May 3, 2016

Madrid: Federer Withdraws with Back Injury, Upsets Continue

227 Federer in press 1-001

(May 2, 2016) Roger Federer withdrew from the Madrid Masters on Monday with a back injury. The No. 3 player in the world said that he hurt himself in practice over the weekend.

“I arrived and I was OK, and then I practiced on Saturday and hurt my back a little bit in practice and then stopped early,” Federer said. “I just didn’t feel like I could practice.”

The 34-year-old Swiss was off the tour for almost two months after the Australian Open after knee surgery and he withdrew from the Miami Open due to a stomach virus.

“I rather play it safe and rest up now,” said the three-time Madrid winner to media. “I’m very disappointed to say the least.”

Federer is hoping to play the Rome Masters before playing the second major of the year, Roland Garros, which begins on May 22.

“It’s been a tough year,” Federer said. “I hope it gets better from here.”

Also missing from Madrid is Serena Williams, who withdrew from the tournament last week due to illness.

The upsets continued on the women’s side of the draw. Sunday saw the top two women’s seeds – Agnieszka Radwanska and Angelique Kerber lose. Monday, Madrid favorite, the No. 3 seed from Spain Garbine Muguruza was knocked out of the tournament along with 14th seed Ana Ivanovic, 12th seed Elina Svitolina, 13th seed Karolina Pliskova and 16th seed Sloane Stephens.

On the men’s side, French qualifier Lucas Pouille saved four match points to upset 12th seed David Goffin 7-6 (4), 2-6, 7-6 (7).



RESULTS – MAY 02, 2016
Women’s Singles – Second Round
I. Begu (ROU) d [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) 57 76(4) 63
[4] V. Azarenka (BLR) d A. Cornet (FRA) 63 62
[5] P. Kvitova (CZE) d [Q] E. Vesnina (RUS) 63 63
D. Gavrilova (AUS) d [12] E. Svitolina (UKR) 62 76(4)
C. Mchale (USA) d [13] Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 76(3) 64
[Q] L. Chirico (USA) d [14] A. Ivanovic (SRB) 57 61 63
[Q] P. Tig (ROU) d [16] S. Stephens (USA) 62 63
M. Keys (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 63 63

Women’s Doubles – First Round
[6] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d K. Bondarenko (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 64 76(1)
A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) d [WC] P. Badosa Gibert (ESP) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 46 63 10-7
M. Gasparyan (RUS) / K. Siniakova (CZE) d [WC] K. Peschke (CZE) / B. Strycova (CZE) 57 62 10-6
V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) d J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE) 64 62
L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / S. Errani (ITA) d S. Hsieh (TPE) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO) 64 63
A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d [WC] S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) / S. Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 60 75
[WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d M. Irigoyen (ARG) / C. Liang (CHN) 62 64

Men’s Singles – First Round
[9] D. Ferrer (ESP) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 36 61 62
[10] R. Gasquet (FRA) d [Q] R. Carballes Baena (ESP) 61 76(5)
[11] M. Raonic (CAN) d T. Bellucci (BRA) 76(4) 61
[Q] L. Pouille (FRA) d [12] D. Goffin (BEL) 76(4) 26 76(7) – saved 4 M.P.
[16] G. Simon (FRA) d M. Baghdatis (CYP) 63 36 64
F. Lopez (ESP) d L. Mayer (ARG) 76(5) 46 64
A. Kuznetsov (RUS) d V. Troicki (SRB) 64 64
S. Querrey (USA) d [Q] P. Herbert (FRA) 67(5) 76(5) 64
J. Sousa (POR) d N. Mahut (FRA) 64 64
[Q] D. Istomin (UZB) d T. Gabashvili (RUS) 61 64
[Q] R. Stepanek (CZE) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 61 67(4) 64

Men’s Doubles – First Round
[WC] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) d K. Anderson (RSA) / J. Chardy (FRA) 64 64

MANOLO SANTANA start 12:00 noon
WTA – [6] S. Halep (ROU) vs K. Knapp (ITA)
WTA – [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs S. Lisicki (GER)

Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs A. Kuznetsov (RUS)

Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [Q] R. Stepanek (CZE) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 9:30 pm
WTA – [WC] S. Cirstea (ROU) vs D. Kovinic (MNE)

ARANTXA SANCHEZ start 12:00 noon
ATP – [Q] S. Giraldo (COL) vs [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
ATP – [14] D. Thiem (AUT) vs [PR] J. del Potro (ARG)

Not Before 4:00 pm
WTA – D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs C. Garcia (FRA)
ATP – [11] M. Raonic (CAN) vs A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
ATP – [10] R. Gasquet (FRA) vs [WC] F. Verdasco (ESP)

ESTADIO 3 start 12:00 noon
ATP – K. Anderson (RSA) vs [13] G. Monfils (FRA)
WTA – S. Stosur (AUS) vs [11] L. Safarova (CZE)
ATP – [WC] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) vs G. Dimitrov (BUL)
ATP – [WC] N. Almagro (ESP) vs B. Coric (CRO)

Not Before 8:00 pm
WTA – [Q] L. Siegemund (GER) vs [Q] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO)

PISTA 4 start 12:00 noon
WTA – E. Makarova (RUS) vs [10] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) vs B. Tomic (AUS)
ATP – A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs J. Chardy (FRA)
ATP – P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) vs S. Johnson (USA) / S. Querrey (USA)
ATP – TBA – T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / R. Stepanek (CZE)

PISTA 5 start 12:00 noon
ATP – G. Pella (ARG) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS)
ATP – P. Cuevas (URU) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER)
WTA – A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs C. Giorgi (ITA)

Not Before 4:00 pm
WTA – after suitable rest – V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) vs [7] G. Muguruza (ESP) / C. Suárez Navarro (ESP)

PISTA 6 start 12:00 noon
ATP – J. Sock (USA) vs B. Paire (FRA)
ATP – [Q] D. Kudla (USA) vs I. Karlovic (CRO)
ATP – R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)

Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [WC] M. Bhupathi (IND) / F. Martin (FRA) vs G. Pella (ARG) / G. Simon (FRA)
ATP – T. Bellucci (BRA) / L. Mayer (ARG) vs J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)

PISTA 7 start 12:00 noon
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs C. Chuang (TPE) / D. Jurak (CRO)
WTA – A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) vs [6] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE)

Not Before 3:00 pm
WTA – TBA after suitable rest – [8] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA)

Not Before 4:00 pm
WTA – TBA after suitable rest – [WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs [2] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE)


Wimbledon Spring Press Conference – Prize Money Up by Five Percent


Press information from The Championships, Wimbledon:(April 26, 2016) London, UK: The All England Club, Wimbledon, has today underlined its continuing commitment to the future of tennis with the announcement of increased investment in the players, integrity, the Master Plan and the enhanced grass court season.

Competitors at The Championships 2016 will receive £28.1m in total prize money, a 5% increase of £1.35m.  The singles champions will each receive £2.0m, a rise of 6.4% from £1.88m in 2015.  The staging of the first Wheelchair singles events at Wimbledon also introduces significant prize money increases for Wheelchair tennis players.

Wimbledon’s existing commitment to integrity in tennis and at The Championships will be further reinforced with investment in a number of additional measures, including stricter accreditation procedures, additional data provision, monitoring and analysis, increased education and support for players and officials, and increased anti-doping measures.

No.1 Court continues to be the current focus of the Wimbledon Master Plan. The project, which includes a new retractable roof, an extra 900 seats, a new public plaza in the place of Court 19 and new hospitality facilities, will be part-funded by the proceeds of the 2017-2021 No.1 Court debenture issue.

Following the successful addition of an extra week to the grass court season in 2015, the grass court season will be further enhanced in 2016 with the introduction of a WTA tournament in Mallorca.  2017 will see the re-introduction of a combined event at Eastbourne, a new combined event in Nottingham and more than double the amount of prize money, funded by the AELTC, for ATP Challenger and ITF Women’s Pro Circuit grass court events.

Philip Brook, Chairman of the AELTC, said: “Wimbledon is strongly committed to supporting the future of tennis through investment in players, in integrity, in our facilities and in the grass court season.”


For Competitors

Wheelchair Singles at Wimbledon 

Gentlemen’s Wheelchair Singles and Ladies’ Wheelchair Singles events will be held at Wimbledon for the first time. The eight-draw singles will start on 7 July, concluding with the Ladies’ Wheelchair Singles final on 9 July and the Gentlemen’s Wheelchair Singles final on 10 July.

Prize Money – click here for full details

Prize money will be a total of £28.1m, an increase of £1.35m (5%) on £26.75m in 2015. The Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Singles Champions will each receive £2.0m, a 6.4% increase from £1.88m in 2015.

In the last five years the total prize money has increased from £14.6m in 2011 to £28.1m in 2016, with the singles champions’ prize money increasing to £2.0m from £1.1m.

Doubles continues to play an important role at The Championships and there is an average 3.1% increase in the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Doubles.  Total Wheelchair singles and doubles prize money will be £200,000, a significant increase on 2015.

Players’ services

The players’ website has been further enhanced to include personalised access to match videos and statistics, racket stringing and catering details. Wifi will be available in all courtesy cars.

30th Anniversary of the Last 8 Club

2016 marks the marks the 30th anniversary of the Last 8 Club, a concept founded by the All England Club. Membership celebrates the achievement of players who have reached the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Singles quarter-finals, the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Doubles semi-finals and the Mixed Doubles final.

Chairman’s Special Guests

The Chairman’s Special Guests will be Manolo Santana (50 years since winning in 1966), John McEnroe (35 years since winning in 1981), and Michael Stich (25 years since winning in 1991).



The safety and security of all visitors to The Championships is of paramount importance. Throughout the year the AELTC has been working closely with the Metropolitan Police to ensure that The Championships will be as secure as possible and that security measures are comprehensive and proportionate with the threat level in the UK.   This will include extensive searches of the person, bags and vehicles on entry to the Grounds and Show Courts and the public are requested to help with entry procedures by checking the latest information on before travelling.


The AELTC works closely with the ATP, WTA, ITF and Grand Slams as one of seven partners in the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU).  In January 2016, the partners announced an Independent Review and have committed to implementing and funding all the recommendations of the review.  Pending publication of the findings, Wimbledon has invested in additional integrity measures for The Championships:

  • Accreditation procedures intensified: Increased communication to certify that all accredited individuals are fully informed that any form of gambling (defined as betting, assisting betting or the use/supply of information for betting on Championships’ tennis matches whether such activities are inside or outside the Grounds) on Wimbledon matches continues to be strictly prohibited under the terms and conditions of accreditation to The Championships.
  • Additional data security: Video images and two sources of data to be captured on all courts for all main events, including at Qualifying, to increase the ability of the TIU and betting operators to prevent potential opportunities for corruption caused by time delays and for any discrepancies to be reviewed.
  • Increased data monitoring: Working with IBM, the TIU and the betting industry to monitor and analyse match data, betting data and odds data in the event of a discrepancy or a betting alert, while noting that a betting alert on its own is not proof or even evidence of match-fixing. If analysis does suggest corrupt activity, the TIU will open an investigation. Where appropriate, every effort will be made to communicate the occurrence of and reasons behind any alerts to the media. There were no betting alerts at The Championships 2015.
  • Increased education and support: Verifying that all officials and players have undergone the Tennis Integrity Protection Programme (TIPP) programme, the TIU’s interactive online Q&A system designed to familiarise players with tennis’s anti-corruption rules and the tactics typically employed by would-be corruptors. Players, officials and key stakeholders also to be made aware of additional resources for reporting of any suspicious activity.
  • Enhanced anti-doping provision: The AELTC is one of the partners in the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme (TADP), which is administered and enforced by the ITF. Anti-doping testing is carried out independently of the tournament organisers in accordance with the provisions of the WADA Code and the 2016 TADP. In addition to the TADP In-Competition testing, the AELTC will be implementing additional anti-doping measures for The Championships 2016, the details of which are required to remain confidential.

Richard Lewis, Chief Executive of the AELTC, said: “Our increased investment in promoting integrity in light of the recent focus on these areas underlines our determination for Wimbledon to play its part in safeguarding the integrity of tennis and securing the public’s faith in our sport.”

Grounds / Courts

In line with one of the objectives of the Master Plan to increase the overall number of unreserved seats around the Grounds, additional seats have been re-allocated so that three-quarters of No.3 Court is now available to Grounds’ ticket holders. The Grounds capacity remains at 39,000 people with the daily maximum depending on the number of courts in play and the weather conditions.

Press Centre

Following a successful trial period, all 360 writing desks in the Press Centre have been fitted with interactive touch screens, incorporating the Wimbledon Information System to deliver scores, video and statistics to journalists at their desks. The Press Centre has also been fitted with new chairs.

Commercial & Media

Announced last September, the AELTC and the BBC have agreed a three-year extension to the current UK broadcast contract for The Championships, giving the BBC the rights up to 2020 (inclusive).  Other recent new agreements include BeIN Sport to broadcast The Championships in the Middle East, LeTV as the digital broadcaster and regional distributor in China, and Discovery / Eurosport in Russia.

Official Suppliers

Häagen-Dazs rejoins the AELTC’s Official Suppliers as the Official Ice Cream of The Championships.  Ralph Lauren, Official Outfitter to The Championships, will be unveiling a new uniform for Officials and Ball Boys and Girls on 5 May.


The AELTC is proud to release its first owned collection of apparel and accessories collection. Designed, sourced and merchandised in-house, the collection is available now in the Wimbledon Shops.


Wimbledon continues to expand its award-winning digital footprint with the introduction of a new app for Apple TV, taking Wimbledon platforms into the home, and a completely new app for mobile and tablet on iOS and Android. The new app offers a bespoke experience for the visitor onsite, while also continuing to provide an unparalleled experience for those around the world. Further details will be released in June.

Wimbledon and the Community

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

A new exhibition, ‘Reinventing the Racket’, explores developments in tennis racket design from the 1870s onwards, including the Museum Collection’s largest racket (2.7m long) and smallest (about 10cm long) and a wide variety of tennis racket themed objects. The Museum is also proud to host the latest in the AELTC’s exploration of Virtual Reality with a new experience that allows the visitor to immerse themselves in Wimbledon’s unique traditions.

The Museum has acquired Michael Cole’s tennis photographic collection, featuring over half a million colour and black and white images from the Grand Slams from 1945-2015, and adding to Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum’s reputation as the world’s leading tennis historical archive.

Wimbledon Foundation, the WJTI and Road to Wimbledon

The Wimbledon Foundation, which committed £625,000 to local community projects in 2015, was proud to launch the ‘Get Set Get Active Fund’ in March 2016, the third of its grant-making funds for the local community.  More information, including the Foundation’s 2015 annual review, is available at

The Foundation, the AELTC and The Championships are also pleased to be opening six new courts (3 indoor, 3 outdoor) at Raynes Park for use by the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative and Ball Boy and Ball Girl training.

The Road to Wimbledon, the AELTC’s junior tournament for 14&U, will be visiting China for the first time, joining the events run in India for the past three years. Both Indian and Chinese players will have the opportunity to qualify to join the UK finalists at the National Finals at the AELTC in August.

Championships’ Sculpture

William Pye, the internationally renowned sculptor, has been commissioned to create a contemporary work of art to represent The Championships. The bronze water sculpture, entitled ‘Alchemilla’, will be unveiled by HRH The Duke of Kent, the Club’s President, on the opening day of The Championships.


No.1 Court and Wimbledon Master Plan

Detailed design work for No.1 Court has been completed and various preparatory works have been undertaken to facilitate the construction that will start in earnest in July 2016 with the removal of the existing fixed roof. There will be no roof in 2017. The project, scheduled for completion in 2019, includes a new retractable roof, an extra 900 seats, a new public plaza in the place of Court 19 and new hospitality facilities. Sir Robert McAlpine has been appointed as the main contractor.

No.1 Court Debenture Issue, 2017-2021

The prospectus for the No.1 Court Debenture issue 2017-2021 was published on 22 April.  Up to 1,000 debentures are being offered at a price of £31,000 (inc VAT) per debenture.  Applications close on 27 May 2016 and the issue is expected to raise £25m net of expenses, all of which will be invested in the improvements to the Grounds and facilities under the Wimbledon Master Plan.

Enhanced grass court season

An artist's impression of the redeveloped No.1 Court
An artist’s impression of the redeveloped No.1 Court

The AELTC was delighted with the first year of an enhanced grass court season in 2015, which provided players with more opportunities to practise and compete on grass ahead of The Championships. The grass court season will be further augmented in 2016 with the introduction of a WTA tournament in Mallorca, and in 2017 with the re-introduction of a combined event at Eastbourne, a new combined event in Nottingham and more than double the amount of prize money, funded by the AELTC, for ATP Challenger and ITF Women’s Pro Circuit grass court events.


Rafael Nadal Sues Former French Health and Sport Minister Roselyne Bachelot for Doping Accusations


(April 25, 2016) Rafael Nadal‘s lawyers filed a lawsuit on Monday in Paris against former French Health and Sport minister  Roselyne Bachelot due to her “offensive remarks” on French television.

Bachelot said on TV show Le Grand 8 that Nadal’s seven-month absence due to injury in 2012 was “probably due to a positive doping test.”

Via a press release (posted below), Nadal said:

“Through this case, I intend not only to defend my integrity and my image as an
athlete but also the values I have defended all my career. I also wish to avoid any
public figure from making insulting or false allegations against an athlete using the
media, without any evidence or foundation and to go unpunished.

“Should the tribunal consider there has been a wrong-doing and the sentence
recognises the right to damages, any compensation will be paid back in full to an
NGO or foundation in France.

“On the other hand, I ask for total respect regarding the legal procedure just started
and would like to express my complete trust in the French justice system who will be
judging the legal case.”




Rafael Nadal Press Release


USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge Standings


USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge Standings

(as of April 25)

(April 25, 2016) From the USTA: Bjorn Fratangelo took a commanding lead in the USTA Pro Circuit Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge Standings at the end of Week 2 by winning the $50,000 St. Joseph’s/Candler Savannah Challenger in Savannah, Ga., putting him in a strong position to earn a main-draw wild card into the 2016 French Open. Fratangelo claimed 80 points from Savannah and 35 points by reaching the semifinals of the $100,000 Joey Gratton Sarasota Open in Sarasota, Fla., two weeks ago, totaling 115 points.

The men’s Roland Garros Wild Card Challenge concludes this week with the $50,000 USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger in Tallahassee, Fla. Jared Donaldson, who is in second place after reaching the final in Savannah, is the only player who can overtake Fratangelo and must win the title in Tallahassee to earn the wild card (a title in Tallahassee is worth 80 points). 

The women’s wild card challenge kicked off last week with the $50,000 Hardee’s Pro Classic in Dothan, Ala. Taylor Townsend reached the final in Dothan, earning 48 points and taking the early lead. Jessica Pegula, who reached the quarterfinals, is in second place. The second week of the women’s wild card challenge will take place at the $50,000 Boyd Tinsley Clay Court Classic in Charlottesville, Va., this week.

Tallahassee and Charlottesville will be streamed live on Action can also be followed on the USTA Pro Circuit app by searching “procircuit” in the app store.

USTA Player Development will award a French Open main-draw wild card to one American man and one American woman who earn the most ATP World Tour and WTA Tour ranking points in a series of USTA Pro Circuit clay-court events this spring.

Ranking points from two out of the three men’s and women’s events will be used and combined to calculate the point total and determine the French Open wild card recipient. If a player competes in more than two events, only his or her two best tournaments will be counted in calculating the point total. In the event of a tie, the player with the best ATP or WTA singles ranking in the published rankings of Monday, May 2 (men), and Monday, May 9 (women), will be awarded the wild card. Only players who have not earned direct acceptance into Roland Garros are eligible for the wild card.

The standings, as of April 25, are as follows:

The USTA first used the wild card challenge format for its 2012 French Open wild cards, won by Melanie Oudin and Brian Baker. Oudin and Baker each advanced to the second round at that year’s French Open and subsequently broke into the Top 100. In 2013, Alex Kuznetsov and Shelby Rogers earned the wild cards, with Rogers winning her first-ever Grand Slam singles match at the French Open. In 2014, young American Taylor Townsend and veteran Robby Ginepri received the wild cards, with Townsend becoming a top storyline by reaching the Roland Garros third round. Last year, young Americans Frances Tiafoe and Louisa Chirico secured the wild cards.


2016 Grand Slam Tickets: Wimbledon Most Expensive, U.S Open Cheapest Tournament To Attend

(April 25, 2016) How much are you willing to pay to attend an upcoming Grand Slam tournament? While Novak Djokovic impressed at Australian Open back in January, fans continue to make their traveling arrangements across the globe to take in all the action at the remaining three Majors through the end of September. For those making the trip to London in June and July, however, Wimbledon tickets on the secondary market will be the most expensive among all three tournaments.


According to international reseller Ticketbis, Wimbledon 2016 tickets start from a whopping $1,489.70 each during the preliminary rounds between June 27 and 30. If planning on watching the Men’s Final on July 10 the get-in price will nearly quadruple – the cheapest Wimbledon Men’s Final tickets are now listed from $6,832.85 each.


The French Open won’t be nearly as expensive to attend, but fans will still be lightening the wallet to be on hand. Tickets during the early rounds start from $143.62. Men’s and Women’s Final tickets vary considerably in price, with the Men’s Final listed from $572.58 and tickets to the Women’s Final starting from $241.60. Hotels in Paris won’t be hard to come by, however. Those headed to the City of Light to take in the 2016 French Open can find hotels starting from $193 per night.


As is the case each year, U.S. Open tickets will be the most affordable of the four Grand Slam tournaments. Tickets during the preliminary rounds can be found for less than $100 on Ticketbis while Men’s and Women’s Final tickets start from $248 and $157, respectively.


Fernando Verdasco Wins Bucharest Title

Verdasco squat at net

(April 25, 2016) Fernando Verdasco won his first ATP World Tour title since Houston in April 2014 beating first-time finalist Lucas Pouille 6-3, 6-2 to claim the Nastase Tiriac Trophy in Bucharest on Monday. The final was postponed due to rain.

“I’m very happy because I won this trophy. It is a long time since I was in this position, to win a tournament or to play in a final,” said the Spaniard.

“It’s not easy to wait a day to play. It wasn’t stressful, but hard. When it rains you have to be ready to play at every moment, especially if it’s a final, not first round. I wanted to play, no matter what. We did play, even if the last game it was complicated when it started raining again. I’m glad that all ended there.”

“It was not easy to play my first final in these conditions,” said the Frenchman. “We had to wait for a long time. We didn’t know when we would play. However, it was the same conditions for both players and Fernando just played better than me today. I had some break points in the first set, it was close and very intense from the beginning. Then I started the second set poorly and Fernando played some really good tennis. He didn’t give me many points. Congratulations to him. As far as I am concerned, despite the loss, it was a positive week and I hope to keep on improving in the coming weeks.”
For Verdasco, this was his seventh career ATP title.


Rafael Nadal Wins 9th Barcelona Crown to Equal Guillermo Vilas’ Clay Court Titles Record at 49

(April 24, 2016) Rafael Nadal beat two-time defending champion Kei Nishikori 6-4, 7-5 to win the Barcelona Open for the ninth time on Sunday. The Spaniard has now equaled Guillermo Vilas record of 49 career clay court crowns.

It’s two straight weeks of titles for the 14-time major champion, who claimed his 69th career tournament victory.

Nadal now has won nine titles at three different tournaments – Barcelona, Monte-Carlo and Roland Garros.

“I was playing against the No. 6 player in the world, and if you don’t play at your best you aren’t going to win,” Nadal said after the match.

“I served well and that allowed me to play better. In the second set I missed several chances, and at the end it was very close, but I stayed mentally strong.”

“It was a very close match, Nadal said. “There were a lot of chances for both of us but I think I have been solid.
“When you play against players with this very, very high level, the match is often decided by a few moments. So I feel happy that I handled all these important moments well mentally.
“I have been working so hard to enjoy moments like this. The fact that I’m playing at home is always even more special. I’m very happy and I feel lucky to enjoy this again.”

Kei Nishikori

“It’s a great start to the clay court season,” Nishikori said. Even though I lost today I gained some confidence.
“He’s playing another good level of tennis. But also I gave away too many opportunities. And if I could get a couple more points on those important points, maybe the game changes a little bit.
He also gives me a lot of pressure. Every point, he gets every ball, so it’s not easy to win points against him.”


Angelique Kerber defended her title in Stuttgart, beating German countrywoman, qualifier Laura Siegemund 6-4, 6-0. The Australian Open champion battled back from 0-3 in the first set to win 12 out of the next 13 games. For Kerber this was her ninth career title.


It was a career week for the 71st ranked Siegemund, who will see her ranking move to 42 in the world as of Monday. The 28-year-old upset two Top Ten players to reach the final – No. 2 Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 6 Simona Halep.

Unseeded Cagla Buyukakcay, ranked 118 in the world had a career week in her hometown as she won the TEP BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup over No.5 seed Danka Kovinic, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.


Jon Glover and Lori Riffice Join USTA Player Development as National Coaches, Player ID and Development

From the USTA:

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 20, 2016 – The USTA today announced that Jon Glover and Lori Riffice have joined USTA Player Development as National Coaches, Player ID and Development, to help identify and develop junior boys and girls, respectively. Both coaches will be based out of the USTA National Campus in Orlando and will report to Director of Player ID and Development Kent Kinnear.

“Jon and Lori are both exceptional coaches with deep ties to the American Tennis Family, and we’re very fortunate to be adding both of them to our Player ID and Development department,” said USTA Player Development General Manager Martin Blackman. “It is critical that we give developing juniors, their personal coaches and parents from all over the country support from proven National Coaches who have the trust and respect of our great private sector coaches throughout the country. Jon and Lori have the expertise and character necessary to work collaboratively with the private sector in our collective Team USA mission to develop future world-class American players.”

Glover has more than 15 years of coaching experience and joins USTA Player Development from Legacy Youth Tennis & Education in Philadelphia, where he was the Director of Player Development since September 2009. He was a top junior player and went on to play four years at the University of Florida, where he was the team captain his junior and senior years and left the Gators with the fifth most wins in program history.

Riffice, a former top player at UC-Santa Barbara, has been an instructor in the private sector for the past 30 years, coaching at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville, Calif., Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club in Santa Barbara, Calif., and at the Jose Caballeros Tennis Academy and Boca Raton Resort in Boca Raton, Fla. Riffice’s son


USTA Names Eight Top Junior Boys to Team USA National Junior Team


From the USTA: WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 20, 2016 – The USTA today announced that eight top junior boys qualified for the 2016 Team USA National Junior Team, a training program designed to give a collection of America’s best young players, born in either 2000 or 2001, opportunities to train together during the summer and travel to play against top junior competition from around the world. The girls’ team will be selected in May.

Players qualified for the team through a playoff, held this past weekend at the USTA Training Center in Boca Raton, Fla. Players were invited for the playoff based on tournament results, USTA national or ITF world ranking.  

2016 Team USA National Junior Team – Boys

Christian Alshon (Boca Raton, Fla.; Coach: Eleazor Magallon)

Andrew Fenty (Washington, D.C.; Coach: Asaf Yamin)

Michael Heller (Weston, Fla.; Coach: Arthur Heller)

Jaycer Lyeons (San Antonio, Texas; Coach: Joe Lyeons)

Govind Nanda (Cerritos, Calif.; Coach: Vahe Assadourian)

Adam Neff (Bradenton, Fla.; Brandon Wagner)

Axel Nefve (Hinsdale, Ill.; Jack Sharpe)

Sangeet Sridhar (Glendale, Ariz.; Lou Belken)

(Full results from the playoff are listed below)

USTA Player Development will provide the National Junior Team with training opportunities and coaching and travel assistance to select ITF junior tournaments throughout the summer, beginning with the Delray Beach ITF junior event on April 28.

Alshon, the No. 2-rated player in the USTA Boys’ 16s national standings, won the Boys’ 16s singles title at the USTA Winter National Championships in December and recently reached the Boys’ 16s singles quarterfinals at the prestigious Easter Bowl junior tournament. Fenty, the son of former Washington, D.C., mayor Adrian Fenty, is the No. 12-ranked sophomore in the country by Tennis Recruiting Network, while Heller is its No. 5-ranked freshman nationally. Lyeons, also a Boys’ 16s quarterfinalist at the 2016 Easter Bowl, is rated the No. 1 freshman in America by Tennis Recruiting Network.

Nanda has risen more than 600 spots in the ITF world junior rankings for all players ages 18 and under in 2016, to No. 212, after winning an ITF singles title in Guatemala and reaching two additional ITF singles finals. Neff, who has been profiled by the Wall Street Journal, was a Boys’ 16s singles quarterfinalist at the Easter Bowl and finalist at the USTA International Spring Championships this year. Nefve, meanwhile, defeated Neff for the USTA International Spring Championships Boys’ 16s singles title. Sridhar reached the Boys’ 16s semifinals at the prestigious Eddie Herr junior tournament in December.

2016 TEAM USA National Junior Team – Boys

Day 1 Results:

Keenan Mayo d. Drew Baird, 6-4, 6-3

Michael Heller d. Jaycer Lyeons, 6-1, 2-6, 6-1

Sangeet Sridhar d. Nathan Han, 6-2, 6-1

Adam Neff d. Trey Hilderbrand, 6-1, 6-2

Andrew Fenty d. Robert Hammond, 6-3, 6-1

Christian Alshon d. Brian Shi, 7-6(5), 6-3

Govind Nanda d. William Grant, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4

Axel Nefve d. Tomas Kopczynski, 6-4, 6-1

Day 2 Results:

Michael Heller d. Drew Baird, 7-5, 7-6(4)

Christian Alshon d. Robert Hammond, 6-1, 6-0

Govind Nanda d. Tomas Kopczynski, 6-4, 5-7, 6-3

Sangeet Sridhar d. Adam Neff, 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-6(1)

Jaycer Lyeons d. Keenan Mayo, 6-4, 7-6(5)

Trey Hilderbrand d. Nathan Han, 7-5, 6-2

Andrew Fenty d. Brian Shi, 6-2, 6-1

Axel Nefve d. William Grant, 6-1, 6-2

Sangeet Sridhar d. Trey Hilderbrand, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3

Adam Neff d. Nathan Han, 6-4, 6-3

Michael Heller d. Keenan Mayo, 7-6(4), 6-2

Christian Alshon d. Andrew Fenty, 6-1, 6-2

Brian Shi d. James Ignatowich (alternate), 6-3, 6-2

Govind Nanda d. Axel Nefve, 6-3, 7-5

Tomas Kopczynski d. William Grant, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4)

Jaycer Lyeons d. Drew Baird, 6-2, 6-2

Day 3 Results:

Adam Neff d. Keenan Mayo, 6-4, 6-4

Andrew Fenty d. Trey Hilderbrand, 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-2

Axel Nefve d. Brian Shi, 6-3, 6-1

Jaycer Lyeons d. Tomas Kopczynski, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1

William Grant d. Nathan Han, 6-3, 6-4

James Ignatowich d. Drew Baird, 6-4, 1-6, ret.

Michael Heller d. Christian Alshon, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2

Sangeet Sridhar d. Govind Nanda, 1-6, 6-2, 7-5


Kvitova, Stephens and Keys Commit to Play Connecticut Open

(April 19, 2016) NEW HAVEN, Conn., – Two-time Defending Champion Petra Kvitova and Americans Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys have committed to play the Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies, a WTA event that is part of the Emirates Airline US Open Series to be held August 19-27, 2016 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale, it was announced today by Tournament Director Anne Worcester.
Kvitova captured her second consecutive and third overall Connecticut Open title last year, and looks to join Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki as a four-time winner in New Haven later this summer. The Czech was impressive during her 2015 title campaign, defeating four top-20 opponents en route to hoisting the trophy. Kvitova has reached the finals of the tournament the past four years, and captured her first Connecticut Open title in 2012. One of the most consistent talents in the sport, the World No. 7 and two-time Wimbledon Champion has finished the season ranked inside the top eight in each of the last five years and boasts a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world.
Stephens captured her first career WTA title last summer at Washington D.C. and has capitalized on that momentum by getting off to a blazing start in 2016, winning titles at Auckland, Acapulco, and Charleston, tying her with Victoria Azarenka for the most wins of any WTA player this season. She will be making her fourth appearance at the Connecticut Open, where her best result is reaching the quarterfinals in 2013.
Keys followed up her exceptional 2015 campaign, where she broke into the Top 20 (finishing No.18), was a runner-up at Charleston and reached the semifinal at the Australian Open, with a strong start to 2016. She defeated Grand Slam winner Ana Ivanovic en route to a Round of 16 showing at the Australian Open, bounced US Open finalist Roberta Vinci at Miami during her quarterfinal run and earned a Fed Cup victory against Daria Gavrilova this past weekend. Keys, who took Petra Kvitova to three sets in last year’s Connecticut Open, will make her second appearance at New Haven.
“We’re thrilled to welcome back our Defending Champion Petra Kvitova, along with young American talents Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens,” said Worcester. “Petra’s quest to join Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki as a four-time winner in New Haven, Sloane’s three championship runs already this year, and Madison’s stellar play, including an impressive Fed Cup victory against Australia, gives the 2016 Connecticut Open field three incredible stars and plenty for fans to look forward to in New Haven.”
In addition, four of the best male American tennis players of all time, Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, James Blake and Mardy Fish will compete in a PowerShares event – the circuit for champion tennis players over the age of 30 – at the 2016 Connecticut Open. The Connecticut Open Men’s Legends Event, which began two years ago, has become an official part of the PowerShares Series for 2016. This year’s event will feature an all-new format consisting of a total of three matches. On Thursday, August 25, following the women’s quarterfinal, McEnroe will play Blake, and on Friday, August 26, following the WTA semifinal, Agassi will battle Fish, with the winners of each matchup competing in a final later that night. The men’s matches will be one set each.