May 3, 2016

Almagro, Kohlschreiber and Schwartzman Win ATP Titles

Diego Schwartzman

Diego Schwartzman

(May 1, 2016) Unseeded Diego Schwartzman came back to win his first career ATP title on Sunday when he upset second seed and former top ten player Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-0 to win the Istanbul Open. Schwartzman, from Argentina rallied from 2-5 down in the second set before marching on to the victory.

It was a career week for Schwartzman, beating top seed Bernard Tomic in the second round and saving a match point in the final eight.
“It was an amazing match for me,” said the winner. “I played well and fought all match. What happened to Grigor with the cramps also happened to me in Australia this year. With my doubles final and title in singles, it’s amazing.

“I’ve practiced really hard to improve my tennis. I played all the points with 100 per cent effort and I need to. All the matches are tough, against Tomic, Dzumhur and Bagnis. I played really well.”

 “I started cramping at 5-2 in the second set, said the Bulgarian runner-up. “It was very unfortunate that I couldn’t close out the match. I have to give credit to Diego.

“I have two big events coming up and hope that I can face one of the top guys there. There will be some altitude in Madrid and I won’t have much time to get ready, but I like it there.”
AlmagroIMG_3445_AlmagroNicolas Almagro came back to beat Spanish countryman Pablo Carreno Busta 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-3 to win the Estoril Open on Sunday. This was Almagro’s 13th career title. All of his titles have come on clay.

This is Almagro’s first tour-level title since Nice 2012.

 

Kohlscreiber in press

Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber claimed his third Munich crown beating Dominic Thiem of Austria 7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (4). The German also won titles in 2007 and 2012.

“Unbelievable. Great story the whole week,” said the champion. “Great performance. Huge final… I’m very happy and pleased with my performance.
“I think it was another great final in Munich.”

“It was a very close final, attractive for the crowd, for sure,” Thiem said. It was very painful for me but Philipp was the better player today, and he deserves to win.
“Almost every final is close because both players never give up. They want to win the title. I’ve won the last five finals… now I’ve lost one. It’s no tragedy, especially against Philipp.”

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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.

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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.

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Barcelona, Bucharest, Istanbul and Stuttgart Results and Schedules

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Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell
Barcelona, Spain

RESULTS – MONDAY, 18 APRIL 2016

Singles – First Round
[WC] A. Montanes (ESP) d R. Carballes Baena (ESP) 63 63
[Q] R. Stepanek (CZE) d S. Giraldo (COL) 64 75
I. Cervantes (ESP) d [Q] F. Skugor (CRO) 63 64
T. Gabashvili (RUS) d N. Almagro (ESP) 16 76(3) 62 – saved 2 M.P.
A. Zverev (GER) d [Q] J. Struff (GER) 64 63
M. Jaziri (TUN) d H. Chung (KOR) 63 64
[Q] K. Khachanov (RUS) d A. Bedene (GBR) 36 63 76(2) – saved 1 M.P.
E. Donskoy (RUS) d F. Bagnis (ARG) 75 76(5)
V. Estrella Burgos (DOM) d M. Kukushkin (KAZ) 36 62 62

Doubles – First Round
[2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d B. Paire (FRA) / V. Troicki (SRB) 62 61
L. Kubot (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 63 75

Draws

SCHEDULE – TUESDAY, 19 APRIL 2016

PISTA CENTRAL start 11:00 am
P. Carreno Busta (ESP) vs D. Istomin (UZB)

Not Before 1:30 pm
M. Granollers (ESP) vs D. Munoz de la Nava (ESP)
[5] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs [Q] K. Khachanov (RUS)
A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [WC] J. Munar (ESP)

PISTA 1 start 11:00 am
[Q] M. Fucsovics (HUN) vs E. Gulbis (LAT)
E. Donskoy (RUS) vs [11] A. Dolgopolov (UKR)
F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)
[6] [WC] B. Paire (FRA) vs T. Gabashvili (RUS)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[1] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) vs [WC] P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP)

PISTA 2 start 11:00 am
R. Ram (USA) vs M. Youzhny (RUS)
[Q] P. Cachin (ARG) vs I. Dodig (CRO)
T. de Bakker (NED) vs [WC] E. Ymer (SWE)
[13] J. Chardy (FRA) vs V. Estrella Burgos (DOM)

PISTA 3 start 1:00 pm
[Q] O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / R. Stepanek (CZE)
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs R. Lindstedt (SWE) / A. Peya (AUT)

 

BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy
Bucharest, Romania

RESULTS – MONDAY, 18 APRIL 2016

Singles – First Round
[6] G. Pella (ARG) d [WC] A. Ungur (ROU) 75 62
K. Edmund (GBR) d L. Rosol (CZE) 76(4) 76(5)
D. Dzumhur (BIH) d [WC] M. Copil (ROU) 61 36 62
T. Daniel (JPN) d [Q] M. Linzer (AUT) 62 60

Doubles – First Round
[2] E. Butorac (USA) / S. Lipsky (USA) d [WC] V. Cornea (ROU) / V. Hanescu (ROU) 62 63
[4] J. Erlich (ISR) / C. Fleming (GBR) d R. Haase (NED) / A. Qureshi (PAK) 67(3) 76(7) 10-6
F. Delbonis (ARG) / P. Lorenzi (ITA) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) / J. Knowle (AUT) 63 63

Draws

SCHEDULE – TUESDAY, 19 APRIL 2016

CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
D. Lajovic (SRB) vs L. Pouille (FRA)
[5] M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs M. Cecchinato (ITA)
[Q] A. Setkic (BIH) vs F. Verdasco (ESP)
C. Guccione (AUS) / A. Sa (BRA) vs [WC] M. Copil (ROU) / A. Ungur (ROU)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
[7] P. Lorenzi (ITA) vs D. Schwartzman (ARG)
[Q] A. Arnaboldi (ITA) vs R. Haase (NED)
[Q] R. Albot (MDA) vs [8] P. Mathieu (FRA)
G. Pella (ARG) / L. Rosol (CZE) vs M. Draganja (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO)

COURT 4 start 12:00 noon
A. Mannarino (FRA) vs D. Gimeno-Traver (ESP)
I. Marchenko (UKR) vs D. Sela (ISR)
[3] G. Duran (ARG) / M. Gonzalez (ARG) vs W. Koolhof (NED) / M. Middelkoop (NED)

 

TEB BNP PARIBAS ISTANBUL CUP – ISTANBUL, TURKEY
$250,000
17-24 APRIL, 2016

RESULTS – APRIL 18, 2016
Women’s
Singles – First Round

[5] D. Kovinic (MNE) d K. Nara (JPN) 63 63
[6] N. Hibino (JPN) d [WC] D. Yastremska (UKR) 26 64 63

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

[2] O. Kalashnikova (GEO) / J. Larsson (SWE) d [WC] A. Aksu (TUR) / M. Sezer (TUR) 62 64
C. Mitu (ROU) / I. Soylu (TUR) d L. Kuncikova (CZE) / K. Stuchla (CZE) 63 36 11-9
L. Pous-Tio (ESP) / R. Voracova (CZE) d E. Gorgodze (GEO) / A. Vasylyeva (UKR) 61 60

Women’s
Qualifying Singles – Second Round

Qualifying – [1] M. Sakkari (GRE) d [11] M. Georges (FRA) 60 62
Qualifying – [4] K. Kucova (SVK) d [8] M. Erakovic (NZL) 64 63
Qualifying – [5] S. Cirstea (ROU) d B. Eraydin (TUR) 75 63
Qualifying – [6] M. Zanevska (UKR) d [7] T. Martincova (CZE) 61 31 Retired – right thigh injury
Qualifying – R. Jani (HUN) d [10] J. Lu (CHN) 75 63
Qualifying – M. Melnikova (RUS) d N. Abduraimova (UZB) 64 61

ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2016
GARANTI KOZA ARENA start 12:30 pm
[1] A. Schmiedlova (SVK) vs [Q] M. Sakkari (GRE)

Not Before 3:00 pm
C. Buyukakcay (TUR) vs [Q] M. Melnikova (RUS)

Not Before 5:30 pm
[WC] A. Aksu (TUR) vs [Q] R. Jani (HUN)

Not Before 8:00 pm
[Q] S. Cirstea (ROU) vs [3] L. Tsurenko (UKR)

COURT 1 start 12:30 pm
T. Pironkova (BUL) vs A. Sasnovich (BLR)
[Q] M. Zanevska (UKR) vs [8] J. Larsson (SWE)
[7] K. Bondarenko (UKR) vs O. Govortsova (BLR)

Not Before 5:00 pm
B. Eraydin (TUR) / P. Monova (RUS) vs [3] X. Knoll (SUI) / D. Kovinic (MNE)

COURT 2 start 12:30 pm
K. Knapp (ITA) vs S. Hsieh (TPE)
A. Krunic (SRB) vs A. Sevastova (LAT)
J. Glushko (ISR) vs [Q] K. Kucova (SVK)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[4] V. Ivakhnenko (RUS) / L. Marozava (BLR) vs N. Dzalamidze (RUS) / V. Kudermetova (RUS)

Draws

 

 

PORSCHE TENNIS GRAND PRIX – STUTTGART, GER
$759,000
18-24 APRIL 2016

RESULTS – APRIL 18, 2016
Women’s Singles – First Round
T. Babos (HUN) d S. Lisicki (GER) 76(4) 63
[WC] A. Friedsam (GER) d J. Konta (GBR) 63 63

Women’s Doubles – First Round
B. Krejcikova (CZE) / K. Siniakova (CZE) d G. Dabrowski (CAN) / M. Martínez Sánchez (ESP) 62 36 10-4

Women’s Qualifying Singles – Third Round
Qualifying – L. Chirico (USA) d [1] C. Giorgi (ITA) 63 63
Qualifying – [3] L. Siegemund (GER) d [7] P. Hercog (SLO) 64 63
Qualifying – [5] C. Witthoeft (GER) d [4] A. Konjuh (CRO) 63 64
Qualifying – O. Dodin (FRA) d [6] Kr. Pliskova (CZE) 63 63

ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
[5] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs [Q] L. Chirico (USA)

Not Before 2:00 pm
[LL] C. Giorgi (ITA) vs A. Beck (GER)
[Q] L. Siegemund (GER) vs A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)

Not Before 6:30 pm
[Q] C. Witthoeft (GER) vs A. Ivanovic (SRB)
[7] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) vs [Q] O. Dodin (FRA)

Not Before 9:00 pm
[PR] A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) vs [4] R. Atawo (USA) / A. Rosolska (POL)

COURT 1 start Not Before 4:00 pm
After suitable rest – [WC] A. Beck (GER) / R. Vinci (ITA) vs [WC] S. Lisicki (GER) / L. Safarova (CZE)
After suitable rest – J. Konta (GBR) / L. Siegemund (GER) vs [2] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA)

Draws

 

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Rafael Nadal Wins Ninth Monte-Carlo Crown

 

Nadal 881

(April 17, 2016) Rafael Nadal won his 28th Masters title and 68th career crown, claiming his ninth Monte-Carlo tournament by beating Gael Monfils 7-5, 5-7, 6-0 on Sunday.  He is now ties with Novak Djokovic for the all-time lead in Masters Series titles. It’s the 14-time major champion’s first title since last July, when he won on the clay in Hamburg.

Nadal stands just one clay court title away from tying tennis hall of famer Guillermo Vilas in total clay court crowns at 49.

 

“It was a very important week for me,” said the Spaniard. I feel much better than I did last year. The victory here confirms that I’ve been better. Monte-Carlo is one of the most important places in my career and it’s so special to win here after three years.

“Winning nine times here is unbelievable, and competing well two weeks in a row is something positive.”

“I knew (Nadal) was confident,” Monfils said. “He’s a great champion and puts more into it at the right moments. You’re just submissive to his power. Suddenly in the third set, he increased his power and I just couldn’t cope.”
“I know I worked hard to have this trophy with me,” Nadal said to media. “I am enjoying this moment. Is emotional moment after some tough moments. But that’s part of the life, is part of the sports in general.

“Very happy today. I hope and I believe that this week, Indian Wells, this week, two tournaments in a row, playing at a very high level, I think that’s so important. That’s what I needed.

“I said the first day when I arrived here in the first press conference that I needed matches in a row, I need weeks in a row competing at the highest level. I already have two weeks in a row competing at the highest level.

“Today winning nine times here is something unbelievable for me. Outside of that, that is something so special. Compete well two weeks in a row is something so positive. Another chance next week in Barcelona, I going to try my best again.”

 

“Have been working hard,” Nadal continued. “I have been working hard since long time ago. Last year have been a tough year in terms — I don’t want to talk anymore, I said enough about the nerves, I was nervous during the matches.

“Is work every day to slow down that, no? Is not going like this, going like this (indicating up and down). It’s not something that stays here and disappears. It’s the work of every day.

“The victories help. Still not 100% perfect, but still is much, much better of everything.

“I don’t have that feeling I had last year on court. Very happy for that. In terms of tennis, I am playing better. It’s obvious.

“I was able to raise the level, increase my level yesterday in the second and in the third, and today again in the third. That’s something I missed a lot the last period of time. Before when the match was coming tough, I was able to increase. This week I was able to do it.

 

 

 

In men’s doubles Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won their third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown in a row winning Monte-Carlo over Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares 4-6, 6-0, 10-6.

“We have been very humble on the court during the last month and a half,” Herbert said. “After losing the first set, we could have been overwhelmed in the second. But we weren’t. We kept fighting. That means in the long-term, we can be consistent day after day.”

“We were playing well and we also had some luck,” Muhat explained. “When you win matches, you’re more confident and you’re able to relax when you play the important points. It can turn a match around, especially in the (match) tie-break.”

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Murray to Face Nadal in Monte-Carlo Semis; Federer Falls to Tsonga

Nadal 881

(April 15, 2016) Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal posted decisive victories and will play each other in the semifinals of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Saturday. Roger Federer returning to the court for the first time since his knee surgery in February fell to Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. Tsonga will play fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils in the other semifinal.

No. 5 Nadal dominated No. 3 Stan Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 while No. 2 Murray destroyed Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0.

“If I play like I did today, I’ll have a chance,” said Murray.

“Rafa, especially on this court, he plays great on clay obviously, but on this one in particular, his record is incredible. I think he’s maybe only lost one or two matches in his life here. So, yeah, it’s a great test for me this early on in the clay season.

“I’ll go into the match with confidence having managed to win against him in Madrid on the clay last year, and having played a really good match today.

“I look forward to it.”

 

“I’ll have to play a great match, but also a smart match as well,” Murray explained. “I need to be intelligent on the court, go in with a very good idea of what I want to do in the points.

“So, yeah, that’s the most important thing, to have a good game plan and be smart on the court. Against Rafa on this surface, he has the ability to get you to sort of play – I don’t know what the word is – but he gets you to go for more than you should because he’s so consistent.

“He hits a lot of height on the ball, a lot of spin. He can make you go for winners from uncomfortable positions. You have to not allow that to happen. You need to try and stay calm, be patient. I’ll try to do that.”

Nadal broke Wawrinka’s serve four times to reach his 11th Monte-Carlo semifinal. The Swiss broke his racquet in the fifth game of the first set to the boos of spectators. Wawrinka said he was disturbed by all of the noise coming from the restaurant above the court.

“You wonder whether people are coming to have lunch or to watch tennis. I don’t believe they saw a lot of the match. I think they also drank a lot of alcohol.” Wawrinka said. “When you don’t play well and you’re not in your match, it can bother you.”

“Anyway, it was not a good day for me today,” Wawrinka said. “I really need to work on two or three things that I want to improve. I have two weeks, or a bit more, before I go to Madrid. I will try to prepare well during that period.”

I believe today it was more of a concentration issue or mentally that I had a problem. I struggled. I rushed at the beginning. This is something you pay for against Rafa.”

“The real thing is every day is a different story,” Nadal said. “Yesterday I played against an opponent that he was playing so good, in my opinion. Is true that my serve probably was a little bit better today than yesterday. But both days I think I played good, no?

“Stan today, I think the last three games of the first set, that’s the only moment that he didn’t play well. Obviously he played with too many mistakes.

“But in the beginning of the match and in the second set was a good match, in my opinion. Both played good points.

“I think he played with more mistakes than me. But is true at same time he is going more for the shots all the time. When you want to play this way, very aggressive, you can have mistakes.

“I think I played good. I defended well. I moved well. When I had the opportunity, I was trying to have the control of the point with my forehand and with my backhand, too.”

Nadal plays Murray for a place in the final. The Spaniard has a 16-6 record against the Scot.

“He played a great match today,” Nadal said. “We’ll see. I need to be ready to play the way I am playing the last two matches. If I am able to do it, I hope to have my chances.

“He always was a good clay court player, no? He played semifinals of French Open twice or three times, I don’t know.”

Federer was two points away from defeating Tsonga at 6-3, 2-6, 5-4 with the Frenchman serving, but could not close.

“Yeah, I mean, I think it had definitely some twists and turns,” said Federer. “I’m not sure how come. Maybe we were both a bit up and down. We had a couple of games here and there that we kind of gave each other on the serve. Kind of hung onto it, me in the first, him in the second.

“Third was close all the way through. Maybe had a small chance the first game maybe. The game I got broken is a tough game to get broken on because I think I had three forehands that I’m in good position, and I end up losing all three points. It’ll a tough break to get.

“You know, it was a good tournament, a good match, exactly what I was hoping for and more, so I’m very happy.”

“It was a good match. It was nice to play an intense match. I’m happy how the body reacted. So many good things this week. It’s all positive for me.

“I know where I’m at now. I hope my knee and my body is going to be okay the next couple of days. If I’m good, I might go practice tomorrow as well just to get the body into maybe a rhythm of playing maybe four days straight at a very intense level. If I feel like I need a break, the team tells me to rest, I’ll do that tomorrow.

“Things are really good right now. Of course, it was unfortunate because I had my chances. But this tournament, really doesn’t matter at all if I missed or not those chances.”

 

“It’s always special to play against him, especially on court, because you have all the crowd against you,” said Tsonga. “Wherever you play, if it’s in France or not, it’s tough to play against him because you have him, the crowd and all the monument around him.

“Yeah, it’s always special to win against Federer.”

“I was expecting a difficult match, and that is exactly what happened. He was very reactive, he was running well. From the start, I thought he was very fast.

“But I was able to turn it around. He dropped his level a little bit and I was able to come back into the match and end up winning. It’s good for me.”

 

As for playing fellow Frenchman and friend Gael Monfils next: “You feel a bit more worried against him. Before, he had his own way. Now, he changed. But it’s still him.

“He’s certainly improved in a number of things, but it’s still him. I don’t really know what to expect. I’ll go on the court doing what I’m used to doing: trying to be aggressive, serving well. Gael is just the way he is. He is him. It’s good.”

“There’s not a real favorite (in the match), “ Tsonga said. “It’s going to be an interesting match. It’s difficult to say who will be the favorite.”

“It’s going to be a big match for several reasons,” Monfils said. “First, Jo has a game that I have trouble with. I was able to beat him once, but he was coming back from an injury.

“Another time I beat him, too. He was injured in Montpellier. I can’t say I really beat him.

He gives me many problems. It’s always the case when I play against very aggressive players. There are different kinds of aggressive players. A real aggressive player is difficult for me.

“Tomorrow the match will be different. I will need to find a solution to push him back and to try to stop him dominating the rallies.

“I’m sure 100% that he will try to be very aggressive. He will not want long rallies. He will want to use his forehand as much as he can, and he will be very aggressive on my second serve.

“So if I have a slight advantage in this match, it’s because I know what he’s going to do. He’s going to play aggressively. I don’t believe I’m wrong.”

“I think it’s going to be explosive.”

 

 

RESULTS – FRIDAY, 15 APRIL 2016

Singles – Quarter-finals
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [10] M. Raonic (CAN) 62 60
[8] J. Tsonga (FRA) d [3] R. Federer (SUI) 36 62 75
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 61 64
[13] G. Monfils (FRA) d [LL] M. Granollers (ESP) 62 64

Doubles – Quarter-finals
[2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 64 64
[3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR) 64 36 12-10
[4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) 62 63
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) 64 64

SCHEDULE – SATURDAY, 16 APRIL 2016

COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
[4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)

Not Before 1:00 pm
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 3:30 pm
[13] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [8] J. Tsonga (FRA)
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs [3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)

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Murray, Nadal and Federer Reach Monte-Carlo Quarterfinals

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

(April 14, 2016) World No. 2 Andy Murray rallied from a set and two breaks down to beat Benoit Paire 2-6, 7-5, 7-5 to reach the quarterfinals of the Monte-Carlo Masters on Thursday. Also advancing were No. 3 Roger Federer, No. 4 Stan Wawrinka, No. 5 Rafael Nadal, No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga,  No. 10 Milos Raonic, No. 13 Gael Monfils, and unseeded Marcel Granollers.

“It was a big win is what it was,” Murray said.  “You know, to win from 6-2, 3-0 down, two breaks, when you’re not playing particularly well, it’s a great effort.

“You know, those matches are important. It would have been easy to lose today and get down on myself. But I kept fighting right the way through to the end.

“Definitely, you know, the second set was sort of ups and downs. I didn’t feel like in the third that was the case so much. I mean, I think I broke him twice, he broke me once.

“But, yeah, it was a good one to get through because I could have easily lost today. Fought well, good effort.”

“I think he played a bad game at 3-0 in the second to give me one of the breaks back,” the Scotman noted as the turning point in the match. “I felt like I was in with a chance then. That was really the point of the match where it turned a little bit for me. I mean, there was still a lot of work to be done at that stage. Obviously he served for the match in the third.”

“I made a bad dropshot and a bad volley that wasn’t too difficult,” Paire said. “I lost the game. It was 3-1. I started wondering. It allowed him to get back into the match. I wasn’t playing the simple tennis I was playing from the start. I was no longer waiting for the right shot to come.

“I think I should have won that match and I’m extremely disappointed.”

“I’m playing good matches. I have good results. I’m close to the top players.

“What happened today, I was a bit stressed when it was at the point of trying to close out the match. I made a mistake. I should have just put the ball back into play, for example. I have many regrets.”

 

Federer had straight forward 6-2, 6-4 victory over Roberto Bautista Agut.

“I felt as good as in the first match, or maybe not as good, because I felt a bit tired,” said the world No. 3. “I can feel it in my body right now. I feel a bit soft, without energy.

“But as the match progressed, I felt better and better. Once I made the break, I was able to relax a little more. Bautista Agut, it was the first time I played him. I wasn’t sure whether he would stay far behind or make dropshots. I saw him do that against Chardy. I was playing in a way he couldn’t make those dropshots, so it was a good match.

“I felt good. In the beginning of the second, I could have made more breaks. So it could have gone my way very early.

“I’m happy with what I did. He’s a good player.”

 

Nadal had to come back from a break in the first set to oust Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-3. The Spaniard overcame 15 of 16 break points against him in the first set.

“The good thing, in my opinion, the best thing is he didn’t play bad the breakpoints,” said Nadal. “It was more that I played well in the breakpoints than he played bad.

“So happy for that because that mean that I was ready to find and take the right decisions in the most important moments. I was able to fight all the moments, no? I never give up in all these tough moments that I had in the first set. So very happy for that.

“I think I played a solid match in general. That’s why I’m in the next round, because the opponent was very hard.”

“I think I played a good match. In terms of level of tennis, was great I think. In terms of fighting spirit and attitude and being ready to accept the mistakes, the good points, the tough moments, was similar way that I played in Indian Wells.

“That was a great continuation against a very tough player. I think he played a great match, too. Was a very good victory for me. Very happy for that.”

Next match for Nadal will be Stan Wawrinka, who beat Nadal in the final of the 2014 Australian Open. “Stan, he’s always very dangerous opponent and he’s a great player,” said the 14-time major champion. “I know when he’s playing well, it’s difficult to stop him because he’s able to hit so hard the ball from every part of the court. He’s able to serve so good, too.

“We’ll see. Will be a tough one. I only can think about myself. I have to continue the same way than today, fighting for every point, playing with my strategy. We’ll see if I am able to play like today or maybe little bit better. Let’s see.”

“I will have to play well if I want to have a chance to keep winning,” Wawrinka said about his next match. “Rafa is always tough to play on clay. He’s a left-hander. It’s always complicated to play against him.”

Novak Djokovic’s conqueror has been conquered. Jiri Vesely, who stunned tennis’ top player in the second round lost to Gael Monfils in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 14 APRIL 2016

Singles – Third Round
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [16] B. Paire (FRA) 26 75 75
[3] R. Federer (SUI) d [14] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 62 64
[4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d [15] G. Simon (FRA) 61 62
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d [12] D. Thiem (AUT) 75 63
[8] J. Tsonga (FRA) d [WC] L. Pouille (FRA) 64 64
[10] M. Raonic (CAN) d [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) 63 46 76(5)
[LL] M. Granollers (ESP) d [11] D. Goffin (BEL) 76(1) 64
[13] G. Monfils (FRA) d J. Vesely (CZE) 61 62

Doubles – Second Round
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d [1] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 62 63
[2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) d D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) 76(4) 62
[3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d [WC] R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP) ret. (Verdasco – calf)
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 64 63
SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 15 APRIL 2016

COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
[10] M. Raonic (CAN) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
[3] R. Federer (SUI) vs [8] J. Tsonga (FRA)
[13] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [LL] M. Granollers (ESP)

COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)
After Suitable Rest – [3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR)
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)

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Novak Djokovic Falls to Jiri Vesely in Monte-Carlo

227 Djokovic puzzled look-001

(April 13, 2016) World No. 1 Novak Djokovic lost his first completed match since November on Wednesday, at the Monte-Carlo Maters falling to No. 55 Jiri Vesely 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 in the second round.

“There is a proof nobody’s unbeatable,” Djokovic said to media. “Happens so many times in my career that I lose a match. It’s not a first time.

“Obviously it’s not easy to lose the match in terms of accepting it, you know, right after exiting the court. But I have to congratulate my opponent. I think he played very solid. He was serving very big. He was playing tactically good and aggressive.

“On the other hand, for me, there were just very few things I could take out from today’s match as a positive. I was playing really, really bad.

“But, you know, nothing taking away from my opponent’s performance. He deserved to win. When he was break up in the third set, he was playing bravely. He was coming in, dropshots, big serves. He was going for it. He deserved to have it.”

“I’m just very, very happy,” Vesely said. “It’s something amazing actually. When I went on court, I had completely different thinking, like I hope to win a game or I really hope to do well. But I really had no idea that I really would be able to beat Novak today.

“So for me it’s just something what I still can’t believe it really happened.”

This was the Czech first win over a Top ten player.

“I hope it will give me a lot of confidence, a lot of self-belief,” said the 22-year-old Vesely. “I think I’ve struggled pretty much the last few months where I really didn’t play good tennis. Obviously last week was the first week of the year where I played a little bit in good form and in good shape.

“I was definitely today in a better form than a couple weeks ago. But, you know, yesterday I was actually 3-6, 3-5 down. It could go bad yesterday and nothing would happen today.

“I’m just amazing happy the way I fought today and the way I finished the match.”

“I think Novak wasn’t at his best level, that’s for sure,” he continued. “He did a lot of mistakes from the beginning on. I think that was something that gave me actually a little bit more confidence and I was more passionate, was a little bit more creating the rallies. I wasn’t in a hurry, I wasn’t in a rush to end up the rally soon.

“From my side, I think I didn’t give him too much rhythm. I was just trying to change the rhythm all the time and not play the same game every single ball because I think otherwise he would get in the rhythm and, you know, start to play better and better.

“I’ve had a lot of dropshots. I was obviously serving very well. I think, yeah, I just got it somehow done. I don’t know how.”

This was Djokovic’s worst loss since June 2010 when he was beaten by No. 74 Xavier Malisse in the Queens Club tournament.

Since last January, the Serb had reached 19 out of 21 tournament finals and had won nine of his last 10 events.

Since January 2015, Djokovic had reached 19 finals in 21 tournaments, winning 15 – and the Serb was 28-1 on the year heading into Monte Carlo, having not dropped a set when winning the Miami Masters two weeks ago.

In terms of ranking, this was Djokovic’s worst since June 2010, when he lost to 74th-ranked Xavier Malisse on grass in the third round at Queens.

 

Earlier in the day, eight-time Monte Carlo champion Rafael Nadal beat Aljaz Bedene of Britain 6-3, 6-3 in the second round. Nadal was asked about his performance: “is obvious that I have been practicing little bit better than what I played today. But at the same time is true that I have been playing good for moments, some mistakes in other moments.

“But it’s fine, no? It’s the first match. It’s important to be through. Especially after what happened in Miami, it’s never easy. The first match again.

“Happy for the victory. I know that I have to improve for tomorrow. But I have confidence because I have been practicing very well these weeks. Let’s see if I am able to play the way that I was practicing. Tomorrow is going to be a tough match against a difficult opponent.”

The Spaniard will take on Dominic Thiem in third round.

“He has a great serve and a great forehand,” Nadal said of his next opponent “I need more victories to be 100 percent confident.”

Other upsets on the day included last year’s finalist, No. 6 Tomas Berdych who lost to No. 99 Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia 6-4, 6-7 (1), 6-3 and No. 9 Richard Gasquet lost to fellow Frenchman,  wild card Lucas Pouille 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

 

 

RESULTS – WEDNESDAY, 13 APRIL 2016

Singles – Second Round
J. Vesely (CZE) d [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) 64 26 64
[4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) 76(2) 75
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d A. Bedene (GBR) 63 63
[Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) d [6] T. Berdych (CZE) 64 67(1) 63
[WC] L. Pouille (FRA) d [9] R. Gasquet (FRA) 46 75 61
[10] M. Raonic (CAN) d P. Cuevas (URU) 75 26 76(5)
[11] D. Goffin (BEL) d [WC] F. Verdasco (ESP) 76(2) 26 76(1) saved 1 m.p.
[12] D. Thiem (AUT) d [Q] T. Daniel (JPN) 46 62 60
[13] G. Monfils (FRA) d P. Lorenzi (ITA) 62 64
[16] B. Paire (FRA) d J. Sousa (POR) 64 63
[LL] M. Granollers (ESP) d A. Zverev (GER) 64 46 63

Doubles – Second Round
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d R. Lindstedt (SWE) / A. Peya (AUT) 75 75
D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR) d [7] E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 26 63 10-5
T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) d [8] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL) 76(3) 63

Doubles – First Round
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 63 62
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) d F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 63 64
SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 14 APRIL 2016

COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
[16] B. Paire (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs [12] D. Thiem (AUT)
[3] R. Federer (SUI) vs [14] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
[WC] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [8] J. Tsonga (FRA)

COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
[Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) vs [10] M. Raonic (CAN)
[15] G. Simon (FRA) vs [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
J. Vesely (CZE) vs [13] G. Monfils (FRA)
[11] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [LL] M. Granollers (ESP)

COURT 2 start 12:00 noon
[1] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) vs H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS)
J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) vs [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA)
[3] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs [WC] R. Nadal (ESP) / F. Verdasco (ESP)

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Monte-Carlo: Roger Federer Gets First Win Since Knee Surgery; Andy Murray Advances

Roger Federer (2)-001

(April 12, 2016) Roger Federer made his return to the court on Tuesday at the Monte-Carlo Masters with a 6-3, 6-4 second round victory over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Federer had been off the tour since reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open due to arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on February 3. He was to have played at the Miami Open, but withdrew from the event prior to his first match due to a stomach virus.

“The knee felt really good, like in practice,” Federer said to media. “Felt like I didn’t have to worry about it. I could just go freely. I think I’m at a point now where, you know, I’m looking more forward in the sense that whenever I can dig out a good point, I did good movement, I just kind of went for the dropshot without having second thoughts. It’s only building on my confidence now, which is great.

“It’s been like that for at least, I’d say, over a week now. Yeah, I was very pleased how I felt, even how I played. I mean, he did kind of go for his shots, but we had longer rallies in the beginning of the first set.

“I think in a way it was a perfect match. It was close in the beginning, then I was able to go on a roll. Points were cut short by virtue of me serving better and returning better, getting second serves, taking advantage of that fact.

“At the end, again, I had to fight for it. I went through different phases in the match. Also emotionally. I was excited and tense in the beginning just because it’s a first round. It’s my first match back. So it was nice to go through all these emotions.

“At the end he’s a guy that knows how to close out, knows how to play points on clay. It was a great win for me. I said beforehand, it was always going to be a winning result today, regardless of winning or losing essentially. I’m just very happy I’m back on the tour again.

“I think I got what I needed. So we’ll see how I feel tomorrow, tonight, the next day. Sometimes after a match, you can feel it for two days. At this point I’m pretty confident I’ll feel fine.”

The 17-time major champion was asked if he was afraid during the process of having surgery and not being 100% on the court, he said: “For me, the toughest moment was the two hours after waking up. I couldn’t feel my knee, my leg. I could hardly move my toes. It was hurting a little. This is when I was a bit afraid about the future. Suddenly I thought that I needed to really go for it if I wanted to be a professional tennis player. I was wondering.

“But then my father came to visit me in the hospital. Mirka was there, too. The first evening things were already better. We were joking again with my doctor. It was good to see everybody there.

“The next day or two days later I had a meeting with the whole team to talk about our plan, our schedule, how we were going to do the rehabilitation process, what tournament I could start playing again. From there, it became a lot more pleasant because I was able to be much more positive mentally. I knew we had a plan.

“Once you have a plan, it’s better. You have to wait until the surgery is over to know how the surgery went. Then it was good talking with the doctor who told me what I could expect for the next 10 days, the next three weeks, et cetera. So there was a slight possibility of me playing Miami.

It’s always good to have a goal. So the goal was Miami. In the end, I was very satisfied to say I was ready to play for that tournament, but unfortunately the virus stopped me from doing that.”

World No. 2 Andy Murray had a few serving hiccups in his win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in his second-round match in Monte-Carlo.

“I’ve definitely been a little bit flat since the Davis Cup really,” said the Scot. “I don’t know exactly why that’s been the case. But in a lot of my matches, it’s been that way, you know, some good stuff mixed in with some pretty bad stuff.

“The norm is bad just now, so I need to kind of improve on that. You know, even when I’m not playing my best, play more solid, make it more difficult for my opponents.

“When I’ve been playing well, I’m actually hitting the ball very clean. But just the consistency has not been there, maybe not as sharp as I could be mentally. Concentration’s not been so good.”

ATP World Tour Masters 1000
Monte-Carlo, Monaco (+2 hours GMT)
10-17 April 2016 Surface: Clay

RESULTS – TUESDAY, 12 APRIL 2016

Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [Q] P. Herbert (FRA) 62 46 63
[3] R. Federer (SUI) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 63 64
[8] J. Tsonga (FRA) d P. Carreno Busta (ESP) 76(1) 76(5)
[14] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d J. Chardy (FRA) 63 57 75
[15] G. Simon (FRA) d G. Dimitrov (BUL) 64 63

Singles – First Round
[11] D. Goffin (BEL) d F. Lopez (ESP) 75 60
J. Vesely (CZE) d T. Gabashvili (RUS) 36 75 75
P. Lorenzi (ITA) d F. Fognini (ITA) 26 60 61
[WC] F. Verdasco (ESP) d F. Delbonis (ARG) 60 63
[Q] T. Daniel (JPN) d A. Mannarino (FRA) 63 64
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) d B. Coric (CRO) 64 64
[Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) d R. Haase (NED) 62 60
P. Cuevas (URU) d [Q] D. Gimeno-Traver (ESP) 76(2) 67(2) 76(4)
J. Sousa (POR) d I. Karlovic (CRO) 63 76(4)

Doubles – Second Round
[4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) d D. Nestor (CAN) / R. Stepanek (CZE) 67(5) 76(9) 14-12

Doubles – First Round
D. Marrero (ESP) / B. Paire (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / D. Thiem (AUT) 76(5) 76(4)

SCHEDULE – WEDNESDAY, 13 APRIL 2016

COURT RAINIER III start 11:00 am
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI)
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) vs A. Bedene (GBR)
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs J. Vesely (CZE)
P. Lorenzi (ITA) vs [13] G. Monfils (FRA)

COURT DES PRINCES start 11:00 am
[6] T. Berdych (CZE) vs [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH)
Not Before 1:00 pm
P. Cuevas (URU) vs [10] M. Raonic (CAN)
[9] R. Gasquet (FRA) vs [WC] L. Pouille (FRA)
A. Zverev (GER) vs [LL] M. Granollers (ESP)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
[16] B. Paire (FRA) vs J. Sousa (POR)
[Q] T. Daniel (JPN) vs [12] D. Thiem (AUT)
[11] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [WC] F. Verdasco (ESP)
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs R. Lindstedt (SWE) / A. Peya (AUT)

COURT 9 start 11:00 am
R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS)
D. Inglot (GBR) / A. Murray (GBR) vs [7] E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)
F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)

COURT 11 start 2:00 pm
[8] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Matkowski (POL) vs T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)

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Sloane Stephens Captures Charleston Crown

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens

(April 10, 2016) Seventh seed Sloane Stephens captured her third tournament title of the year on the WTA tour, defeating qualifier Elena Vesnina 7-6(4), 6-2 to win the Volvo Car Open in Charleston. Before this past week, the 23-year-old American only won one match on Charleston’s green clay during the five times she played in the main draw.

Stephens moved out to a 5-2 lead in the first set, when the 29-year-old Russian won the the next four straight games to serve for the set at 6-5. Stephens broke back, saving a set point in the process, and took the tiebreak from the 2011 Charleston finalist.

“Obviously coming into here I have a lot of anxiety coming into this tournament because I’ve never done well here,” Stephens said. “I just thought, you know, I’m just going to go have fun. I have nothing to lose. I’ve only won one match here ever, and just go out and play and have fun because I mean it’s just another week, and after this I’ll have a nice little break. I’m going to go to Europe.

“I don’t have anything to lose. My life is great. It’s tennis. And this is what I do every week. So I kind of just changed my mindset, and that worked. So I should just do that every week.”

“All the way from the qualies. I can’t believe I’m standing here in the finals,” Vesnina said during the trophy ceremony. “I love Charleston.”

Stephens now adds Charleston to her Acapulco and Auckland titles from earlier in the year. She now has four career titles.

Only Stephens and Victoria Azarenka have won three tittles so far this year on the WTA tour.

VOLVO CAR OPEN – CHARLESTON, USA
$753,000
4 – 10 APRIL, 2016
RESULTS – APRIL 10, 2016
Women’s Singles – Final
[7] S. Stephens (USA) d [Q] E. Vesnina (RUS) 76(4) 62
Women’s Doubles – Final
[3] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d [1] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) 62 75

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