zhao (CAN) d C. Chan (TPE) / P. Kania (POL) 16 64 10-5

CENTRE COURT start 11:00 am
R. Vinci (ITA) vs D. Gavrilova (RUS)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[13] A. Kerber (GER) vs [2] [WC] S. Halep (ROU)
[15] S. Errani (ITA) vs V. Azarenka (BLR)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] S. Williams (USA) vs [16] A. Petkovic (GER)
[Q] P. Hercog (SLO) vs [5] A. Ivanovic (SRB)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
[Q] L. Tsurenko (UKR) vs [Q] C. Witthoeft (GER)
B. Bencic (SUI) vs S. Lisicki (GER)
[6] A. Radwanska (POL) vs A. Cornet (FRA)

Not Before 6:00 pm
K. Mladenovic (FRA) / K. Pliskova (CZE) vs M. Krajicek (NED) / B. Strycova (CZE)
A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) vs H. Chan (TPE) / Y. Chan (TPE)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
[WC] S. Fichman (CAN) / C. Zhao (CAN) vs [2] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[4] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs [WC] F. Abanda (CAN) / H. El Tabakh (CAN)
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs J. Goerges (GER) / K. Jans-Ignacik (POL)

Not Before 3:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – [6] S. Errani (ITA) / F. Pennetta (ITA) vs [WC] B. Bencic (SUI) / D. Cibulkova (SVK)


Montreal Rogers Cup Day 2 – Bursting Montreal’s Bubble


Montreal Rogers Cup Day 02: Bursting Montreal’s Bubble

By Charles David Mathieu-Poulin


(August 11, 2015) MONTREAL, Canada – The crowd in Montreal is notorious for its emotional and vocal cheering of the local players. In the past few years, players like Frank Dancevic, Stephanie Dubois, Aleksandra Wozniak and Vasek Pospisil have used that energy to cause upsets and reach latter stages of the tournament. But with this attention also comes pressure: many will remember Eugenie Bouchard’s surprising loss in her opening match last year, and in a year’s time, one might reflect similarly on Milos Raonic’s early exit to Ivo Karlovic in this year’s edition.


Raonic, seeded 8th, wasn’t coming to the tournament in optimal shape: the top-ranked Canadian had been sidelined for most of the past few months by a nasty foot injury, which even required surgery to repair a pinched nerve. He had skipped the French Open and Davis Cup and admitted to playing through pain in Wimbledon. His rust was apparent Tuesday night, while his opponent, Ivo Karlovic, gave a serving masterclass in his 7-6(1) 7-6(1) win.


The Croat, No. 2 in player in career number of aces, never faced a break point and served 22 aces. During the match, he became only the second player in history to reach the 10,000 aces mark, and is well on his way to surpass his countryman Goran Ivanisevic. “Of course it is my goal, Karlovic admitted. I would hope that it happens this year, if not it will be next year. Hopefully I will be healthy enough to do it soon.”


Despite being 0 for 12 in break points throughout the match, Karlovic was flawless in the two tiebreaks, only conceding one point to Raonic. The Canadian, who usually thrives in these situations, was spraying uncharacteristic unforced errors. On the other hand, Karlovic, who stands tall at 6-foot-11, was covering the court surprisingly well for his size: “I was moving unbelievably well this evening, everything was going my way. This win means a lot to me.” It was Karlovic third top 10 win of 2015.

Milos Raonic 1

Asked whether his foot injury was a factor, Raonic replied with a smirk: “No, it wasn’t. I’ve been feeling something sort of in my back. I think I’m subconsciously protecting my foot. So, therefore, compensating, just finding different injuries at different times of the day.” Optimistic, he concluded: “A poor week this week doesn’t mean a poor week next week. I’ll just try to turn that around.”


This loss by Raonic means that Vasek Pospisil is the last Canadian standing. In his first round, Pospisil handled Yen-Hsun Lu for the second week in a row, this time in two sets. And, like last week, big-serving John Isner is next, as the American won a tight three setter against Benjamin Becker. “We’ve played four times already, five times including Hopman Cup, Pospisil said. I know what to expect, and so does he. I’d say it’s a pretty open match.”


While Raonic’s loss was a sure disappointment for the crowd, it wasn’t the only bubble that burst today.


While play started about one hour late due to rain on all outside courts, fans had to wait an extra hour to see Nick Kyrgios and Fernando Verdasco step out on Center Court. The reason? Some air bubbles popped up under the surface, most likely from water infiltration from the torrential rain, and made the court unplayable. The technical crew had to carefully remove the air in order to keep a smooth surface and consistent bounce.


Other winners of the day included first seed Novak Djokovic, Jo-Wilfred Tsonga (10), David Goffin (13), Grigor Dimitrov (14), while 12th seed Kevin Anderson was upset by Lukas Rosol. Andy Murray’s match against Tommy Robredo, which started way past 10pm, had to be suspended due to rain with the Scot serving at 4-all. Match will be postponed until Wednesday.



Singles Second Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d T. Bellucci (BRA) 63 76(4)
I. Karlovic (CRO) d [8] M. Raonic (CAN) 76(1) 76(1)

Singles First Round
[10] J. Tsonga (FRA) d B. Coric (CRO) 64 64
L. Rosol (CZE) d [12] K. Anderson (RSA) 76(2) 76(4)
[13] D. Goffin (BEL) d S. Johnson (USA) 62 62
[14] G. Dimitrov (BUL) d [Q] A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 64 75
[16] J. Isner (USA) d B. Becker (GER) 64 67(6) 63
J. Sock (USA) d A. Mannarino (FRA) 62 26 76(5)
[Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) d D. Thiem (AUT) 36 76(8) 61
N. Kyrgios (AUS) d F. Verdasco (ESP) 63 46 64
[WC] V. Pospisil (CAN) d [Q] Y. Lu (TPE) 64 63
J. Chardy (FRA) d [LL] N. Mahut (FRA) 61 75
[Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) d V. Troicki (SRB) 63 75
P. Andujar (ESP) d [WC] F. Dancevic (CAN) 62 64
R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [PR] J. Tipsarevic (SRB) 63 64

Doubles First Round
M. Cilic (CRO) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) d [WC] P. Bester (CAN) / A. Shamasdin (CAN) 63 64
G. Monfils (FRA) / J. Tsonga (FRA) d [WC] L. Hewitt (AUS) / N. Kyrgios (AUS) 75 64


COURT CENTRAL start 12:30 pm
P. Andujar (ESP) vs [4] K. Nishikori (JPN)

Not Before 2:30 pm
[7] R. Nadal (ESP) vs S. Stakhovsky (UKR)
T. Robredo (ESP) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR) 44

Not Before 6:30 pm
[WC] V. Pospisil (CAN) vs [16] J. Isner (USA)
[3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS)

BANQUE NATIONALE start 12:30 pm
[Q] M. Youzhny (RUS) vs [9] G. Simon (FRA)
[15] G. Monfils (FRA) vs G. Muller (LUX)
[Q] D. Young (USA) vs [5] T. Berdych (CZE)
R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs [10] J. Tsonga (FRA)
P. Cuevas (URU) / D. Marrero (ESP) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)

COURT 9 start 12:30 pm
J. Sock (USA) vs [14] G. Dimitrov (BUL)
[6] M. Cilic (CRO) vs B. Tomic (AUS)
[PR] N. Djokovic (SRB) / J. Tipsarevic (SRB) vs [4] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU)
R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [8] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
After Suitable Rest – F. Fognini (ITA) / T. Robredo (ESP) vs R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA)

COURT 5 start 12:30 pm
J. Chardy (FRA) vs L. Mayer (ARG)
[13] D. Goffin (BEL) vs S. Querrey (USA)
L. Rosol (CZE) vs [Q] E. Gulbis (LAT)
M. Cilic (CRO) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) vs [6] A. Peya (AUT) / B. Soares (BRA)
F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs D. Goffin (BEL) / D. Thiem (AUT)