March 25, 2017

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal Set Up Fourth Round Clash at the BNP Paribas Open; Novak Djokovic Advances

Roger Federer

(March 14, 2017)Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will meet for the thirty-sixth time in their careers on Wednesday in the fourth round of the BNP Open. Both men won third round matches on Tuesday.

Nadal, a three-time winner, who last won the tournament in 2013, defeated fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-5 for his 50th career match-win at Indian Wells.

Roger Federer survived American Steve Johnson 7-6(3), 7-6(4). The Swiss is a four-time winner of this event, last winning in 2012.

Nadal is 23-12 against Federer, 12-4 at ATP Masters 1000 events, 9-8 on hard courts and 1-1 at the BNP Paribas Open. Federer has never beaten Nadal three-times in a row.

Their last meeting came in late January when Federer won the Australian Open in five sets over Nadal. In their last meeting before this, Federer beat Nadal at the Swiss Indoors event in 2015.

Asked about how he feels about his next match, Federer said: “Very excited. I said it at the press conference in the beginning. That’s why I came here, play against guys like Rafa. Now we have it.

“I’m going to be excited now. Better be excited now. Otherwise I came for the wrong reasons.”

“Everyone felt different against Rafa,” he continued, “because sometimes you come in and you’re extremely tired. Sometimes it was, like you said, maybe you just lost three in a row, and you play often in quick succession at one point, as well.

“I mean, Australia helps me a little bit, but, you know, at the end of the day, I’m still in the comeback. And I try to see it really as another opportunity to build upon something for the rest of the season. So regardless of Australia, winning or losing, I’m going to try to go out there and try to play free again. I think it’s really important.

“I’m really happy that I got my energy back, because in Dubai I was actually still quite tired. I feel like tomorrow if I move well, you know, I will definitely have a chance against Rafa.”

Rafael Nadal

“Since the season started, I was playing well,” Nadal said. So I tried to play my game, tried to play aggressive.

“My goal was don’t let him play with his forehand from easy positions. And that’s what I tried. I started well the match. Then taked a while to have the break, but finally I had in the right game, in the 4-3, and I closed well.

“So in the second I started with the break, and then happened what happened with those two games. Then I was there again.

“So very pleased with my performance. And I won already two matches here.”
“Tomorrow another chance to go on court, and I’m going to try to play better than I did today.”

Asked about what makes Federer’s game so special, Nadal said: “Everything. Yeah, he has the talent to do very difficult things that looks easy, you know. He’s able to take the ball very early, serve and first shot. He create a lot of winners with that, two first shots, no?

“And then he’s able to take the ball always from inside, and he’s very quick going to the net. If you play short ball, then you know that he gonna go inside and gonna hit a winner, gonna play a shot that hit forehand or backhand, go to the net, and you are going to be in big trouble.”

 

Novak Djokovic

In the night session, Novak Djokovic defeated Juan Martin Del Potro 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 to reach the round of 16 where he’ll play Nick Kyrgios.

“It was difficult to overcome this challenge tonight,” Djokovic said during his on court interview. “The third was some of the best tennis I’ve played this year”

For the five-time desert champion, was his his 300th ATP Masters 1000 match victory. He is now tied with Pete Sampras for 10th in Open Era with 762 wins overall.
In other men’s action, No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori easily beat Gilles Muller 6-2, 6-2, American Donald Young upset 14th seed Lucas Pouille 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 and Malek Jaziri of Tunisia survived big-serving American Taylor Fritz 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Nick Kyrgios

In a battle of generation next on the ATP World Tour, Nick Kyrgios beat Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4.

“It was the worst match I played all year. It’s quite simple, ” said Zverev of the loss. “My serving was absolute horrible, my returning was absolutely horrible. From the baseline was horrible. There is not one thing I did well.”

“I wasn’t serving my best, so I thought I just competed well, said Kyrgios. “It was always going to be a tough match. He’s been playing great tennis and on the rise ever since juniors. I knew it was going to be tough.

“It was hot, but it wasn’t scorching. I think that suits my game style. I can get more bounce off my forehand.

“But, yeah, it was a tough battle. I’m just really glad to get through.”

 

American Jack Sock saved four match points to stop Grigor Dimitrov 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(7).

 

More to follow…

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Davis Cup: U.S. Shuts Out The Swiss – Querrey, Johnson Close Out World Group First Round With Singles Wins

DAVIS CUP: U.S. SHUTS OUT THE SWISS
Querrey, Johnson Close Out World Group First Round With Singles Wins

By Junior Williams

(February 5, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Americans Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson each posted straight sets victories in dead rubbers to give the United States a 5-0 victory over Switzerland in the Davis Cup World Group first round.

Querrey defeated lefty Adrien Bossel 6-3, 7-5 in a 73-minute match. The Californian blasted 16 aces past the 485th-ranked Bossel and faced zero break points.

It took Johnson only an hour to beat another Swiss left-hander — 20-year old Antoine Bellier — 6-4, 6-3, in a very entertaining match featuring powerful groundstrokes and strong returns. The players combined committed only 16 unforced errors for the entire match.

The U.S. now turns its attention to the quarterfinals in April, when the team will face Australia in a road tie. The Aussies will be looking for revenge after losing in the first round last year to the Americans in Kooyong.

Australia will be hosting team USA for a second straight tie, however, the visitor will have choice of ground – hardcourt. Normally nations alternate hosting ties, but the U.S. and Australia played consecutive ties in U.S. in 1997 and 1999, in order for the U.S. to host the 100th anniversary of Davis Cup at the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hills, Mass., the site of the first-ever Davis Cup tie. TEam USA is 26-20 versus Australia in Davis Cup play.

Switzerland will try to remain in the World Group by winning its play-off match-up September 15-17.

—-

The U.S. victory marks the second straight American sweep of the Swiss. The last one was a 2012 shocker on clay in Fribourg, Switzerland that included Mardy Fish defeating Stan Wawrinka 9-7 in the 5th set, John Isner beating Roger Federer in four sets – and a doubles win for Mike Bryan and Fish over Federer and Wawrinka, also in four sets.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

—-
Final results
Singles A: Jack Sock (USA) d. Marco Chiudinelli (SUI), 6-4, 6-3, 6-1
Singles B: John Isner (USA) d. Henri Laaksonen (SUI), 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1)
Doubles: Jack Sock/Steve Johnson (USA)
d. Adrien Bossel/Henri Laaksonen (SUI), 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(5)
Singles C: Sam Querrey (USA) d. Adrien Bossel (SUI), 6-3, 7-5
Singles D: Steve Johnson (USA) d. Antoine Bellier (SUI), 6-4, 6-3

 

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Davis Cup: U.S. Clinches Quarterfinal Berth; Sock and Johnson defeat Switzerland In World Group First Round Tie

DAVIS CUP: U.S. CLINCHES QUARTERFINAL BERTH

Sock and Johnson defeat Switzerland In World Group First Round Tie

 

 

By Junior Williams

 

(February 4, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – For the clincher, United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier called on the 2016 Olympic bronze medal doubles team.

Jack Sock and Steve Johnson delivered for the U.S. with a 7-6(3), 6-3, 7-6(5) victory over Switzerland’s Adrien Bossel and Henri Laaksonen. The win gives the Americans an insurmountable 3-0 lead in this World Group first round tie, advancing to the quarterfinals, where they’ll face Australia on the road for a second consecutive year.

Both Courier and Swiss Captain Severin Luthi switched up their originally scheduled lineups: Jack Sock replaced Sam Querrey for the Americans, while Luthi went with Laaksonen instead of Antoine Bellier. Laaksonen had an impressive return of serve during Friday’s second singles rubber, despite losing to John Isner in four sets.

The U.S. took the lead in the first set, winning a tiebreak capped by a Steve Johnson forehand winner up the sideline to go up 6-3, followed by a Johnson forehand that was hit long by the Swiss. The Americans won 85-percent of their first serve points in the set.

Serving in the first game of the second set, Jack Sock vehemently disputed a lineman’s foot fault call, but to no avail. As the game went on the U.S. found itself in a 0-40 hole, but eventually staved off those three break points and held serve. The Americans broke the Swiss in the next game, which ended with a thrilling rally punctuated by a Sock winner at net — bringing fans at the Legacy Arena at Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex to their feet.

Both teams exchanged breaks of serve later in the set, but the U.S. went on to win it on a Sock service winner. A stellar performance at the net by Johnson also a major factor contributing to the Americans’ two set lead.

Switzerland refused to go quietly. Spurred on by their fans chanting “Hop Suisse,” the Swiss team broke the U.S. to go up 3-1 in the third set on a Laaksonen overhead smash at net. But the visitors blew a golden opportunity when the Americans staved off three set points and broke Switzerland to get the set back on serve at 5-4.

The U.S. closed out the rubber and clinched the tie by winning a third set tiebreak, which ended with the Swiss at net hitting the ball past the baseline. After each team shook hands, the American team took a victory lap around the court with the U.S. flag, cheered on by the home crowd.

Despite being heavy underdogs without their top guns Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka, the Swiss have given the U.S. a good fight – and will attempt to remain in Davis Cup’s top tier when they compete in the World Group Play-offs this coming September.

“If you lose, it’s disappointed that you lost,” noted Swiss captain Severin Luthi. “I mean, I’m never like happy when we lose or if I lose. Even if it’s card games or whatever, I’m never happy.

“So disappointed. But, again, I have to say the same as yesterday. It wasn’t the performance of the players at all, you know. I thought they gave everything. They were, yeah — they had chances first and third set, and unfortunately we just couldn’t make it.”

Australia will be hosting team USA for a second straight tie, however, the visitor will have choice of ground – hardcourt. Normally nations alternate hosting ties, but the U.S. and Australia played consecutive ties in U.S. in 1997 and 1999, in order for the U.S. to host the 100th anniversary of Davis Cup at the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hills, Mass., the site of the first-ever Davis Cup tie.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to go back and battle those guys (Australia) again,” said U.S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier. “They came through pretty comfortably as well. Hugely talented team. Passionate Davis Cup nation. Had a lot of fun playing down in Melbourne with them.

“Obviously got the result we wanted which makes it a lot more fun, but they’re a knowledgeable crowd and they have won a ton of Davis Cups, so they know what it’s all about.

“It will be exciting for us to go down. We’re already talking about it, looking forward to it. We have work to do tomorrow. We’re not your overlooking the matches on Sunday. We will be ready to play tomorrow for sure, even though this thing is decided.

“I think I can speak for all of us when I say we’re anxious to get down there and battle on. We really want to get out to the semifinals and see what we can do this year.”

Two dead rubbers are scheduled for Sunday – and we have yet to see Querrey and Bellier play in this tie.

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

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Davis Cup: Home Cookin’ in the Deep South; Sock, Isner Give U.S. 2-0 Lead Over Switzerland In First Round

 

DAVIS CUP: HOME COOKING IN THE DEEP SOUTH

Sock, Isner Give U.S. 2-0 Lead Over Switzerland In First Round

 

By Junior Williams

 

(February 3, 2017) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – The heavily favored United States team lived up to expectations as Jack Sock and John Isner won their respective singles rubbers against Switzerland, giving the Americans a 2-0 lead in the first round of Davis Cup Cup World Group competition at Legacy Arena at Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.

 

Switzerland is playing this tie without its two top players – world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 10 Roger Federer who won the Australian Open last week.

 

Isner’s victory over world No. 127 Henri Laaksonen was far from a cakewalk. It took two hours and 44 minutes for the American to win the rubber 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(1).

 

In the first set, Isner’s powerful service game was blunted by Laaksonen executing solid returns and winning long rallies. Isner saved three break points to knot the set at 4-4, but the Swiss went on to win the set by breaking the world No. 23.

Isner committed 21 unforced errors during the set and backhanded numerous shots into the net.

 

The 31-year old Isner seemed to find his rhythm in the second set after breaking Laaksonen to go up 3-2, helped by a more effective service game — striking seven aces during the set and winning 84-percent of his first serve points. On the flip side, Laaksonen committed three double faults, including one that gave the U.S. a 5-2 advantage. Isner won the next game, closing it out with his 12th ace of the match.

John Isner

The American got off to a fast start in the third set. He broke the Swiss in the first game with a winning forehand passing shot as Laaksonen approached the net. Isner held in the second game, but not before staving off three break points. In this set it was Laaksonen with 21 unforced errors helping Isner cruise through the remainder of the set.

 

The fourth set was a tight affair as both players battled. Isner was visibly frustrated by the 24-year old Laaksonen’s returns and defensive play. But when tiebreak time came around, it was all Isner. After a mini-break on the first point — followed by two service winners — victory came five points later when Laaksonen double faulted. During the on-court post-match interview, Isner admitted to being nervous at times during the match.

 

“I’ll take the film of that first set and just throw it in the fire, delete that one,” Isner said in his post-match news conference. “I think more than anything I was a little bit nervous, and that was affecting my footwork quite a lot. With me being so big and when my footed work is not sharp, it can be ugly. It was in the first set.”

 

Jim stayed on me to stay positive, even though I wasn’t feeling very positive out there. I think that’s actually what tilted the match in my favor a little bit. Certainly could have been cleaner, but Davis Cup you ties throw out rankings and whatnot, it’s tough touch out there in these matches, so I’m happy to get the win.

 

In the first rubber, it took just under two hours for No. 1 American Jack Sock to defeat Marco Chiudinelli — ranked 146 in the world — 6-4, 6-3, 6-1. Things were pretty even until Sock won the first set by breaking Chiudinelli with an overhead lob that was retrieved but hit just wide of the sideline.

 

“There are always few extra nerves I think playing Davis Cup,” Sock said. “When you’re playing for your country, being a part of a team, maybe at a normal event, normal tournament, you come out swinging a little bit more.

“I think I was a little hesitant at the beginning; maybe too conservative playing when obviously my game is to kind of play big and hit big forehands and be aggressive.”

Sock continued to put pressure on the 35-year old Swiss by stepping up his aggressive play, with solid ground strokes and serves with some net play in the mix. For the match, Sock had 29 total winners to Chiudinelli’s eleven. The Nebraska-born 24-year old was never broken in four attempts.

 

The U.S. can clinch the tie by winning Saturday’s doubles match-up — scheduled to be Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson versus Switzerland’s Antoine Bellier and Adrien Bossel. Bellier’s heroics kept the Swiss in the top tier of Davis Cup, courtesy of his 2016 World Group play-off win in the deciding rubber against Uzbekistan back in September.

 

Team USA is not taking anything for granted. They had a 2-0 lead back in July and lost in the quarterfinals to Croatia.

 

Jack Sock

 

“I think as a whole, as a team, like I said, we’re not taking anyone lightly,” Sock noted. “But at the same time, we’re confident in our squad and our four guys in the matchups this weekend.

“We’re going to go one match at time and get one point at time.”

 

A victory would earn the Americans a quarterfinal trip to Australia — a rematch of last year’s first round tie won by the U.S. at Kooyong. Australia clinched their tie against the Czech Republic with a doubles win to give them a 3-0 lead.

 

—–

 

EXTRAS:

 

John Isner notched his 500th Davis Cup ace during the fourth set of his match against Henri Laaksonen.

 

Isner was not aware of this upcoming milestone: “I was wondering, because I heard them say 500. I was wondering what that was. Thank you for clarifying that. I had no idea I was close to that in Davis Cup play.

“You know, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to play in a lot of singles matches on the Davis Cup team. I guess that’s a pretty cool number to achieve.

“More than anything, I’m just happy I was able to get the win today. I thought the crowd was great, and we’re up 2-0. We’re in a pretty good spot.”

 

“But Davis Cup anything can happen. You see it every year. Every tie almost you see some kind of crazy things happen.”

 

Unusual for a Davis Cup tie in the U.S. to have a serve speed clock deliver results in kilometers per hour instead of miles per hour. Fans in the stands were trying to guess the actual MPH.

 

Junior Williams is a long-time journalist and tennis fan. At a moment’s notice, he can give you a list of all the Davis Cup match-ups that would give the USA home ties. He is in Birmingham, Alabama covering the Davis Cup first round World Group tie between the United States and Switzerland for Tennis Panorama News.

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Sock to Lead Off for USA Against Switzerland in Davis Cup; Courier Reflects on Team USA’s Past and Future

(February 2, 2017) In celebration of Groundhog Day, “Birmingham Bill” of the Birmingham Zoo picked the first match-up of the draw for the U.S. vs. Switzerland Davis Cup World Group First Round tie in Birmingham, Ala. on Thursday.

 

Day one will pit the No. 1 singles of their respective teams versus the No. 2 players on the other team.

American Jack Sock ranked No. 20 in the world will take on Marco Chiudinelli, ranked No. 46, followed by No. 23 John Isner against No. 127-ranked Henri Laaksonen. Sock is 3-2 in Davis Cup Singles play, while his opponent is 6-12. Isner beat Roger Federer when the U.S. shutout Switzerland 5-0 in the cup tie in Fribourg back in 2012.

 

Here is the lineup for the weekend tie:

 

Friday, February 3, 3:00 p.m. Central

Singles A: Jack Sock (USA) vs. Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)

Singles B: John Isner (USA) vs. Henri Laaksonen(SUI)

 

Saturday, February 4, 2:00 p.m. Central

Doubles:

*Sam Querrey/Steve Johnson (USA) vs. Adrien Bossel/Antoine Bellier (SUI)

 

Sunday, February 5, 11:00 a.m., Central

Singles C:Jack Sock (USA) vs. Henri Laaksonen (SUI)

Singles D: John Isner (USA) vs. Marco Chiudinelli (SUI)

 

*Team captains may substitute the doubles team up to one hour before the match.

 

December will mark ten years since the United States won Davis Cup. With the Bryan brothers retiring from Davis Cup play and former star Andy Roddick about to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the USA Captain reflected about the current team carrying American tennis forward since that group of players won the cup in Portland in 2007.

 

“First of all, we’ve been unbelievably lucky to have a great generation of Davis Cup players in Andy (Roddick) and James (Blake) and Mardy (Fish) and Bob and Mike Bryan that did great things for this country,” Courier said.

 

“They’ve passed that baton now off to these guys. It’s the turn and the privilege of these four players I’m sitting with right now to carry American tennis fans and the American flag for us.

 

“They’re ready for it. These guys are battle-tested, they’re veterans on tour, and they’re ready for this responsibility. It’s a great privilege to go out there and play for the United States. These guys are anxious to do that. They’ve answered the call every time they’ve been asked to play for the U.S. I expect that will continue to be the path.

 

“So it’s an exciting new time for us as a team. There’s no doubt that we’re indebted to the great service of Bob and Mike Bryan. I hope they continue to play great as long as they’re still on tour. We’ll miss them on this team, but I feel confident in the group we have assembled here and their capabilities both in singles and doubles.

 

“We have a lot of options at our disposal now, where you’re a little bit more limited when you go with two doubles players and two singles players from an injury standpoint.

 

“There are pluses and minuses. Fortunately we never got into a position with Bob and Mike where we had an injury issue that impacted us as a team. But we’re looking forward to what this year will bring. 2017, we’re excited to start at home. We need to get off to a good start obviously. We won’t take anything for granted. We’ll be ready to play, as I mentioned. But it’s a new page, a new chapter in the U.S. Davis Cup team. It starts right here, right now.”

 

As to the future of American men’s tennis, Courier sad: “You’re looking at the present and the future of it right here, for starters. The even better news is that we have a cluster of 18, 19 and 20-yearolds that are starting to make their way onto the tour, starting to get through the challengers, move up to tour level.

 

“I was lucky enough to come through a generation that pushed each other. We had a cluster back then. We were able to push each other to great heights.

 

“It can only benefit American tennis if we have this young group here. I know these guys are very proud of their positions that they’ve earned in the sport. They’re not going to let those youngsters come up and take them easily either. That will be fun, I think, to see everyone pushing in the same direction, to try to get a few more names on the sports pages for American tennis. That would be a good thing, for sure.

 

“But there’s a lot of work ahead of those youngsters, too. I’m fortunate enough to get a chance to see a lot of it down in Orlando at the new home of American tennis. A lot of them are training there. Jack has been there, as well, to check it out. We’re in the beginning stages of seeing some nice transition from juniors to professional tennis from a big group of players. That will be very fun to watch.”

 

Team USA holds a  3-1 record against the Swiss in Davis Cup play, with the the two countries’ last meeting in Birmingham, winning 4-1 win for the U.S. in the 2009 World Group First Round at the same venue – Legacy Arena.

 

The winner of this tie moves into the World Group Quarterfinal, April 7-9, and will play either the Czech Republic or Australia. The losing country will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 15-17, to try and stay in the World Group in 2018.

 

Related Articles:

Tennis Channel To Air USA vs. Switzerland Davis Cup Tie; Tennis Channel, Tennis Channel Plus to Cover Six Davis Cup Matchups This Weekend

Nominations Announced for Davis Cup World Group First Round and Zone Group Ties

U.S. Davis Captain Jim Courier on Tie Against Switzerland: “We don’t expect it to be easy”

Borna Coric Beats Jack Sock to Complete Croatia Comeback from 0-2 to Send Team to Davis Cup Semis

Friendly Fribourg; The Swiss City Did Itself Proud As a Davis Cup Host

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U.S. Davis Captain Jim Courier on Tie Against Switzerland: “We don’t expect it to be easy”

U. S. Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier

(January 31, 2017) The United States Davis Cup team will face off in the first round of World Group against Switzerland at the Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham, Alabama.  The Swiss team will be without their top players – world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka and No. 10 Roger Federer, who won the Australian Open on Sunday for his 18th major.

The U.S. team will consist of No. 20 Jack Sock,  No. 23 John Isner, No. 27 Sam Querrey and No. 31 Steve Johnson. Representing team Switzerland will be No. 127 Henri Laaksonen, No. 146 Marco Chiudinelli No. 485 Adrien Bossel and No. 598 Antoine Bellier.

Back on 2009, the U.S. also played Switzerland in Birmingham.

Both teams took part in pre-draw news conferences on Tuesday.

Playing Switzerland without their top two players, looks like an easy task for team USA this weekend, but USA Captain Jim Courier says there are no “gimmies.”

“Now, rankings don’t mean anything,” he said. “Once you get on the court, the ball doesn’t care what your ranking is. You have to hit the shots and win the points.

“We come in ready to play and ready to fight for every point. We don’t expect it to be easy.”

We’re confident that we have four great players here ready to go to battle in five matches,” Courier continued.

“It’s nice to play at home, of course. Nice to have a facility that we like, like this, a court that we like, like this. It’s not always the case.”

Swiss Captain Severin Luthi acknowledged that this weekend won’t be an easy task without Wawrinka and Federer.

“We have the best players behind them here, he said. “We’re going to try to do our best and give 100%. We’ll also try to improve this week. All the rest really doesn’t matter for us.”

“I think one of our strengths is really that the players we have here, especially Marco and Henri, who played more matches already in Davis Cup, they’re always playing well. They give all the time 100%. They’re ready to fight. Yeah, they had good results in Davis Cup. I think that’s one of our big strengths.

“With Antoine, we have a rather young player who is playing the first time last year and helped us staying in the Group. With Adrien also we won the doubles there.

“Obviously we’re completely outsiders here, but as I said, we’re going to try our best and give 100%.”

Bob and Mike Bryan announced their retirement from playing Davis Cup last week during the Australian Open.

“We were blessed to have Bob and Mike on our team for so many years,” Courier said. “They’re incredible. We’ll miss them for sure.

“I have a lot of confidence in these guys. Any combination of these four players would be a very, very good doubles team.

“It is different to not have Bob and Mike here. I wouldn’t say it’s better, but I would say that we feel comfortable that we have great options at our disposal for all of the matches.”

Swiss Captain Luthi was asked if the absence of the Bryan brothers was advantage to his team: “Honestly, I don’t think that it’s a big advantage because they have more flexibility like that for singles also. When they had the brothers in the team, you knew which players are going to play singles.

“Now, like I mentioned, I think all four players can also play doubles. They can change. They can wait and see how the matches on Friday went.

“I don’t think that it’s an advantage for us.”

The draw ceremony will take place on Thursday at the Birmingham Zoo at Noon.

The Davis Cup ties takes place  this weekend February 3-5, on an indoor hard court. Singles play begins at 3:00 p.m. CT on Friday, February 3. Doubles play begins on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. CT. The final two singles matches will be held on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. CT. Tennis Channel will broadcast daily coverage.

The winner of this tie advances to the World Group Quarterfinals to be played April 7-9, against the winner of the Czech Republic vs. Australia tie. The losing nation will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 15-17, for the right to remain in the World Group in 2018.

 

For information on the tie from the USTA .

Related Articles:

Isner, Sock, Johnson and Querrey Named to U.S. Davis Cup Team

Bryan Brothers Retire From U.S. Davis Cup Team

Friendly Fribourg; The Swiss City Did Itself Proud As a Davis Cup Host

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Isner, Sock, Johnson and Querrey Named to U.S. Davis Cup Team

 

 

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jan. 24, 2017 – The USTA and United States Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier today announced that world No. 19 John Isner, No. 20 Jack Sock, No. 30 Steve Johnson and No. 32 Sam Querrey will represent the U.S. in the 2017 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group First Round against Switzerland. The best-of-five match series will be played on an indoor hard court at the Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC), Feb. 3-5, in Birmingham, Ala.

 

Swiss Davis Cup Captain Severin Luthi nominated No. 128 Marco Chiudinelli, No. 133 Henri Laaksonen, No. 488 Adrien Bossel and No. 612 Antione Bellier to his team.

 

Play begins on Friday, Feb. 3, at 3 p.m. CT with two singles matches featuring each country’s No. 1 player against the other country’s No. 2 player. Saturday’s schedule begins at 2 p.m. CT and features the pivotal doubles match. And the final day of play on Sunday starts at 11 a.m. CT and features the two “reverse singles” matches, when the No. 1 players square off, followed by the No. 2 players. All matches are best-of-five tiebreak sets; the first country to win three matches wins the tie. A revised schedule for Sunday may take place if a team clinches in the third or fourth match.

 

Tickets are available in the upper and lower bowls and may be purchased by visiting www.usta.com/daviscup or by calling 888-484-USTA (8782). Prices for single-day tickets for Friday, Saturday or Sunday range from $25 to $175 per day. The USTA has partnered with Bruno Events Team and The City of Birmingham to bring this event to Birmingham.

 

The U.S. holds a 3-1 record over Switzerland in Davis Cup, last meeting in the 2012 World Group First Round in Fribourg, Switzerland. The U.S. swept that tie, 5-0, with Isner upsetting Roger Federer and Mardy Fish beating Stan Wawrinka before Bob and Mike Bryan secured the win for the U.S. The U.S. hosted Switzerland in Birmingham in 2009 in the World Group First Round at the BJCC. In that tie, Andy Roddick, James Blake and Bob and Mike Bryan defeated Switzerland, 4-1. The U.S. also squared off against the Swiss in 1992 and 2001, with Switzerland’s only win coming in 2001.

 

The winner of this tie advances to the World Group Quarterfinals, April 7-9, and will play either the Czech Republic or Australia. The losing nation will compete in the World Group Playoff, Sept. 15-17, for the right to remain in the World Group in 2018.

 

In addition, the USTA announced yesterday a long-term and wide-ranging agreement with Deloitte, one of the world’s leading professional services organization. As part of the agreement, Deloitte will sponsor both the U.S. Davis Cup and U.S. Fed Cup teams. As a sponsor of Davis Cup and Fed Cup, Deloitte’s logo will be featured on U.S. team warm-up jackets; Deloitte will also support U.S. Team Events in markets where the competitions are being held.

 

Isner, 31, is ranked No. 19 in the current world rankings and will be competing in his 13th Davis Cup tie; he is 11-10 in singles and 2-0 in doubles. His last Davis Cup appearance came last year in the quarterfinal in Beaverton, Ore., where Isner went 1-1 in singles play. His biggest Davis Cup victory came in 2012, when he defeated Federer in the U.S. Davis Cup team’s first-round win at Switzerland. The tallest player in U.S. Davis Cup history at 6-foot-10, Isner made his Davis Cup debut in the 2010 World Group First Round in Serbia, where he became the first U.S. player since 2003 to compete in three live rubbers in the same tie. He also represented the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympics, reaching the quarterfinals before losing to Federer. Isner turned pro after an outstanding four-year career at the University of Georgia, leading the Bulldogs to the 2007 NCAA team title as a senior. He holds 10 career tour singles titles, the last of which came in Atlanta in 2015. In 2016, Isner reached the final in Atlanta and at the Masters 1000 event in Paris and reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and French Open.

 

Sock, 24, is ranked a career-high No. 20 in the world after taking the title in Auckland earlier this month for his second career ATP title. He made his Davis Cup debut in September 2015 in the World Group Playoff in Uzbekistan, where he won both of his singles matches. Sock also competed in both Davis Cup ties for the U.S. in 2016, in Australia and Portland, Ore.; he now holds a 3-2 singles record in Davis Cup competition. Sock won his first ATP singles title in 2015 in Houston, and he has also reached four additional ATP finals (Stockholm, Houston and Auckland in 2016; Stockholm in 2015). Sock has also thrived in doubles, winning the 2014 Wimbledon doubles title with Vasek Pospisil and capturing the gold medal in mixed doubles at the Rio Olympics with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. In 2011, Sock won the US Open mixed doubles title with fellow American Melanie Oudin. Sock peaked at a career-high No. 6 in the individual doubles rankings in May 2015.

 

Johnson, 27, is ranked No. 30 in the world. He is playing in his second Davis Cup tie after making his debut in September 2015 in the World Group Playoff in Uzbekistan; there, he won his doubles match with Querrey after the duo advanced to the US Open doubles semifinals together, but lost his singles match in five sets to Denis Istomin. Johnson started 2017 strong by reaching the semifinals in Auckland, losing to Sock. In 2016, he won his first career ATP singles title in Birmingham, Great Britain. Also in 2016, he advanced to the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time, the semifinals of the Citi Open in Washington D.C., and captured the bronze medal in men’s doubles at the Rio Olympics with Sock. Johnson, who peaked at No. 21 in the world in July 2016, turned pro in 2012 after completing an outstanding college tennis career at USC, winning the 2011 and 2012 NCAA singles championships and leading the Trojans to team titles all four years he played for the school. Following the end of his collegiate career, he reached the third round of the 2012 US Open, becoming the first reigning NCAA champion to advance to the third round of the men’s singles since 1995.

 

Querrey, 29, is ranked No. 32. He is competing in his first Davis Cup tie since September 2015 and his 10th tie overall. He made his Davis Cup debut in 2008, where he faced Rafael Nadal in his first-ever match. Querrey holds a 6-8 record in Davis Cup singles play and is 1-0 in doubles. Querrey also competed in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. In 2016, Querrey advanced to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, upsetting Novak Djokovic in the third round and becoming the first American to beat the No. 1 seed at a Grand Slam since 2002. Also last year, Querrey won his eighth ATP title in Delray Beach and reached three additional ATP semifinals. In addition, he holds five ATP doubles titles, including two with Isner (Memphis in 2010 and Rome in 2011) and one with Johnson (Geneva in 2016). Querrey peaked at No. 17 in the world in January 2011.

 

Additionally, Courier announced that college standout Ryan Shane will be the practice partner for the U.S. Davis Cup team. Shane, 22, graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016 after a stellar collegiate career. In his junior season, he won the NCAA singles title and ended that season as the No. 2-ranked collegiate player in the country. Shane was also a part of three NCAA championship teams with Virginia, winning the team title in 2013, 2015 and 2016. He earned All-America honors during his junior and senior years, finishing his collegiate career with a 103-36 record in singles play. He holds two USTA Pro Circuit singles titles and one doubles title.

 

Founded in 1900, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the World Cup of Tennis and is the largest annual international team competition in sport, with approximately 135 nations competing each year. The U.S. leads all nations with 32 Davis Cup titles. The U.S. holds a 216-70 all-time Davis Cup record and owns the longest uninterrupted run in the World Group, dating back to 1989. For more information, including access to player and historical Davis Cup records, please go to www.usta.com/daviscup or www.daviscup.com. Follow the U.S. Davis Cup team on Facebook @USTA, on Twitter @USTA, and on Instagram @USTennis. Wilson is the official ball of the U.S. Davis Cup team. Deloitte is the official team sponsor of the U.S. Davis Cup Team for the first time in 2017.

 

 

 

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2017 Australian Open – Day 3 Men’s Preview

 

2017 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

DAY 3 MEN’S NOTES

Wednesday 18 January

2nd Round Top Half

 

Stan Wawrinka

Featured matches

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

On court today…

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 1 ANDY MURRAY (GBR) v (Q) ANDREY RUBLEV (RUS)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

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

 

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

 

MURRAY                                       v                                        RUBLEV

 

29                                          Age                                          19

1                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            156

44                                         Titles                                          0

177-40                     Career Grand Slam Record                        1-1

46-11                        Australian Open Record                          1-0

635-175                              Career Record                                13-19

427-114                        Career Record – Hard                           10-12

5-1                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

5-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

23-9                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-0

9                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

184-107                      Career Tiebreak Record                          6-8

4-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Murray is looking to become the first man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after losing 5 finals at any one Grand Slam. He finished as runner-up to Roger Federer here in 2010, and to Novak Djokovic in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Djokovic and Federer (at Roland Garros), Goran Ivanisevic (at Wimbledon) and Ivan Lendl (at the US Open), are the only players in the Open Era to lose 3 Grand Slam finals at one major before winning the title.

 

  • Murray is looking to win the title here and avoid becoming the first man in the Open Era to lose 6 Grand Slam finals at any one major. Lendl, is the only other man to have lost 5 finals at any one Grand Slam event – losing in the title match at the US Open in 1982-84 and 1988-89, but winning the tournament in 1985-87.

 

  • Elsewhere in Grand Slam play in 2016, Murray won his 3rd Grand Slam title and 2nd at Wimbledon, defeating Milos Raonic in the final. It was 11th Grand Slam final, but the first in which he had faced an opponent other than Djokovic or Federer. He also became the 3rd British man – and first since Bunny Austin in 1937 – to reach the Roland Garros final (l. Djokovic) but fell to Kei Nishikori in 5 sets in the quarterfinals at the US Open.

 

  • Also in 2016, Murray became the first player in history to successfully defend an Olympic singles gold medal after defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final at Rio 2016. He won a career-best 9 Tour-level titles – including his first at the year-end ATP World Tour Finals, where he became the 17th man to secure the year-end No. 1 ranking after defeating Djokovic in the final. Two weeks earlier, he had become the 26th man to attain the world No. 1 ranking after reaching the final at Paris-1000.

 

  • Murray warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final as No. 1 seed at Doha – his 13th final in his last 14 tournaments. He saw his 28-match Tour-level winning streak ended by Djokovic as the Serb won 63 57 64.

 

  • Murray is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s main draw here. Murray won the 2012 US Open title (d. Djokovic) and became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 77 years in 2013 (d. Djokovic) before winning the title again in 2016.

 

  • Murray was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2017 New Year’s Honours list.

 

  • Murray has played Davis Cup since 2005 and has a 30-3 singles win-loss record in the competition in 20 ties played, leading Great Britain to its first title since 1936 in 2015. Great Britain will face Canada in the World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Murray is coached by Ivan Lendl, who won the Australian Open in 1989 and 1990, and former world No. 121 Jamie Delgado.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 4 STAN WAWRINKA (SUI) v STEVE JOHNSON (USA)

Head-to-head: Wawrinka leads 1-0

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

 

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

 

WAWRINKA                                     v                                       JOHNSON

 

31                                          Age                                          27

4                             ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            30

15                                         Titles                                          1

120-44                     Career Grand Slam Record                      15-18

32-10                        Australian Open Record                          5-4

442-253                              Career Record                                96-96

246-141                        Career Record – Hard                           70-66

3-1                                   2017 Record                                   4-2

3-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              4-2

25-19                         Career Five-Set Record                           4-6

6                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

181-172                      Career Tiebreak Record                         55-63

1-2                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            2-0

 

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

 

  • Wawrinka advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Martin Klizan 46 64 75 46 64 in the 1st round on Monday. The victory improved his overall 5-set win-loss record to 25-19, and to 2-3 in 5-set matches at the Australian Open.

 

  • Wawrinka has lost in the 2nd round at the Australian Open twice before – on his debut in 2006
    (l. David Nalbandian) and in 2008 (l. Marc Gicquel), the only occasions in which he has lost before the 3rd round in his 11 previous appearances here.

 

  • Last year here as No. 4 seed, Wawrinka fell to Milos Raonic 64 63 57 46 63 in the round of 16.

 

  • Wawrinka’s best Australian Open result is winning the title in his first Grand Slam final in 2014 (d. Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63). He was the first player to defeat the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds en route to a Grand Slam title since Sergei Bruguera won 1993 Roland Garros.

 

  • Wawrinka has won 3 Grand Slam titles at 3 different majors. He also won 2015 Roland Garros and the 2016 US Open, defeating Djokovic in both finals. In Paris, he became the 2nd Swiss player – man or woman – in history to win Roland Garros. At 30 years 71 days, he was the oldest man to win in Paris since Andres Gomez in 1990. At the US Open, aged 31 years 167 days, he became the oldest US Open champion since Ken Rosewall in 1970 and just the 5th man to win multiple Grand Slam titles after turning 30. He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in the men’s draw here.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Wawrinka reached the semfinals at Roland Garros (l. Andy Murray) but fell in the 2nd round at Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • In 2016, Wawrinka won a career-best 4 titles for the 2nd straight year. As well as winning the US Open, he won his 3rd straight title at Chennai (d. Borna Coric) and won the titles at Dubai (d. Marcos Baghdatis) and Geneva (d. Marin Cilic). He also finished runner-up at St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev).

 

  • Wawrinka warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semifinals as No. 2 seed at Brisbane, where he fell to Kei Nishikori 76(3) 63.

 

  • Wawrinka is coached by Magnus Norman, who reached the semifinals here in 2000.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Johnson is coached by Craig Boynton.

 

 

 

 

  1. 5 KEI NISHIKORI (JPN) v JEREMY CHARDY (FRA)

Head-to-head: Nishikori leads 4-2

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

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

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

2014     Tokyo                           Hard (O)           QF        Nishikori           64 62

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

2016     Barcelona                     Clay (O)            R16      Nishikori           63 75

 

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

 

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

 

NISHIKORI                                      v                                        CHARDY

 

27                                          Age                                          29

5                                    ATP Ranking                                   72

11                                         Titles                                          1

61-28                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-35

21-7                         Australian Open Record                         10-8

305-143                              Career Record                              208-211

215-100                        Career Record – Hard                         108-118

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-2

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-2

15-5                          Career Five-Set Record                          10-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         1

91-64                        Career Tiebreak Record                       103-115

1-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

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

 

  • Nishikori advanced to the 2nd round after defeating Andrey Kuznetsov 57 61 64 67(6) 62 in the 1st round on Monday. The victory maintained Nishikori’s record of never having lost a 5-set match at the Australian Open. He has 4-0 win-loss record in 5-set matches here and a 15-5 record in 5-set matches overall.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result here is reaching the quarterfinals in 2012 (l. Andy Murray), 2015 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2016 (l. Novak Djokovic). He is the only Japanese man to reach the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park in the Open Era.

 

  • At the 2014 US Open, Nishikori became the first Asian male to contest a Grand Slam final after defeating three Top 10 players – Milos Raonic, Wawrinka and Djokovic – in consecutive matches before falling to Marin Cilic in the title match.

 

  • In Grand Slam play last year Nishikori reached the semifinals at the US Open (l. Wawrinka), the quarterfinals here and the round of 16 at both Roland Garros (l. Richard Gasquet) and Wimbledon, where he retired with a rib injury while trailing Cilic 61 5-1.

 

  • Nishikori’s best result in 2016 was winning his 4th straight title at Memphis (d. Taylor Fritz), joining Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic as the only active players to have won 4 consecutive titles at a single Tour-level event. He finished runner-up at 4 further tournaments at Miami-1000 (l. Djokovic), Barcelona (l. Nadal), Toronto-1000 (l. Djokovic) and Basel (l. Cilic). He also won singles bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis Event after defeating Rafael Nadal in the 3rd place play-off.

 

  • Nishikori warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the final at Brisbane, where he fell to Grigor Dimitrov.

 

  • Nishikori is the highest-ranked Japanese man in ATP World Tour Rankings history (since 1973). He had the nickname ‘Project 45’ as a major goal was to get him to No. 45 in the rankings, which would be one spot better than the highest by any Japanese man (Shuzo Matsuoka).

 

  • Nishikori plays here seeded No. 5 – his joint-highest seeding at the Australian Open. He was also seeded No. 5 here in 2015.

 

  • Nishikori is coached by Dante Bottini and Michael Chang. Chang finished as runner-up at the 1996 Australian Open, losing in the final to Boris Becker.

 

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

 

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

 

 

  1. 7 MARIN CILIC (CRO) v DANIEL EVANS (GBR)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

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

 

CILIC                                          v                                         EVANS

 

28                                          Age                                          26

7                             ATP Ranking (16 Jun)                            51

16                                         Titles                                          0

84-34                      Career Grand Slam Record                        7-7

20-8                         Australian Open Record                          1-1

392-211                              Career Record                                26-35

251-123                        Career Record – Hard                           18-23

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   5-1

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              5-1

25-12                         Career Five-Set Record                           1-4

5                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

144-128                      Career Tiebreak Record                         17-19

0-1                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Evans’ best Grand Slam result is reaching the 3rd round on 3 occasions – as a qualifier at the US Open in 2013 (l. Tommy Robredo) and as a direct acceptance in 2016 (l. Stan Wawrinka), and as a direct acceptance at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Roger Federer).

 

  • Last year here on his Australian Open debut as a qualifier, Evans fell to Feliciano Lopez in the 1st round. He lost in the 2nd round of qualifying on both of his 2 other attempts to qualify here in 2010 and 2014. This is his 2nd Australian Open and his 8th Grand Slam appearance overall.

 

  • Evans’ best Tour-level results in 2016 were reaching the 3rd round at Nottingham (l. Pablo Cuevas), Wimbledon, Washington (l. Jack Sock) and the US Open – the only occasions in which he recorded back-to-back Tour-level match-wins in 2016. He didn’t attempt to qualify at 2016 Roland Garros to focus on the grass season.

 

  • Also in 2016, Evans won Challenger titles at Drummondville (CAN) (d. Edward Corrie), Taipei (TPE) (d. Konstantin Kravchuk) and Aptos (USA) (d. Cameron Norrie) and finished runner-up at Challengers at Dallas (USA) (l. Kyle Edmund) and Busan (KOR) (l. Kravchuk).

 

  • Evans warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching his first Tour-level final at Sydney (l. Gilles Muller). He also represented Great Britain at the Hopman Cup, losing to Federer 63 64, Richard Gasquet 64 62 and Alexander Zverev 64 63 in his 3 singles matches in Perth.

 

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

 

  • Evans has a 1-4 win-loss record in 5-set matches – losing his only 5-set match at a Grand Slam to Wawrinka at the 2016 US Open despite holding a match point in the 4th set. His other 4 five-set matches have come in Davis Cup, with his only 5-set match-win coming against Martin Klizan Great Britain’s victory over Slovakia in the Europe/Africa Group I first round in 2012.

 

  • Evans has played Davis Cup since 2009 and was part of the British team that reached the World Group semifinals last year. Great Britain will play Canada in the 2017 World Group first round in Ottawa on 3-5 February.

 

  • Evans is coached by Mark Hilton.

 

 

10 TOMAS BERDYCH (CZE) v RYAN HARRISON

Head-to-head: Berdych leads 1-0

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

 

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

 

                         BERDYCH                                      v                                      HARRISON

 

31                                          Age                                          24

10                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            82

13                                         Titles                                          0

131-52                     Career Grand Slam Record                       9-20

39-13                        Australian Open Record                          2-6

585-304                              Career Record                               76-107

365-193                        Career Record – Hard                           58-76

4-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-1

4-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-1

20-8                          Career Five-Set Record                           0-3

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

201-165                      Career Tiebreak Record                         40-49

2-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

  • BERDYCH is bidding to reach the 3rd round at the Australian Open for the 7th straight year. He advanced to the 2nd round after Luca Vanni retired with a groin strain after Berdych had won the first set 61.

 

  • Last year here Berdych reached the quarterfinals for the 6th consecutive year, falling to Roger Federer 76(4) 62 64.

 

  • Berdych’s best Australian Open performance is reaching the semifinals in 2014 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2015 (l. Andy Murray). By reaching the semifinals here in 2014, he became the 2nd Czech man in the Open Era after Ivan Lendl to complete a set of Grand Slam semifinal appearances.

 

  • Berdych’s best result at a major is finishing runner-up at 2010 Wimbledon. He defeated Federer in the quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the semifinals before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.

 

  • Berdych warmed up for the Australian Open by reaching the semfinals at Doha (l. Murray).

 

  • Berdych’s best result in 2016 was winning his 13th career title at Shenzhen (d. Richard Gasquet). 9 of his 13 titles have come on a hard court. He also reached the semifinals at Doha (l. Djokovic), Marseille (l. Nick Kyrgios), Wimbledon (l. Murray) and St. Petersburg (l. Alexander Zverev) and 7 further quarterfinals.

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016 Berdych reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the quarterfinals at both the Australian Open and Roland Garros (l. Djokovic). He missed the US Open with appendicitis, ending his run of 52 consecutive Grand Slam appearances.

 

  • This is Berdych’s 14th consecutive Australian Open appearance and his 53rd Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Berdych dropped to No. 11 in the rankings on 31 October 2016 – the first time he had been out of the Top 10 since June 2010. He has been seeded at every Grand Slam event he has played since the 2005 US Open and plays here – ranked and seeded – at No. 10.

 

  • Berdych started working with Goran Ivanisevic in August 2016. He is also coached by Luka Kutanjac.
  • HARRISON is bidding to reach the 3rd round here for the first time and equal his best Grand Slam result. This is his 7th Australian Open appearance and his 21st Grand Slam overall.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Harrison is coached by Peter Lucassen.

 

 

 

 

 14 NICK KYRGIOS (AUS) v ANDREAS SEPPI (ITA)

Head-to-head: Kyrgios leads 2-0

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

                          KYRGIOS                                       v                                         SEPPI

 

21                                          Age                                          32

13                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            89

3                                          Titles                                          3

26-14                      Career Grand Slam Record                      46-47

8-3                          Australian Open Record                        13-11

76-45                                Career Record                              310-332

44-25                          Career Record – Hard                         141-176

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

4-1                           Career Five-Set Record                         20-15

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         4

52-38                        Career Tiebreak Record                       114-147

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-1

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Seppi’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching the round of 16 on 4 occasions – at 2012 Roland Garros (l. Novak Djokovic), the Australian Open in 2013 (l. Jeremy Chardy) and 2015 (l. today’s opponent), and at 2013 Wimbledon (l. Juan Martin del Potro).

 

  • Last year here Seppi reached the 3rd round, falling to Djokovic 61 75 76(6). This is his 12th Australian Open and his 48th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Seppi reached the 2nd round at both Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic) and the US Open (l. Rafael Nadal) but lost in the 1st round at Roland Garros (l. Ernests Gulbis).

 

  • Seppi’s best result in 2016 was reaching the semifinals at Nottingham (l. Steve Johnson). He reached 4 further quarterfinals – at Sofia (l. Martin Klizan), Nice (l. Dominic Thiem), Halle (l. Florian Mayer) and Antwerp.

 

  • Seppi has won 3 career singles titles – at 2011 Eastbourne (d. Janko Tipsarevic), 2012 Belgrade (d. Benoit Paire) and 2012 Moscow (d. Thomaz Bellucci).

 

  • Seppi reached a career-high ranking of No. 18 after reaching the last 16 of the 2013 Australian Open. He dropped to No. 100 in the rankings on 17 October 2016 – his lowest ranking since July 2007 – but plays here at No. 89.

 

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

 

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

 

  • Seppi has been coached by Massimo Sartori since 1995.

 

 17 ROGER FEDERER (SUI) v (Q) NOAH RUBIN (USA)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

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

 

FEDERER                                       v                                         RUBIN

 

35                                          Age                                          20

17                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            200

88                                         Titles                                          0

308-51                     Career Grand Slam Record                        2-2

81-13                        Australian Open Record                          2-1

1081-245                             Career Record                                  3-7

665-135                        Career Record – Hard                            3-6

1-0                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-0                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

24-20                         Career Five-Set Record                           1-0

10                        Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

395-215                      Career Tiebreak Record                          5-4

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            0-1

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • Federer is looking to become the 3rd man in history to win 5 Australian Open singles titles after Novak Djokovic and Roy Emerson, who have both won 6 titles here [see Preview page 2].

 

  • At 35 years 174 days, Federer is looking to become the 2nd oldest man in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam titles after turning 35. Rosewall won the 1970 US Open (aged 35 years 315 days) and the Australian Open in 1971 (aged 36 years 73 days) and 1972 (aged 37 years 62 days).

 

  • Last year here Federer reached his 12th Australian Open semifinal, taking sole occupancy of 2nd place on the Open Era list for the most semifinals reached at any one Grand Slam event after Jimmy Connors (who reached 14 semifinals at the US Open). Aged 34 years 176 days, he was the oldest man to reach the semifinals here since 35-year-old Colin Dibley in 1979.

 

  • Federer played just 7 Tour-level events in 2016 after injuring his knee the day after his Australian Open semifinal. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus on 2 February and withdrew from tournaments at Rotterdam and Dubai. He returned with a quarterfinal finish at Monte Carlo-1000 (l. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga) but, despite playing 4 further tournaments, announced on 26 July that he would miss the rest of the season, including the Olympic Games in Rio, due to the knee injury.

 

  • Federer dropped out of the world’s Top 10 for the first time in 734 weeks (over 14 years) in November 2016 and did not qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time since 2001. He plays here ranked No. 17 – his lowest position since May 2001.

 

  • Federer made his comeback from injury at the 2017 Hopman Cup, defeating Daniel Evans 63 64 and Richard Gasquet 61 64, but losing to Alexander Zverev 76(1) 67(4) 76(4).

 

  • In Grand Slam play in 2016, Federer reached the semifinals at both the Australian Open and Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic), where he saved 3 match points to recover from 0-2 down and defeat Marin Cilic in the quarterfinals. It was his 10th career-comeback from 0-2 down, equalling Aaron Krickstein and Boris Becker’s record for the most career comebacks from 0-2 down. He withdrew from Roland Garros, ending his record streak of 65 Grand Slam appearances, with a back injury.

 

  • Elsewhere in 2016, Federer finished runner-up at Brisbane (l. Raonic). He also reached back-to-back semifinals at Stuttgart (l. Dominic Thiem) and Halle (l. Zverev) and the 3rd round at Rome-1000 (l. Thiem). He failed to win a title during a season for the first time since winning his first at 2001 Milan.

 

  • This is Federer’s 69th major appearance. He is in 2nd place on the list for the most Grand Slams played in the Open Era behind Fabrice Santoro (70) [see Preview page 5].

 

  • Federer has won 4 titles here – in 2004 (d. Marat Safin 76(3) 64 62), 2006 (d. Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62), 2007 (d. Fernando Gonzalez 76(2) 64 64) and 2010 (d. Andy Murray 63 64 76(11)).

 

  • Federer is a 17-time Grand Slam singles champion. His last title at a major came at 2012 Wimbledon
    (d. Murray). He is one of 6 Grand Slam champions who started in this year’s men’s singles main draw.

 

  • Federer is coached by 2006 Australian Open quarterfinalist Ivan Ljubicic, and Severin Luthi.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 27 BERNARD TOMIC (AUS) v VICTOR ESTRELLA BURGOS (DOM)

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

                            TOMIC                                         v                              ESTRELLA BURGOS

 

24                                          Age                                          36

27                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            103

3                                          Titles                                          2

38-27                      Career Grand Slam Record                       5-11

16-8                         Australian Open Record                          1-2

160-140                              Career Record                                78-64

115-87                         Career Record – Hard                           33-36

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   1-0

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              1-0

8-3                           Career Five-Set Record                           6-4

2                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         2

92-78                        Career Tiebreak Record                         34-24

0-0                            2017 Tiebreak Record                            1-0

 

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

 

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

 

  • Tomic’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals as a qualifier at 2011 Wimbledon (l. Novak Djokovic). He was the youngest man since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

 

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

 

  • Elsewhere at the Grand Slams in 2016, Tomic reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon (l. Lucas Pouille) and the 2nd round at Roland Garros (l. Borna Coric), but fell in the 1st round at the US Open (l. Damir Dzumhur). He played just 5 matches after the US Open for the rest of the year after struggling with an ongoing abdominal strain.

 

  • Also in 2016, Tomic finished runner-up at Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and the semifinals at Brisbane and Queen’s, losing to Milos Raonic on both occasions. He reached 5 further quarterfinals at Sydney, Quito, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Cincinnati-1000 and Shenzhen.

 

  • Tomic reached a career-high ranking of No. 17 after reaching the semifinals at 2016 Brisbane. He plays here at No. 27.

 

  • Tomic has won 3 career titles, all of which have come on a hard court – at 2013 Sydney (d. Kevin Anderson) and at Bogota in 2014 (d. Ivo Karlovic) and 2015 (d. Adrian Mannarino).

 

  • Tomic warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane where he fell to David Ferrer in the 1st round. He also played at the Sydney Fast4 Exhibition Event, where he defeated Dominic Thiem in the shortened format, and at the Kooyong Exhibition event, falling to David Goffin 62 64 and Gilles Simon 63 in a single set match.

 

  • Tomic is one of 11 Australian men to start this year’s Australian Open main draw – the most since 2003 when there were also 11. He is looking to become the first native champion to win the Australian Open men’s singles title since Mark Edmondson in 1976.

 

  • Tomic is one of the 6 former Australian Open junior singles champions to reach the 2nd round here from the 7 who started in the men’s main draw. He won the 2008 Australian Open boys’ title aged 15 years 3 months, defeating Yang Tsung-Hua in the final. He was the youngest winner of the title since Ken Rosewall in 1950. He also won the 2009 US Open boys’ singles title (d. Chase Buchanan). Stefan Edberg is the only player to have won both the junior and senior title here in the Open Era. He captured the boys’ singles title in 1983, before winning the men’s singles in 1985 and 1987.

 

  • Tomic has played Davis Cup for Australia since 2010. Australia will play Czech Republic in the World Group first round at Kooyong on 3-5 February.

 

  • Tomic is coached by his father John.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 31 SAM QUERREY (USA) v (WC) ALEX DE MINAUR (AUS)

Head-to-head: first meeting

 

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

 

                         QUERREY                                      v                                     DE MINAUR

 

29                                          Age                                          17

32                            ATP Ranking (16 Jan)                            301

8                                          Titles                                          0

40-39                      Career Grand Slam Record                        1-0

10-10                        Australian Open Record                          1-0

286-236                              Career Record                                  2-2

197-151                        Career Record – Hard                            2-2

1-1                                   2017 Record                                   2-2

1-1                              2017 Record – Hard                              2-2

4-10                          Career Five-Set Record                           1-0

1                         Comebacks from 0-2 Down                         0

142-143                      Career Tiebreak Record                          2-0

  • 2017 Tiebreak Record                                    2-0

 

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

 

  • Querrey’s best Australian Open result is reaching the 3rd round here on 4 occasions – on his debut here as a wild card in 2007 (l. Tommy Robredo), and as a direct acceptance in 2008 (l. Novak Djokovic), 2013 (l. Stan Wawrinka) and 2014 (l. Fabio Fognini). This is his 11th Australian Open and his 40th Grand Slam overall.

 

  • Querrey’s best Grand Slam result is reaching the quarterfinals at 2016 Wimbledon (l. Milos Raonic). He defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round to become the first American to beat a world No. 1 at Wimbledon since Kevin Curren defeated John McEnroe in the quarterfinals in 1985. He was the first American to beat a World No. 1 at a Grand Slam since Andre Agassi defeated Lleyton Hewitt in the semifinals at the 2002 US Open.

 

  • Querrey fell in the 1st round at the other 3 Grand Slams in 2016. He retired with cramping at 2-sets all against Dusan Lajovic in the 1st round here, before falling to Bjorn Fratangelo at Roland Garros and Janko Tipsarevic at the US Open.

 

  • Querrey warmed up for the Australian Open at Brisbane, where he fell to Diego Schwartzman in the 1st round. He finished as runner-up in the doubles event with Gilles Muller, falling to Thanasi Kokkinakis/Jordan Thompson.

 

  • Querrey won his 8th career-singles title at 2016 Delray Beach (d. Rajeev Ram). 6 of his 8 career titles have come on a hard court. Also in 2016, he reached the semifinals at Memphis (l. Kei Nishikori), Acapulco (l. Dominic Thiem) and ’s-Hertogenbosch (l. Nicolas Mahut).

 

  • Querrey is a former Top 20 player, having recorded a career-high ranking of No. 17 in January 2011. He plays here at No. 32.

 

  • Querrey has entered the men’s doubles event here with Donald Young. They will play defending champions Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares in the 1st round.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

  • De Minaur is coached by Adolfo Gutierrez.

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

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Steve Johnson Wins Nottingham for First ATP World Tour Title


 

(June 25, 2016) American World No. 38 Steve Johnson has won his first ATP World Tour singles title after beating Uruguayan second seed Pablo Cuevas 7-6(5), 7-5 at the Aegon Open Nottingham, where Brit Dom Inglot and Daniel Nestor also claimed their maiden doubles crown as a pairing on Saturday.

No. 6 seed Johnson, who also reached the quarter-finals at the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club last week, dropped only one set throughout the tournament and ousted top seed Kevin Anderson en route to victory at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.

The 26-year-old becomes the second consecutive Aegon Open champion to win a maiden ATP World Tour title in Nottingham after Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin did so in 2015.

“This is definitely the highlight of my career so far, no doubt,” Johnson said. “It feels really good. I’ve had some ups and downs so far this year, some rough patches, and to find my groove here on the grass has been fantastic.

“I had a good week at Queen’s last week and felt pretty comfortable on the grass before coming here. I won the Challenger here in 2013 that got me into Wimbledon for the first time, so Nottingham has a soft spot in my heart.”

Johnson, who lost out to Spaniard David Ferrer after being a set up in his only other ATP World Tour final in Vienna last year, added: “Any time you can be the last guy standing at a tournament, it gives you lots of confidence. I’ve probably tried 80 times and this is the first time I’ve come out a winner, so it’s definitely a great feeling. I’m super happy and pretty tired emotionally – just from stopping and starting in the last couple of days.

“I’ll sleep well tonight and then on Monday comes Wimbledon, so there’s no time to relax. There’s another big tournament right around the corner.”

Johnson goes on to face Tunisian World No. 60 Malek Jaziri in first round of The Championships, Wimbledon next week.

Earlier in the day, Davis Cup-winning squad member Inglot and Canadian veteran Nestor lifted their first trophy together in only their second event as a pair, after they took down top seeds Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig 7-5, 7-6(4) in a rain-interrupted final.

The second seeds dropped a match point at 7-5 5-4 moments before play was suspended due to rain, but managed to close it out in dominant fashion to record Nestor’s 89th career ATP World Tour title and Inglot’s second on home soil.

Inglot, 30, said: “It doesn’t get much tougher than playing these guys, so to get a win, against that calibre of team before Wimbledon, was a big confidence-booster.

“We did well to hang in there, especially after the match point and coming out after the rain delay. We came out very fast and that was big for us.”

Nestor, who is the only doubles player to have won over 1000 matches on the Tour, added: “It’s important to get matches in before a big tournament like next week and that was our goal before coming here. It’s great that we were able to do that, and we feel a lot better about our game heading into Wimbledon now.

“We have a tough draw, but we beat some very good teams here and there’s no reason why we can’t do the same there. This was a great tune-up before Wimbledon.”

AEGON OPEN NOTTINGHAM – NOTTINGHAM, GBR
€704,805
19-25 JUNE 2016

RESULTS – JUNE 25, 2016
Men’s Singles – Final
[6] S. Johnson (USA) d [2] P. Cuevas (URU) 76(5) 75

Men’s Doubles – Final
[2] D. Inglot (GBR) / D. Nestor (CAN) d [1] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) 75 76(4)

From the LTA

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Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori Advance to Fourth Round of Indian Wells

Nadal at net

(March 15, 2016) INDIAN WELLS, California – No. 4 seed Rafael Nadal had an easy first set but had to save 5 set points it the second set tiebreak to defeat Spanish countryman and doubles partner Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 7-6(9) in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open.

Verdasco only won 13 points in the first set, making 14 unforced errors. He made a total of 38 errors in the match.

Verdasco took a 6-3 lead in the second set tiebreak. Nadal saved three set points and saved another two. Nadal won the match on his second match point.

“I lost matches similar to this one in Australia, in Bueno Aires, in Rio de Janeiro, so it’s important winning sets like this for me like the other day in the third, today in the second,” Nadal said in press.

“You know, I have to go through these things, no? I played a great first set, very good quality of tennis, I think. No mistakes. That’s important for me. Serving very well; returning very well.

“Then having some mistakes in the beginning of the second, especially with the serve, then distract my concentration, distract my confidence, and I was suffering at the end of the second set, too, no?

“I know arriving to a tiebreak against a player like Verdasco normally he serve better than me. You know, normally in these kind of match I have more to lose than him, so he’s able to play very aggressive. He has an amazing shots, no? He arrives to the tiebreak and you know you’re in trouble.

“Feel lucky to win the tiebreak, and at the same time I think at the end of the tiebreak I played well with not many mistakes and going for the points.

“So is an important victory for me. Two matches wins here, tough ones. That’s something that stays in my mind and helps.”

The three-time champion of Indian Wells will face -off against Alexander Zverev for a place in the quarterfinals.

Zverev dismissed 16th seed Gilles Simon easily 6-2, 6-2 on Stadium 3 to reach the fourth round. The up-and-coming 18-year-old German is ranked No. 58th.

“Well, I thought I played really well today,” said the German. “I think I was really aggressive. Hit a lot of winners.

“You know, beating someone like Gilles 6-2, 6-2 is something that gives me a lot of confidence for myself. He’s such a great player and such a tough competitor, as well.

“You know, I was really ready for a long, long fight and a long three-set match and that was that quick.

“You know, I’m really happy that I got through so quickly.”

“I think against someone like Gilles you really have to be aggressive even more than against other players, and that’s, I think, what I did and worked out really well,” Zverev added.

“I had a great day today. You know, someone like Gilles, if you don’t hit him off the court he’s gonna be tough to beat. He’s gonna be running and fighting all day.

“So, you know, I knew what I had to do, and I think I did it pretty well.”

Zverev talked about playing Nadal:
“Rafa, he’s one of the greatest in the sport ever winning 14 slams. He’s probably one of greatest fighters ever, so it would be a big honor to play against someone like him.”

Nadal discussed his match-up against the young German: “He’s a clear possible future No. 1. He’s an amazing player. He has all the shots. Very good physical performance. Tall, good serve, first and second, great shots from the baseline, forehand and backhand.

“He has everything to become big star and he’s playing well. He won already matches against Dimitrov, against Simon today. So I don’t know the other matches he won. Against who? Dodig? So three very good matches, no?

“Going to be a very tough match tomorrow for me, and I have to be ready to fight, to suffer, and to try to play aggressive. That’s what I gonna try, no? Try to put a high rhythm and let’s see. I know going to be a very tough match. I happy the way I played today the first set, so if I can keep going the same way tomorrow, I hope to have my chances.”

Kei Nishikori

Kei Nishikori

No. 5 seed Kei Nishkori battled past 30th seed Steve Johnson 7-6(6), 7-6(5) to reach the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday.

Steve Johnson led 6-2 in the first set tiebreak, before something got into his eye and whatever it was he could not get it out. He proceeded to lose the next six points to lose the set.

 

Nishikori will take on John Isner next. Isner defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 7-6(3). Nishikori talked about the match-up against the hard-serving American: “The key will be on the return. My return, it’s going to be the key, for sure. I have to return well.

“I couldn’t really step in today, so I tried to play more aggressive tomorrow, and, you know, try to be patient. He’s a big guy and I think I have more advantage on my groundstrokes, so try to use more forehands and play more aggressive.”

During his match Isner hit 15 aces and did not lose any first serve points.

Isner on playng Nishikori: “Prior to last year I had never played him, which was pretty odd, because we have been in the same tournaments for a very long time.

“Now it seems like that’s starting to correct itself a little bit. This is the third time I’m going to play him in about a year.

“In the Miami match I played an excellent match, one of the best matches I have played all year, hands down. Maybe “the” best match I played all year. Against him in Miami was a very good day for me.

“In the Washington final I thought both of us played pretty well. He was obviously better than me. He won it in three sets. We have been pretty evenly matched in our first two contests. We have a rubber match coming up tomorrow. It will be fun.

“This is the third time, all on hard courts, in America, so it’s a good situation for me. But at the same time, going up against someone as at Kei’s level and stature, I will need to play very well to win. He he’s a fantastic player and he’s been doing it for a very long time.”

Feliciano Lopez, the 18th seed defeated Spanish countryman and 14th seed Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(5), 6-7(10), 6-4 in three hours and 15 minutes to reach the fourth round.

 

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