July 24, 2016

Andy Murray Gives Himself a Birthday Present While Serena Williams Wins Fourth Rome Title

Andy Murray fh

(May 15, 2016) Andy Murray gave himself a gift for his 29th birthday – a Rome Masters Series 1000 title. The Scotsman beat No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 for his 12 Masters title on Sunday.

Joining Murray in the winners circle was No. 1 Serena Williams who won the women’s singles title over Madison Keys 7-6(5), 6-3 in the first All-American women’s clay court final since Serena beat her sister Venus in the 2002 French Open final.

This was Williams’ fourth Rome title, first tournament win of 2016 and first championship title since she won the Cincinnati event last August.

Serena gets ready for bh 3112016

“It feels great,” Williams said. “So it’s not like I was playing every week. So that’s kind of how I look at it. But it feels great to win a title, especially on clay.”

Murray’s victory makes him the first British male player since 1931 to win the Italian Open. He has also secured the No. 2 seed at the upcoming French Open, which begins on May 22.

The Scotsman now is 22-5 in 2016, ending the Serb’s 17-match winning streak against Top 10 opponents.
“”It’s mostly great players have won this event, so I’m very proud to have my name on the trophy,” Murray said. “Today against Novak is nice. I know he didn’t play his best today. But there were still some tough moments for me in the second set. I saved the break points well and held strong. And overall it was a great week for me. I didn’t lose a set.”

“I had a long couple of weeks, especially the last couple of days,” Djokovic said. “I knew it’s going to be very hard for me, an uphill ride against Andy today, who was playing throughout the week at a very high level. To compete with him in long exchanges and rallies that we do have in our encounters, they require a lot more energy and better performance from my side which didn’t happen.

“Not taking anything away from Andy’s win. On the contrary, I think he deserved to win and deserved to win the entire tournament, because he was the best player. He was the player that played in the best form throughout the entire tournament.”
Serena Williams spoke to the crowd in Italian during the trophy presentation. This was her 70th career title.

The Bryan Brothers won their fourth Rome title and 36th Masters 1000 level, defeating Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock.

“We’re sharing a room this week,,” said Bob Bryan. [Mike] fell asleep around 2:30, 2:45 a.m., because he started snoring. We drank so much coffee last night that I was wired. It was a 12-hour turnaround. Our bodies don’t turn around quickly anymore.”

“The rain delay definitely helped us,” Mike Bryan said. “Our coach [David Macpherson] was back in the locker room, where we had about 15 minutes, and he said, ‘Fire it up!’ We were kind of flat in the first set and weren’t playing with a lot of energy. We had a late match and Bob went to bed at 4 a.m. in the morning. So we were kind of dazed and confused. We were bouncing around in the second set. We played a good Match tie-break, which can go either way.”

This was the Bryan Brothers 112 tournament victory together as a team.

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Djokovic Survives Test From Nadal to Reach Italian Open Semis; Serena Williams Dominates

Djokovic celebrates win-001

(May 13, 2016) Novak Djokovic came back from a break down in both sets and set points down in the second set to fight off Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6(4) to reach the semifinals of the Italian Open on Friday in Rome. The dramatic match lasted almost two-and-a-half hours. The world No. 1 has now beaten the 14-time major champion seven straight times and has raised his record to 26-23 over the current No. 5. The Serb has now won 15 straight sets against the Spaniard.

Nadal grabbed opening breaks of serve in both sets and had five set points in the second set  serving at 5-4, but Djokovic kept coming back from adversity.

“I held my nerve at the clutch moments,” Djokovic said in an interview after the match. “Even though I had nervy beginnings to both sets, with some good games and good play in the crucial moments, I managed to win. It’s a straight-sets win, but it feels like we played five sets.

“Winning against Nadal is the ultimate challenge on clay courts and one of the toughest challenges we have in sport. I have to be very pleased with the way I handled myself in the big moments today. I won against one of my biggest rivals on his preferred surface. We must not forget he’s in form. He won Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and has played well the past couple of weeks. That gives me confidence for the rest of this tournament.”

Djokovic said that it was special to be on court playing against Nadal.

Nadal said that he was not disappointed and felt that he played well against the best player.

Djokovic will face-off against Kei Nishikori in his semifinal on Saturday. The sixth seed Nishikori beat 13th seed Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-5.

No. 2 seed Andy Murray moved into the final four with a 6-1, 7-5 win over David Goffin. Murray will play French lucky loser Lucas Pouille for s spot in the final on Saturday. Pouille advanced when Juan Monaco withdrew with a left hip injury.

On the women’s side, No. 1 ranked Serena Williams, getting a little revenge from her loss in Miami, when she demolished Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-2, 6-0 in 51 minutes. She’ll play Irina-Camelia Begu next who beat Misaki Doi 6-2, 7-6 (3).

On the bottom half of the draw, Garbine Muguruza beat Timea Bacsinszky 7-5, 6-2 and will play Madison Keys, who defeated Barbora Strycova 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 13, 2016
Women’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) 62 60
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) 75 62
I. Begu (ROU) d M. Doi (JPN) 62 76(3)
M. Keys (USA) d B. Strycova (CZE) 64 46 63

Women’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) d R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) 64 62
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) 76(4) 63
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 64 64
[7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) 62 64

Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [5] R. Nadal (ESP) 75 76(4)
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d [12] D. Goffin (BEL) 61 75
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [13] D. Thiem (AUT) 63 75
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [PR] J. Monaco (ARG) w.o. (hip)

Men’s Doubles – Quarterfinals
[5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) 63 64
[6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) d P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64
[8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) d P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) 64 76(4)
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) 46 75 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [3] G. Muguruza (ESP) vs M. Keys (USA)

Not Before 2:30 pm
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs I. Begu (ROU)

Not Before 8:00 pm
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT) or [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)
ATP – [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
WTA – [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) vs [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS)

Not Before 1:00 pm
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

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Djokovic, Nadal Rally for Wins in Rome; Federer Loses

Novak Djokovic

(May 12, 2016) Novak Djokovic had to rally from a bagel set down to stop No. 37 Thomaz Bellucci 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 while an ailing Roger Federer lost to 15th seed Dominc Thiem 7-6 (2), 6-4 in Rome on Thursday.

For No. 1 Djokovic, it was the first time he was at the losing end of a “bagel” set since the 2012 Cincinnati final when he lost to Federer.

The third seeded Federer withdrew from the Madrid Open last week with a back injury said that wasn’t concerned about losing, but was happy to get to get in two matches on clay at the Italian Open. The French open begins on May 22nd and the Swiss said that despite the pain from the injury he hopes to be able to play the year’s second major.

Seven-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal fought off Nick Kyrgios 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-4 to advance to quarterfinals and second seed Andy Murray held off a second set charge to beat Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 6-4.

Besides Federer losing, a couple other upsets on the men’s side included 12th seed David Goffin, destroying 8th seed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-0 in 49 minutes, defending French Open champion Stan Wawrinka lost to Juan Monaco 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4 and lucky loser Lucas Pouille knocked out ninth seed David Ferrer 6-4, 6-1.

On the ladies’ side of the tournament, Serena Williams rebounded from 3-5 down in the first set best U.S. countrywoman qualifier Christina McHale 7-6 (7), 6-1.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 12, 2016
Women’s Singles – Third Round
[1] S. Williams (USA) d [Q] C. McHale (USA) 76(7) 61
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d J. Ostapenko (LAT) 61 64
[11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 57 75 62
[9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d D. Gavrilova (AUS) 62 26 63
I. Begu (ROU) d D. Kasatkina (RUS) 61 64
M. Doi (JPN) d J. Konta (GBR) 46 75 62
M. Keys (USA) d T. Babos (HUN) 76(2) 63
B. Strycova (CZE) d E. Bouchard (CAN) 61 60

Women’s
Doubles – Second Round

A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) d [2] B. Mattek-Sands (USA) / L. Safarova (CZE) 63 64
[3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d [WC] C. Giovine (ITA) / A. Moratelli (ITA) 63 62
[4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE) d L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / S. Errani (ITA) 64 61
[5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d A. Medina Garrigues (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 76(4) 16 10-7
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [6] Y. Chan (TPE) / A. Groenefeld (GER) 26 76(1) 10-8
R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) d [8] J. Goerges (GER) / Ka. Pliskova (CZE) 64 63

 

Men’s Singles – Third Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d T. Bellucci (BRA) 06 63 62
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d J. Chardy (FRA) 60 64
[13] D. Thiem (AUT) d [3] R. Federer (SUI) 76(2) 64
[PR] J. Monaco (ARG) d [4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 67(5) 63 64
[5] R. Nadal (ESP) d N. Kyrgios (AUS) 67(3) 62 64
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d [11] R. Gasquet (FRA) 61 64
[12] D. Goffin (BEL) d [8] T. Berdych (CZE) 60 60
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [9] D. Ferrer (ESP) 64 61

Men’s Doubles – Second Round
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB) d [2] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Melo (BRA) 36 76(3) 14-12
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [7] A. Peya (AUT) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) 64 16 10-8

ORDER OF PLAY – FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
WTA – [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [12] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [1] S. Williams (USA) vs [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)

Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – [13] D. Thiem (AUT) vs [6] K. Nishikori (JPN)

GRANDSTAND start 12:00 noon
ATP – [LL] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [PR] J. Monaco (ARG)

Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – I. Begu (ROU) vs M. Doi (JPN)

Not Before 3:30 pm
WTA – M. Keys (USA) vs B. Strycova (CZE)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
ATP – [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
ATP – O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) vs [PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP)
ATP – [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER) / V. Troicki (SRB)

COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
WTA – [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs A. Klepac (SLO) / K. Srebotnik (SLO)
WTA – [5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs [4] A. Hlavackova (CZE) / L. Hradecka (CZE)
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [3] T. Babos (HUN) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) vs I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU)

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Serena Williams Begins her Clay Season with Win in Rome

(May 10, 2016) Serena Williams played her first clay court match of the season beating Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-4, 6-3 to reach the round of 16 at the Italian Open on Tuesday. The world No. 1 played her first match since losing at the Miami Open in the round of 16 in March.

Williams hit 27 winners during the 75-minute match.

Williams said after the match that she was happy with her level of play. “I think I was really consistent,” she said. “I think I was mentally consistent.”

“I was really concerned how it would be just running and moving and recovering,” said the three-time Rome winner. “But it was fun.”

Williams is 14-3 on the year.

Flavia Pennetta photo courtesy of the WTA and Getty Images

Flavia Pennetta photo courtesy of the WTA and Getty Images

 

Flavia Pennetta, who won the last year’s U.S. Open and retired at the end of the year, was honored on Pietrangeli court.

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY
9-15 MAY 2016

RESULTS – MAY 10, 2016
Women’s Singles – Second Round
[1] S. Williams (USA) d A. Friedsam (GER) 64 63
[8] C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) d T. Pereira (BRA) 61 75
First Round
[9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d C. Garcia (FRA) 75 64
[11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d Y. Wickmayer (BEL) 62 62
[Q] C. McHale (USA) d [WC] C. Giovine (ITA) 61 26 62
S. Stosur (AUS) d [Q] A. Riske (USA) 46 76(5) 61
D. Gavrilova (AUS) d S. Lisicki (GER) 61 76(3)
[Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) d M. Niculescu (ROU) 64 61
J. Konta (GBR) d [Q] J. Larsson (SWE) 61 62
L. Tsurenko (UKR) d [Q] J. Goerges (GER) 16 76(5) 63
J. Ostapenko (LAT) d K. Mladenovic (FRA) 63 61
T. Babos (HUN) d [Q] K. Bertens (NED) 61 64
E. Bouchard (CAN) d J. Jankovic (SRB) 64 26 63

Women’s Doubles – First Round
[5] C. Garcia (FRA) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) d M. Krajicek (NED) / B. Strycova (CZE) 61 06 11-9
[6] Y. Chan (TPE) / A. Groenefeld (GER) d C. Chuang (TPE) / D. Jurak (CRO) 62 61
[7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) d L. Kichenok (UKR) / O. Savchuk (UKR) 64 63
I. Begu (ROU) / M. Niculescu (ROU) d [WC] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 46 63 10-7
L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / S. Errani (ITA) d V. King (USA) / A. Kudryavtseva (RUS) 62 46 10-5

 

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[4] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d B. Paire (FRA) 57 62 61
[6] K. Nishikori (JPN) d V. Troicki (SRB) 57 62 63
[8] T. Berdych (CZE) d A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 63 64
[12] D. Goffin (BEL) d J. Sock (USA) 64 64
[PR] J. Monaco (ARG) d [16] K. Anderson (RSA) 36 63 62
[LL] L. Pouille (FRA) d [Q] E. Gulbis (LAT) 36 64 75
Men’s Singles – First Round
[9] D. Ferrer (ESP) d [Q] F. Volandri (ITA) 46 75 61
[15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [WC] P. Lorenzi (ITA) 63 61
[Q] S. Robert (FRA) d [Q] A. Bedene (GBR) 76(3) 76(8)
N. Mahut (FRA) d P. Cuevas (URU) 76(6) 26 75
P. Kohlschreiber (GER) d [Q] I. Cervantes (ESP) 64 62
J. Chardy (FRA) d [Q] D. Dzumhur (BIH) 26 64 62

Men’s Doubles – First Round
O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL) d [WC] F. Fognini (ITA) / A. Seppi (ITA) 46 75 10-6
[PR] J. Benneteau (FRA) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 64 60
D. Thiem (AUT) / A. Zverev (GER) d F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 63 36 10-6
P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) d J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) 63 64

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 2016
CENTER COURT start 12:00 noon
ATP – [3] R. Federer (SUI) vs A. Zverev (GER)
ATP – [1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] S. Robert (FRA)
WTA – J. Konta (GBR) vs [7] R. Vinci (ITA)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – P. Kohlschreiber (GER) vs [5] R. Nadal (ESP)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – [5] P. Kvitova (CZE) vs M. Keys (USA)

GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
WTA – E. Makarova (RUS) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)

Not Before 12:00 noon
ATP – J. Sousa (POR) vs [13] D. Thiem (AUT)
ATP – [Q] M. Kukushkin (KAZ) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)
WTA – D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs [6] S. Halep (ROU)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs [9] D. Ferrer (ESP)

PIETRANGELI start 11:00 am
WTA – [4] V. Azarenka (BLR) vs I. Begu (ROU)
WTA – E. Bouchard (CAN) vs [2] A. Kerber (GER)
ATP – [11] R. Gasquet (FRA) vs A. Seppi (ITA)
ATP – [10] M. Raonic (CAN) vs N. Kyrgios (AUS)

Not Before 6:00 pm
WTA – T. Babos (HUN) vs [12] V. Williams (USA)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] H. Watson (GBR) vs B. Strycova (CZE)
WTA – [Q] C. Mchale (USA) vs [13] A. Ivanovic (SRB)
WTA – [9] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) vs S. Stosur (AUS)
WTA – [10] L. Safarova (CZE) vs M. Doi (JPN)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] M. Puig (PUR) vs J. Ostapenko (LAT)

Not Before 12:30 pm
WTA – L. Tsurenko (UKR) vs [11] T. Bacsinszky (SUI)
ATP – N. Mahut (FRA) vs T. Bellucci (BRA)
ATP – [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs J. Chardy (FRA)
ATP – [Alt] D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Martin (FRA) vs O. Marach (AUT) / M. Matkowski (POL)

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] M. Duque-Mariño (COL) vs D. Kasatkina (RUS)
ATP – S. Johnson (USA) / S. Querrey (USA) vs [5] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
ATP – [8] V. Pospisil (CAN) / J. Sock (USA) vs T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR)
ATP – After Suitable Rest – [4] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs D. Thiem (AUT) / A. Zverev (GER)
ATP – P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) vs [3] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU)

COURT 6 start 11:00 am
WTA – R. Atawo (USA) / A. Spears (USA) vs C. Liang (CHN) / Y. Wang (CHN)
WTA – [WC] K. Knapp (ITA) / F. Schiavone (ITA) vs [8] J. Goerges (GER) / K. Pliskova (CZE)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [7] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs K. Bertens (NED) / J. Larsson (SWE)
ATP – After Suitable Rest – [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs B. Paire (FRA) / J. Sousa (POR)
WTA – [1] M. Hingis (SUI) / S. Mirza (IND) vs S. Hsieh (TPE) / O. Kalashnikova (GEO)

 

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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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Rafael Nadal Wins Ninth Monte-Carlo Crown

 

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(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

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(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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