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The UQ Tennis Club's 2016 Tournament Program continues with the End-of-Winter Singles Tournament.

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Carreno Busta Claims Maiden Title In Winston-Salem

ATP news - 0 sec ago
Watch highlights from the final of the Winston-Salem Open, where Pablo Carreno Busta captured his first ATP World Tour title on Saturday.

Pavlich out on a high as Dockers beat Dogs

ABC Sport - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 7:35pm

The curtain comes down on Matthew Pavlich's career in the best possible manner, as Fremantle beats the Western Bulldogs by 20 points.

Hawks edge Pies in thriller to grab third spot on AFL ladder

ABC Sport - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 6:20pm

Hawthorn's fighting one-point win over Collingwood earns it third place on the AFL ladder, and finally settles the top eight ahead of the finals.

Knights continue sorry season, losing 17th-straight game

ABC Sport - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 6:06pm

Newcastle's losing streak extends to 17 games after South Sydney cruises to a 34-12 victory at Hunter Stadium.

Prestia requests a trade from defiant Suns

ABC Sport - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 4:56pm

Dion Prestia joins Jaeger O'Meara in informing Gold Coast he wants to leave the club, with the Suns again adamant they will only trade on their terms.

Saints end season with win over Lions

ABC Sport - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 4:11pm

St Kilda closes out a promising 2016 with a convincing 58-point win over the Brisbane Lions.

Wests Tigers still in finals reckoning after beating Warriors

ABC Sport - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 4:10pm

Wests Tigers are still a chance to make the NRL finals after beating the Warriors 36-24 in a thrilling clash at Mt Smart Stadium.

Top footballer Katie Brennan reveals struggle with bulimia

ABC Sport - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 4:04pm

One of the country's top female sports stars, AFL Women's League footballer Katie Brennan, reveals how her inability to cope with her mother's mental illness escalated to bulimia and an obsession with exercise.

Down syndrome swimmers missing Paralympics under 'unfair' rules

ABC Sport - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 3:30pm

With the countdown on to the Rio Paralympics, Australian Down syndrome swimmers say unfair rules are excluding them from making the Games.

Challenger Stars Reaping Rewards At US Open

ATP news - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 2:53pm

They say a picture can speak a thousand words, but if you ask Steve Darcis, he would illustrate it with one. "Unbelievable" the emotional Belgian said after marching through qualifying at the US Open on Friday.

"Unbelievable" describes the 32-year-old's three-set marathon victory over Enrique Lopez-Perez, saving a match point in a 10-8 deciding tie-break. It represents his dominance of #NextGen stars Tommy Paul and Duckhee Lee in the opening rounds, refusing to drop a set en route to qualifying in New York for the second time in three years. But more importantly, it aptly chronicles his journey back to the Grand Slam stage - and near-return to the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings - after shoulder and knee injuries sidelined the former World No. 44.

"You take every win when you're out for six or seven months," he added. Having posted a 21-4 record on the ATP Challenger Tour this year, the 5'10" right-hander has carried a strong run of form into the US Open. Titles in Lyon, France and earlier this month in Trnava, Slovakia, have vaulted him to World No. 108.

While Darcis will be making his eighth main draw appearance in New York, other qualifiers have surged into the field of 128 for the first time following breakthrough performances on the Challenger circuit this year.

"This is why you play tennis," #NextGen star Karen Khachanov told ATPWorldTour.com. Inside the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings following a title run at the Challenger in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and plotting his ascent towards stardom, the 20-year-old qualified for his first Grand Slam in his sixth attempt, defeating Noah Rubin.

"You want to play in these big events. It feels great to me to be in the main draw. I'm just very happy. Even though I didn't play my best tennis, I passed through qualies, dealt with my emotions and I'm happy to be in my first Grand Slam. I know Noah pretty well. He's a fighter. He's the same age as me and he beat me one time in juniors, so it means a lot to get through."

Indeed, Khachanov has already become a household name on the ATP World Tour, but the quartet of Ilya Ivashka, Jan Satral, Marton Fucsovics and Saketh Myneni are reveling in their first moments in the spotlight and first experiences on one of the biggest stages in the game.

"I'm very happy that I qualified," said 22-year-old Ilya Ivashka, who is the third player representing Belarus to reach the main draw of a Grand Slam, joining Max Mirnyi and Vladimir Voltchkov. "I played very good tennis, which is even more important. It's amazing because Voltchkov is coaching me now and I know Max very well. They are helping me a lot."

With his Emirates ATP Ranking vascillating near the Top 300, Ivashka owned a 15-15 record on the ATP Challenger Tour when he stepped on the clay of Recanati, Italy, in mid-July, and battled to his first career final. Despite falling to Illya Marchenko, he believes it was the week that changed everything.

"It gave me all the confidence, because I beat a Top 100 player there," Ivashka said of his comeback victory over top seed Evgeny Donskoy in the semis. "I played great tennis. Three of the matches went three sets. It gave me the belief that I can beat the good players and it helped a lot. I want to win every match that I play."

One of 20 first-time winners on the Challenger circuit this year, Ivashka has since risen to a career-high World No. 181 and is slated to open his tour-level career against Winston-Salem Open champion Pablo Carreno Busta.

All it takes is one win. One win can change the trajectory of a season and often a career. For some, the springboard to the bigger stages and bright lights is swift and immediate. Just ask Jan Satral. It was the first round of €42,500 event in Marburg, Germany in late June. The 26-year-old Czech was sitting at No. 272 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and in search of confidence as his 2016 campaign reached the halfway mark. One win over former Top 100 stalwart Tobias Kamke changed everything.

"It did a lot for me,” Satral told ATPWorldTour.com. “I wasn't in good shape at the beginning of the season and then I won a round of qualifying at Wimbledon and went to Marburg as a last-minute decision. When I beat Tobias Kamke in the first round, it gave me the most confidence to beat the good players. After that, every match I played pretty well and I started to feel good again.”

Satral would storm to his maiden ATP Challenger Tour title in Marburg, dropping a combined 10 games in the semis and final. But the Czech wasn’t done. Victory on the German clay propelled him to qualify for his first ATP World Tour main draw in Hamburg just one week later, stealing a set from former World No. 9 Nicolas Almagro in the first round. Satral has since carried the momentum into the Big Apple, where he cruised to his first Grand Slam qualification without dropping a set. He awaits fellow major newcomer and American collegiate star Mackenzie McDonald, with a potential date with 10th seed Gael Monfils on the line.

 

“Kamke was the most important win of the year and after that I played great. I'm happy that I'm staying like this.”

Ivashka, Satral, Fucsovics and Myneni might be Grand Slam debutants, but they are certainly no strangers to high-pressure moments. Ivashka, Satral and Fucsovics each reached an ATP Challenger Tour final while residing outside the Top 200 this year, while Myneni finished runner-up on home soil in New Delhi as World No. 166. Dedicated and focused on taking their breakout campaigns to an even higher level at the US Open, the foursome have earned the opportunity.

"In all my dreams, this is one of best thing that's ever happened to me in tennis," said Myneni, who lives in nearby Greenwich, Connecticut. "Qualifying is great, but you still have to stay focused. If it's the Challenger Tour or tour-level events, it's the same goal in keeping your ranking up there and always improving. This is my home Grand Slam, being one hour away, and it's especially nice having the support of my family being here."

In addition, for India's Myneni, Belarus's Ivashka and Hungary's Fucsovics, qualifying for a first Grand Slam main draw is not only an individual achievement, rather a source of great national pride.

"I hope it helps," added Myneni, who is just the second player from India to compete in singles at the US Open since 2002, along with Somdev Devvarman. "Tennis has improved a lot in the last 10 years. I think there is a long way to go for the sport to develop further and get better and better, but it's a good thing for them to see a guy from India competing in such a big stage."

Brilliant effort by Saki for qualifying for the main draw @usopen @SakethMyneni #SakiBomb #SakiSquad

Rohan Bopanna (@rohanbopanna) August 27, 2016

Fucsovics is part of an even more exclusive club, as just the fifth Hungarian man to appear in a Grand Slam main draw. It was his 15th attempt in total.

"I'm very happy to be on the list, but hopefully I can win some matches in the main draw as well and play even better the rest of the year,” said Fucsovics, who opens with a stern test against a resurgent Nicolas Almagro. “I changed my coach recently to Attila Savolt and he has helped me a lot to get to this level.”

The 24-year-old is on course to surpass his career-high World No. 135 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, having streaked to the final at the prestigious ATP Challenger Tour event in Prostejov, Czech Republic, in early June. It was the first final in nearly two years for the former Wimbledon junior champ.

“I reached the final in Prostejov as a qualifier, which is one of the biggest Challengers. It was a big result after a long time, since I had won two Challengers many years ago. It gave me a lot of confidence and for sure led to this result.”

Fucsovics, Ivashka, Khachanov, Myneni and Satral aren’t the only players to qualify at a Grand Slam for the first time. In fact, there are eight in total, with 22-year-old Christian Harrison, 23-year-old Brazilian Guilherme Clezar and 26-year-old Italian Alessandro Giannessi also making their debuts after prevailing on Friday. Clezar, runner-up at the 2014 ATP Challenger Tour Finals, qualified in his 14th attempt.

Watch Harrison Interview

Millman Chases Down Lob For One-Handed Hot Shot

ATP news - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 2:53pm
John Millman chases down a lob for a one-handed Hot Shot during his semi-finals run at the Winston-Salem Open. VIdeo courtesy IMG. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Strike! Johnson Throws Out First Pitch At Citi Field

ATP news - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 2:40pm

Steve Johnson continued the recent American tennis theme at Citi Field, throwing out the first pitch on Friday evening. The top-ranked American made the ceremonial toss with WTA player Bethanie Mattek-Sands before the New York Mets took on the archrival Philadelphia Phillies.

It was a long-awaited experience for the American, marking the first time he had thrown out a first pitch in a Major League Baseball game. Earlier this month, former World No. 1 and New York native John McEnroe launched a perfect strike.

"It's been great," Johnson, a fan of the Los Angeles Angels, told ATPWorldTour.com at the game. "Any time you get to do something new and see a stadium like this is pretty awesome. I've been a baseball fan my whole life. To finally get the opportunity to come here and do this, it's pretty beautiful.

"I feel like I was more nervous walking out at Centre Court in Wimbledon this year than throwing out the first pitch, but I hit him right in the chest and that's all that matters. I was no Reilly Opelka and did not airmail it. It wasn't as fast as Johnny Mac, but I got it done."

Last month, Vasek Pospisil threw out the first pitch at a Toronto Blue Jays game, during the Rogers Cup, followed by Reilly Opelka at a Cincinnati Reds game during the Western & Southern Open.

Johnson, who is in the midst of a breakout campaign on the ATP World Tour, is up to a career-high World No. 21 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The California native reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final two weeks ago in Cincinnati, having claimed his maiden tour-level title on the grass of Nottingham in late June. Seeded 19th at the US Open, he is slated to open against Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy, with a potential second round clash against 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro in the cards.

 

 

First-Time Winner Spotlight: Pablo Carreno Busta

ATP news - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 2:28pm

How does it feel to be standing with the trophy as a first-time winner? Are you a little surprised it came on hard court?

This is amazing. This is an incredible feeling. To win my first ATP World Tour title and then playing against Bautista [Agut], a top player, is really tough. It was a really tough match. But it's amazing. I fought all the time, all week. I think I'm very, very, very, very happy.

Was this something you dreamed about growing up and playing as a junior, to win an ATP World Tour title?

Yeah. To win my first ATP World Tour title is a dream because you can play finals and I played two this year. But when you continue working and you continue fighting all the time and finally the result arrives, for me, it's really, really good.

What was your approach going into your third final of the season? You were in previous two finals – Sao Paulo, Estoril – both on clay. Did you have a different mindset going into today?

No. This was on hard court. Maybe it was the most difficult of the other two finals. No, you have to try to do your best and I tried. And when you are playing good, like this week, I think I was playing very good. I was serving really well. You never know when you'll win the final.

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You defeated the No. 2 seed Roberto Bautista Agut and the No. 3 seed Pablo Cuevas along the way. What did you do well this week to put all of those good results together?

I think I'm being more aggressive with my game. It's really important to be aggressive with your serve and then with your return and when you are playing the rallies, you need to be able to be [more aggressive] because if you're not aggressive, the opponent has the key to win the matches.

Now that you've won your first ATP World Tour title, what are the goals you have for the rest of the season?

This is amazing but we have to continue this way. This is a good way and I'm looking to continue like this – working hard and with confidence. I'm playing good, with confidence. And this week, in two days I will play at the US Open in New York so I have to continue focusing on trying to do my best all the time. Then we'll have three months more of this year, we'll try to do our best.

You're the seventh different Spanish winner this year. The youngest of 11 Spaniards in the Top 100. How do view the state of Spanish tennis?

I think the Spanish players are making something great. It's not easy to make a lot of champions like we are and win tournaments. Nadal, Ferrer, now Bautista [Agut] is a top player... All the Spanish players can win a tournament.

You've had a lot of support in your development throughout your career. Who are the people who allowed you to get to this level and you'd like to thank?

I have to say thank you to all the people who helped me to arrive here. It's not just my team... All the people who worked with me, who supported me, all my family, of course. All the people who support me all the time, when I win, when I lose. And I think I have to say thank you to everybody because without their support, this is not easy and I think it's impossible.

What do you consider the strength and the best part of your game?

My serve, because I'm serving really good. I'm serving better but I think it's not enough. I can do it better. And then I have to continue being aggressive. … In this tournament I played a little bit better than the rest of the year. But the rest of the year, it was really good also. So I need to continue this way.

Is there a player you grew up admiring?

Yeah, I watched the matches of [Juan Carlos] Ferrero. Of course he was my hero, and now I practise at his academy. Imagine for me, it's really special. This moment is really special.

What do you like to do away from tennis?

I don't have time now, unfortunately. We go now to New York. Tomorrow I will practice again... I play on Tuesday.

Wallabies make complaint about All Blacks' meeting with ref

ABC Sport - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 1:55pm

The Wallabies make an official complaint to World Rugby about an alleged meeting between All Blacks coach Steve Hansen and referee Romain Poite.

Carreno Busta Clinches Maiden ATP World Tour Title

ATP news - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 11:37am

Pablo Carreno Busta overcame countryman Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7(6), 7-6(1), 6-4 to win his first ATP World Tour singles title on Saturday at the Winston-Salem Open.

The 25 year old, who was playing in the third singles final of his career, had been unable to clinch his maiden title earlier this season on both the clay of Estoril and Sao Paulo. But on the hard courts in Winston-Salem, the Barcelona resident rallied after losing the first set to hoist his first championship trophy after two hours and 33 minutes on court.

“It's an amazing feeling. I worked very hard to be here and now I have to enjoy this moment," Carreno Busta said. “To [beat] Roberto you have to fight because he's a really tough player. He's a Spanish player like me. It's not easy to play against another Spanish player.”

Carreno Busta, seeded 16th, is the sixth first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season. Players trying to win their first title are now 6-11 this year.

2016 First-Time ATP World Tour Winners

 Player  Age   Tournament   Nick Kyrgios   20  Marseille  Diego Schwartzman  23  Istanbul  Steve Johnson   26  Nottingham  Albert Ramos-Vinolas  28  Bastad  Paolo Lorenzi  34  Kitzbuhel  Pablo Carreno Busta  25  Winston-Salem

Second seed Bautista Agut was trying to win his third title of the season (Sofia, Auckland). The World No. 17 was up a break in the second set but Carreno Busta was able to break right back to get to 3-all. Bautista Agut struggled in the second-set tie-break, hitting two double faults and all of a sudden the match was tied.

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"I had many chances to get closer to the win today but I didn't [take] the chances," Bautista Agut said. "I didn't play well when I was set and break up. Tennis is like this, no? When you have the chance and you don't [take] it, then you lose.”

In the third, Carreno Busta relentlessly attacked his countryman's backhand, not letting Bautista Agut run around his backhand to smack a forehand. The strategy worked as Carreno Busta broke at 3-2 and didn't face a break point in the third set. He struck an ace on his first match point.

Carreno Busta will receive 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $85,625. Bautista Agut will receive 150 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $48,750.

Bautista Agut said he still felt good about the week in Winston-Salem. He accepted a late wild card into the tournament.

"I came here to play some matches," he said. "So it was a positive week for me."

Garcia-Lopez/Kontinen Save Five M.P. To Take Winston-Salem Title

ATP news - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 8:23am

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Henri Kontinen overcame seemingly insurmountable odds to deny one of the ATP World Tour's all-time greats and take the Winston-Salem Open doubles title 4-6, 7-6(6), 10-8 on Saturday.

After losing the first set, Garcia-Lopez and Kontinen fell behind 1/6 in the second-set tie-break, giving Indian Leander Paes and German Andre Begemann five match points, including three on their serve.

But the Spaniard and Finn reeled off seven consecutive points to take the second set and even the match. In the Match Tie-break, the first-time pairing stayed hot to claim their first ATP World Tour team doubles title.

“We just clutched up and found big serves on big points,” Kontinen said. “It's a lot of luck involved in a comeback like that... We kept believing and somehow found a way.”

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Kontinen had won three titles already this season but all with Aussie John Peers (Brisbane, Munich, Hamburg). He paired with Garcia-Lopez by circumstance. Peers wanted to take the week off but Kontinen wanted to play. Garcia-Lopez and his planned partner, Pablo Carreno Busta, had pulled out of the Winston-Salem Open doubles.

“I personally decided to play last minute,” Kontinen said. “[Garcia-Lopez] was looking.”

The win marks Kontinen's 10th career ATP World Tour doubles title. Garcia-Lopez hadn't played in a doubles final since 2014 but celebrates his third career doubles crown. The champions will receive 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Ranking Points and split $35,150.

Read More: Kontinen/Peers Clinch Munich Doubles Title

“Doubles, everything is close. And then we won the tie-break I think our energy went up, that's why we won,” Garcia-Lopez said.

Paes, 43, was trying to win his 56th overall ATP World Tour title and make it 20 years in a row with at least one tour-level doubles crown. Begemann was going for his first title of the season and the fifth of his career. They'll receive 150 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split $18,470.

ATP Stars Look Ahead To US Open 2016

ATP news - Sun, 28/08/2016 - 3:18am
Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga look ahead to the last Grand Slam event of the year on US Open media day. Photo: Getty Images

Giants climb into top four with win over North Melbourne

ABC Sport - Sat, 27/08/2016 - 10:20pm

The GWS Giants lock up a spot in the AFL's top four with a convincing 37-point win over North Melbourne.

Sharks still in minor-premiership contention after beating Roosters

ABC Sport - Sat, 27/08/2016 - 9:38pm

Cronulla beats the Roosters 37-12 to move into second place and set up a final-round clash with Melbourne to decide the minor premiership.

Moylan the hero as Penrith beat Titans 15-14

ABC Sport - Sat, 27/08/2016 - 8:47pm

All the pre-match focus was on Titans full-back Jarryd Hayne, but Penrith custodian Matt Moylan won the battle, kicking a game-winning field goal in Robina.