The UQ Tennis will be launching a new Singles competition after the finish of First Semester...
The UQ Tennis Club runs Competitive and Non-Competitive Tennis Programs for players of all...

ATP news

Syndicate content
Headline News - powered by FeedBurner
Updated: 14 min 54 sec ago

16 Things To Watch At Roland Garros

Sun, 28/05/2017 - 10:28am

1. 2017 Roland Garros: This is the 50th tournament in the Open Era (since 1968) and 87th at Roland Garros since 1925 (tournament was not held from 1940-45 during World War II).

In 1925, the draw was opened to players outside of France. The French Championships started in 1891 and this is the 116th overall staging of the tournament. There are three former champions in the field – reigning champ Novak Djokovic, 2015 titleholder Stan Wawrinka and nine-time winner Rafael Nadal (2005-08, 2010-14).

2. Big Four Dominate: Since Roland Garros in 2005, when Nadal won his first Grand Slam title, the Big Four have accounted for 43 of the past 48 Grand Slam titles. During the current stretch, Nadal has won 14 titles, Federer 14, Djokovic 12 and Murray 3.

The three other players to win a Grand Slam title during the span are: Wawrinka, a three-time champion (2014 Australian Open, 2015 Roland Garros, 2016 US Open), Marin Cilic (2014 US Open) and Juan Martin del Potro (2009 US Open). In addition, the Big Four have won 59 of the past 65 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles, dating back to 2010 Monte-Carlo, where Nadal won.

Since 2015, Cilic (2016 Cincinnati) and Alexander Zverev (2017 Rome) are the only non-Big Four champs. Zverev is the first player born in the 1990s to win a Masters 1000 title. The only player born in the 1990s to reach a Grand Slam final is Milos Raonic, who was runner-up at Wimbledon last year.

[ALSO LIKE]

3. Rafa Seeks 10th Title: Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal eyes a historic 10th title at Roland Garros. The Spaniard is already owner of the most titles at a single Grand Slam event.

Nadal is 72-2 lifetime at Roland Garros and has only been pushed to five sets twice at the tournament, beating John Isner and Novak Djokovic in five-setters en route to titles in 2011 and 2013, respectively.

4. Nadal on Fire: Nadal, who turns 31 on 3 June, is 17-1 on clay this season after winning his 10th Monte-Carlo, 10th Barcelona and fifth Madrid title. He owns an 870-point lead over Federer in the Emirates ATP Race To London and is on pace to end a year as World No. 1 for the fourth time.

See Who's Pushing Nadal and Federer In The Race

5. Djokovic and Agassi Debut: Djokovic, reigning champion, will be coached by another man who completed the career Grand Slam in Paris, Andre Agassi, who accomplished the feat in 1999 on his 11th attempt.

Last year in his 12th attempt in Paris, Djokovic lifted his first champion’s trophy. Both won the title at age 29. The World No. 2 is one of two players to beat Nadal at Roland Garros (2015 quarter-finals) along with Robin Soderling (2009 4R).

6. No. 1 Seed Murray: World No. 1 Andy Murray is the first British man as top seed at Roland Garros since Bunny Austin in 1937. Last year Murray reached his first Roland Garros final. This is his 10th appearance (34-9 record).

Murray is 4-4 on clay this season and last year he was a career-best 18-3. As was the case in 2016, he enters Paris with one title on the year. Murray ended 2016 with an ATP-best nine titles. On 29 May, it will be the 30th consecutive week Murray is No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings (since 7 November 2016).

7. A Look at No. 1 & 2: Murray and Djokovic have occupied the Top 2 spots in the Emirates ATP Rankings every week since 16 May 2016. Djokovic has been ranked in the Top 2 every week since 21 March 2011.

Last year Murray came into Roland Garros with a 22-5 record (1-2 in finals). This year he is 16-7 overall (1-1 in finals). Last year Djokovic entered Paris with a 37-3 record (5-1 in finals). This season he is 20-6 (1-1 in finals). This is the first time since 2010 he comes into Paris with one ATP World Tour title.

8. Winning Wawrinka: Former champion Wawrinka comes into Paris after defending his Geneva crown (d. M. Zverev), his first title since last year’s US Open. Prior to Geneva he was 2-3 on clay during the season.

He enters with a 20-8 record overall. Wawrinka defeated the World No. 1 in all three of his Grand Slam finals (2014 Australian Open, 2015 Roland Garros, 2016 US Open). He is 0-20 against the World No. 1 in all other rounds/events.

9. Thiem Dominating: World No. 7 Dominic Thiem is the only player to beat Nadal on clay this year, avenging losses in the Barcelona and Madrid finals by defeating the Spaniard in the Rome quarter-finals. He is 17-4 on clay this season.

Thiem and David Goffin are tied for the second-most wins in 2017 with 29 (Nadal: 36). Last year Thiem advanced to his first Grand Slam semi-final at Roland Garros (l. to Djokovic).

10. Sascha Breaks Through: #NextGenATP star Alexander Zverev, who was born in 1997, defeated Djokovic at Rome on 21 May to become the first Masters 1000, Nitto ATP Finals or Grand Slam champion born in the 1990s.

The 20-year-old German broke into the Top 10 after Rome from No. 17 to No. 10, and he’s the youngest player in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings since Juan Martin del Potro (20) on 20 October 2008.

11. Seeded Brothers: No. 9 Alexander and No. 32 Mischa Zverev are the first brothers to be seeded in a Grand Slam tournament since 1982 Wimbledon with No. 4 Sandy and No. 6 Gene Mayer. Mischa comes in after reaching the final in Geneva as a qualifier.

12. #NextGenATP Watch: The Top 7 players in the Emirates ATP Race To Milan will be in action, including Borna Coric of Croatia. Coric is No. 2 in the #NextGenATP race after saving five championship points for his first title at Marrakech in April and beating Murray at Madrid on 11 May.

See Who's Pushing Coric In The Emirates ATP Race To Milan

13. delPo Returns: No. 29 seed Juan Martin del Potro returns to Roland Garros for the first time since 2012 when he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Federer). His best clay result this season is the QFs in Rome (l. to Djokovic).

14. Flying the French Flag: A tournament-high 19 French players are in the main draw. Leading the way are former semi-finalists Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils.

Tsonga won his first clay title in Lyon and has won three titles this season, the most since 2009. A Frenchman has not captured a Grand Slam singles title since Yannick Noah at Roland Garros in 1983.

15. Lopez Grand Slam Streak: Feliciano Lopez is playing in his 61st consecutive Grand Slam tournament, which is the longest active streak in men’s tennis. The 35-year-old Spaniard is closing in on Federer’s all-time record of 65 Grand Slam tournaments played in a row.

16. Doubles Field: Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut hope to become the second French doubles team since 1984 to win Roland Garros. Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin captured the title in 2014.

Also in the field are 2016 champions Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez and 2016 finalists Bob Bryanand Mike Bryan. The Bryans, who won Roland Garros in 2003 and 2013 and are 2-5 in finals, have not won a title since Rome in 2016 (19 events).

* KING OF ROLAND GARROS: In 2012, Nadal passed six-time winner Bjorn Borg with the most titles in Roland Garros history (since 1925). Three years ago he won for the ninth time. Here are the players with three or more titles:

Player

No. (Years)

Rafael Nadal

9 (2005-08, ’10-14)

Bjorn Borg

6 (1974-75, ’78-81)

Henri Cochet

4 (1926, ’28, ’30, ’32)

Gustavo Kuerten

3 (1997, 2000-01)

Mats Wilander

3 (1982, ’85, ’88)

Ivan Lendl

3 (1984, ’86-87)

Rene Lacoste

3 (1925, ’27, ’29)

* SIX MORE TITLES: Here are the players with six or more titles at the same Grand Slam event (post Challenge Round):

Player

Grand Slam

Titles

Years

Rafael Nadal

Roland Garros

9

2005-08, 2010-14

Bill Tilden

US Championships

7

1920-25, 1929

Pete Sampras

Wimbledon

7

1993-95, 1997-2000

Roger Federer

Wimbledon

7

2003-07, 2009, 2012

Novak Djokovic

Australian Open

6

2008, 2011-13,2015-16

Roy Emerson

Australian Championships

6

1961, 1963-67

Bjorn Borg

Roland Garros

6

1974-75, 1978-81

* CLAY-COURT DOMINATOR – Nadal has the best career match record on clay in the Open Era with a 382-35 mark (.916), and he’s 52-9 in clay finals. In 11 of the past 13 years he's won at least two European clay court titles coming into Roland Garros. Here's a year-by-year look at Nadal's clay court supremacy since 2005 (year of first Roland Garros crown):

 Overall      European Clay  

Year

Clay W-L

Clay Finals W-L

Going into RG (April-May Tourn.)

 

2017

17-1

3-1

17-1

3 Titles

2016

21-4

2-1

15-2

2 Titles

2015

26-6

2-1

10-4

0 Titles

2014

25-3

3-1

13-3

1 Title

2013

39-2

6-2

19-1

3 Titles

2012

23-1

4-1

16-1

3 Titles

2011

28-2

3-2

17-2

2 Titles

2010

22-0

4-1

15-0

3 Titles

2009

23-2

3-1

17-1

3 Titles

2008

24-1

4-1

15-1

3 Titles

2007

31-1

5-1

19-1

3 Titles

2006

26-0

4-1

17-0

3 Titles

2005

50-2

8-1

19-1

3 Titles

* ROLAND GARROS WINS LEADERS: Nadal, Federer and Djokovic are among the all-time Roland Garros match wins leaders:

W-L Titles

1) Rafael Nadal 72-2 9

2) Roger Federer 65-16 1

3) Guillermo Vilas 58-17 1

4) Novak Djokovic 55-11 1

5) Ivan Lendl 53-12 3

Jaroslav Drobny 53-14 2

7) Andre Agassi 51-16 1

8) Nicola Pietrangeli 50-17 2

9) Bjorn Borg 49-2 6

10) Mats Wilander 47-9 3

* CAREER GRAND SLAM CLUB: Last year Djokovic became the eighth player in men’s tennis history to complete a career Grand Slam and he became the first man to hold all four Grand Slam titles since Rod Laver in 1969. Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are the three active players in the Career Grand Slam Club. Other players to accomplish the feat: Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, and Andre Agassi.

* MOST ATTEMPTS TO TITLE: Murray is making his 10th appearance at Roland Garros. The most attempts to win the Roland Garros title in the Open Era is 12 by Djokovic last year. The most attempts to win any Grand Slam title in the Open Era is 14 by Goran Ivanisevic, who won Wimbledon in 2001. Here are the players with the most attempts (10 or more) to win the Roland Garros title:

Year

Champion

Appearance

Age

2016

Novak Djokovic

12th

29

1999

Andre Agassi

11th

29

2015

Stan Wawrinka

11th

30

1990

Andres Gomez

11th

30

2009

Roger Federer

11th

27

1995

Thomas Muster

10th

27

* ALL-TIME GRAND SLAM CHAMPIONS: Here is a look at the all-time Grand Slam titles leaders with 10-more:

Champion

W-L

1) Roger Federer

18-10

2) Pete Sampras

14-4

Rafael Nadal

14-7

4) Novak Djokovic

12-9

Roy Emerson

12-3

6) Rod Laver

11-6

Bjorn Borg

11-5

8) Bill Tilden

10-5

Murray: 'I Need To Enjoy My Struggle'

Sun, 28/05/2017 - 9:33am

It was one year ago that Andy Murray began to plot his climb to the top spot of the Emirates ATP Rankings on the European clay. A title in Rome was followed by a run to the final at Roland Garros and the Scot was soaring.

But Murray is the first to admit that his current clay-court campaign is a bit different. Much has changed for the World No. 1 and after consecutive early defeats at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events in Madrid and Rome, he is seeking to rediscover his rhythm on the terre battue of Paris.

While he acknowledges that his struggles are real, Murray believes that he needs to embrace them in order to break from them.

“I haven't been doing well recently,” Murray told the assembled media prior to his Roland Garros opener. “The last few months have not been good. I haven't played well. I need to accept that I'm struggling and then find a way to get through it. I will get through it. I'm sure of that. When that happens, I don't know. Hopefully it happens in a few days. Hopefully happens at this event. If it doesn't, maybe it happens during the grass.

“But the only way to get through it is to work your way through it, keep working on your game, try and understand what's not been going right. Although it's very frustrating, you have to try to enjoy this part of what we do, as well, because the struggles are part of what make the good times so enjoyable. I need to enjoy my struggle a little bit just now and that will help me get through it quicker, I believe. The more frustrated you get, it doesn't help either. I'll try and get through it as quickly as I can.

“I don't know exactly why that happens, what the reason for it is, because I still love the travel, I love practising, I love the training aspect. I still love tennis. But it just happens sometimes. I'm sure everyone in here sometimes maybe hasn't enjoyed writing stories for a few weeks sometimes. Maybe there are no interesting stories at the time. And it's not as much fun. Everyone goes through it. But I know why I play tennis; because I love it and I enjoy it. I'll keep plugging away until I get back to where I want to get to.”

[ALSO LIKE]

Murray is making his 10th appearance at Roland Garros, with his best result coming last year in finishing runner-up to Novak Djokovic. The top seed opens against Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov. He leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0, having most recently prevailed in Beijing last year.

A potential blockbuster third-round encounter against Juan Martin del Potro awaits the Scot, with eighth seed Kei Nishikori and ninth seed and reigning Rome champion Alexander Zverev also looming in his quarter of the draw. Murray admits that he has been feeling under the weather recently, but says he will be ready to go for the second Grand Slam of the year.

“I still pretty much got everything done that I needed to do,” Murray added. “I was supposed to practise on Monday here. I traveled on Sunday. Sunday afternoon was when I started to feel a bit sick. It was Monday and Tuesday that I didn't feel great. But I still practised a bit on Tuesday.

“I feel much better just now. I've just got a cough, but I was just a bit sick for a couple of days. It's been frustrating, obviously, because it's happened the third time this year where I have had to miss days or have been in bed. I’m surprise it hasn’t happened more really, considering the amount that we travel and how long the season is. I have been pretty lucky with that over the last couple of years. I have not had too many sort of bad illnesses.

“So maybe they have just come in a small space of time. But I feel okay now. I will be all good when the tournament starts. It happens. We are in the locker rooms with lots of players, lots of sweat, lots of germs and in airplanes all the time. It happens. I practised a few days in London. It was raining and very cold. But I still tried to practise quite hard through that. Maybe that was why I just picked up a little something.”

Murray is slated to open his Roland Garros campaign on Tuesday. He owns a 34-match win streak in Grand Slam first rounds.

Thiem Feeling Comfortable Among Game's Elite

Sun, 28/05/2017 - 6:17am

After a year inside the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, Dominic Thiem now feels like he belongs among the elite group.

It wasn't always that way, though. For a time, Thiem looked at the Top 10 as a place for his “idols”, not a destination for the 20-something Austrian.

“If you come there for the first time at quite a young age, I don't know, you look up to them, to the other ones in the Top 10 and feel strange somehow, because they have been your idols and now you're with them,” said Thiem, who joined the group as a 22 year old after his Roland Garros semi-final run last year.

But the Austrian has more than proved he's among the best of the best on the ATP World Tour, and he now feels that way as well.

“It's very nice to be in the Top 10. I'm very pleased that I have been there for one year now. I didn't quite expect it when I came in the first time last year,” Thiem said. “Now I'm a little bit more confident. I feel that I belong there, basically, and it's a little bit easier for me.”

[ALSO LIKE]

Thiem's semi-final run last year in Paris (l. to Djokovic) propelled him to No. 7 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Heading into Roland Garros, which starts Sunday, the Austrian is back at the career-high position and a popular pick to return to the semi-finals or go farther in Paris.

The 6'1” right-hander has gone 12-4 during the European clay-court swing, with two of his four losses coming against nine-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal. But Thiem is also the only player to have beaten Nadal during the clay-court season, upsetting the “King of Clay” 6-4, 6-3 last week in the Rome quarter-finals.

Thiem During European Clay-Court Swing

Tournament Round Opponent

Internazionali BNL d'Italia

Semi-finals

l. to Djokovic

Mutua Madrid Open

Final

l. to Nadal

Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell

Final

l. to Nadal

Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters

Third Round

l. to Goffin

“The win over Rafa was of course a big thing for me. I played the best player on clay three times in three tournaments. I learned a lot from that matches, so I think I prepared well for this tournament,” Thiem said.

The two could meet in the semi-finals in Paris. Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 4-2, and all six matches have come on clay.

Read More: Nadal Prepares For Run At History

“He's back at his best this year, and then also he's won [Roland Garros] nine times. So he knows how it works to win here,” Thiem said. “I think he will try everything to win 'La Décima'. I think it will be very unique in tennis to win a Grand Slam title ten times. It's pretty crazy. So 100 per cent he's the one to beat here and the big favourite.”

Thiem, the sixth seed, opens against Aussie Bernard Tomic on Monday. The 23-year-old Thiem won their only prior FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting at the 2016 Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.

“I feel good. I always come here with a good feeling. I played finals as a junior six years ago. Then last year the semis,” Thiem said. “Obviously it's my favourite surface, so it's always a good feeling to come back. And as I defended many [Emirates ATP Rankings] points in the last weeks in Rome and Madrid, I don't come here with that much pressure.”

Wawrinka Retains Geneva Crown

Sun, 28/05/2017 - 5:40am

It was home cooking for Stan Wawrinka on Saturday at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open, as the local favourite successfully defended his crown in the Swiss metropolis.

The top seed ousted Mischa Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 in two hours and 20 minutes to lift the trophy. Wawrinka, who was born in nearby Lausanne, improved to 9-1 in Geneva, having also prevailed last year (d. Cilic). Zverev denied 13 of 18 break points faced, but Wawrinka was clutch in the big moments.

It was the 16th tour-level title for the World No. 3 and first since winning the US Open last year. He takes home €85,945 in prize money and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points.

"The level was great today, I think it was a great final," said Wawrinka. "Mischa was playing very well and maybe I was hesitating a bit in the beginning. I’m happy that I came back strongly in the second set and managed to turn the match around.

"I’m extremely happy to win my second title in Switzerland. It means a lot to me. This is the first time that my daughter is in the stadium when I win the title and that makes it even more special."

Zverev took the early initiative on a hot Saturday afternoon in Geneva. Wawrinka misfired a backhand long to concede the break for 3-2 and he would relinquish the opener after 47 minutes. But the reigning champion found his rhythm in the second set. The momentum swing was swift and immediate, as Wawrinka escaped danger from 0/40 down with five consecutive clutch serves and he would break in the next game with a mammoth forehand down the line. 

A sublime drop shot winner saw the Swiss consolidate for 3-0 and after eventually taking the second set, he sprinted to an early lead in the decider with another immediate break. Zverev would draw level at 2-2, but Wawrinka restored the lead and put his head down to the finish line.

[ALSO LIKE]

Wawrinka fired a forehand past a net-charging Zverev to secure the title on his first match point. It was sweet revenge for the 32 year old, who fell to Zverev on home soil in the Basel quarter-finals in October. He improves to 2-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

Zverev, meanwhile, will leave Geneva following his best week on the ATP World Tour in seven years. Inspired by younger brother Alexander Zverev's breakthrough at the Masters 1000 event in Rome last week, Mischa enjoyed his first final appearance since finishing runner-up in Metz in 2010. They are the first siblings to reach finals in the same season since 2006, when Olivier Rochus won in Munich and Christophe Rochus was runner-up in Rotterdam.

"It was a great week for me here‎ in Geneva," said Zverev. "Playing on clay is usually not easy for me, but I really felt great here playing six matches this week and reaching my first semi-final and final on this surface. Congratulations to Stan for a good week and a great match today."

The 29-year-old Zverev was also the third qualifier to reach an ATP World Tour final in the past month, joining Budapest runner-up Aljaz Bedene and Munich finalist Guido Pella. He won six matches in seven days to reach the final, highlighted by a semi-final victory over second seed Kei Nishikori. It was the seventh Top 10 win of his career. He earns €45,265 and 150 Emirates ATP Rankings points, rising two spots to a projected World No. 31.

Wawrinka and Zverev will next head to Roland Garros for the second Grand Slam of the year. The third-seeded Swiss opens against qualifier Jozef Kovalik, while the 32nd-seeded German faces qualifier Stefano Napolitano

"I’m looking forward to Roland Garros," added 2015 champion Wawrinka. "This is the kind of week that helps you going into a Grand Slam. I had some great matches here this week."

Thiem Ready For Roland Garros 2017 Campaign

Sun, 28/05/2017 - 5:20am
Dominic Thiem talks about his happy memories at Roland Garros and his good form going into the clay-court major as he bids to win his first Grand Slam championship.

Tsonga Stays Perfect With Lyon Crown

Sun, 28/05/2017 - 5:09am

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrated a hat trick of ATP World Tour titles this season on Saturday, prevailing past Czech Tomas Berdych 7-6(2), 7-5 in the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon final.

The title is Tsonga's first clay-court crown and his 15th overall title. The Frenchman improved to 3-0 in title matches this season, having also won back-to-back indoor crowns at Rotterdam and Marseille in February.

“I am very happy. First title on clay court. It is now added to my CV and I can move on. I am going to enjoy this title today and tomorrow. It has been a great week overall,” Tsonga said.

Never before has Tsonga won more than three titles in a season, although he looks poised to break that mark this year. Tsonga also won a trio of titles in 2009.

He joins an elite group of ATP World Tour players who have already claimed three crowns this year: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and #NextGenATP star Alexander Zverev.

The 32-year-old Le Mans native also enjoyed more home-country success. Tsonga improved to 8-2 in title matches on French soil.

[ALSO LIKE]

The right-hander's clay-court season had started slowly. He had to withdraw from his second-round match at the Mutua Madrid Open and from the Internazionali BNL d'Italia because of a right shoulder injury. But in Lyon, Tsonga played the big points well all week, and he continued that trend on Saturday against Berdych, who came into the final leading their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 8-4.

Serving at 4-5, Tsonga fell behind 15/40 but reeled off four consecutive points to erase the two set points and even the set. The two headed to a tie-break, which Tsonga controlled, sprinting to a 4/0 lead and clinching the first set when Berdych missed a forehand overhead wide.

“It was a very close match. I had a very big chance at the end of the first set when I had two set points, and I think that was the key of the match. To [win] the set, it would put me in a completely different position, but Jo was able to save that, hold that, and I didn't really create many chances after that,” Berdych said.

They remained on serve in the second set until the 12th game, when Berdych served to stay in the match. The 31-year-old veteran had saved his first four break points but double faulted on match point to give Tsonga the title.

“Today was my best match of the week. I served very well, which allowed me to relax a little bit during the returning game,” Tsonga said.

For the tournament, Tsonga held serve 42 of 46 games (91 per cent) and saved 10 of 14 break points. He will receive 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €85,945 in prize money.

Berdych enjoyed the best week of his season, reaching his first final of the year and his first since winning the Shenzhen Open last October. The right-hander falls to 13-18 in tour-level finals and 2-6 in clay-court title matches. He will receive 150 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €45,265 in prize money.

“It was a great experience. It was a very nice week. Very calm, a lot of people, which is nice. I played four matches, which is good, that's why I came,” said Berdych, who accepted a late wild card into the event. “One more win and it would be absolutely perfect, but that's all right. Head's up and let's go to Paris.”

Rojer/Tecau Save 1 MP For Geneva Title

Sun, 28/05/2017 - 4:29am

Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau came up clutch with their backs against the wall on Saturday at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open, rallying for their 14th team title.

The Dutch-Romanian duo overcame a set deficit and survived a championship point at 6-5 in the second set tie-break, edging Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 2-6, 7-6(9), 10-6. 

"It was a really tough match," said Rojer. "Robert and Sebas were playing well the whole week. They played better today for the majority of the match and this time we got a little lucky after going down match point. We're very happy with the win and it gives us a lot of confidence going into the French Open."

Tecau provided the big serves when they needed them, striking a service winner to turn aside the match point and another mammoth delivery to close out the tie-break at 10-9. The top-seeded tandem would claim the initial mini-break for 5-3 in the deciding Match Tie-break and never looked back, prevailing after one hour and 52 minutes.

"It's always fun to play in front of a nice crowd and it's a big week for us," Tecau added. "It's another title and we're going to enjoy it with our team. Our first time coming here, but we're looking forward to coming back."

Geneva doubles champs

First-Time Pairing Wins Lyon Doubles Crown

Sun, 28/05/2017 - 3:45am

Argentine Andres Molteni and Canadian Adil Shamasdin might have to give this another try. Playing together for the first time this week, the unseeded pairing captured the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon doubles title, prevailing against New Zealand's Marcus Daniell and Brazilian Marcelo Demoliner 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 on Saturday.

Molteni/Shamasdin won 82 per cent of their first-serve points and jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the Match Tie-break before clinching the title after 82 minutes.

"I think we have good energy together. We're playing good, we're playing aggressive. We are really happy today to win our first title," Molteni said.

[ALSO LIKE]

The championship team dropped only two sets all week. The title is Molteni's second ATP World Tour doubles crown, having also won the BB&T Atlanta Open doubles title with Horacio Zeballos last year.

Shamasdin improves to 3-3 in ATP World Tour doubles finals. His last doubles crown came at 2015 Casablanca. Molteni/Shamasdin will receive 250 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and split €26,110.

"It's a beautiful city, to be here in Lyon. I think all players have had a great time here," Shamasdin said. "The crowds are amazing." 

Daniell/Demoliner were going for their first ATP World Tour team title. They will receive 150 Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings points and €13,730.

Gilbert On Agassi-Djokovic: 'The Potential Is There'

Sat, 27/05/2017 - 9:02am

After coaching Andre Agassi to a Roland Garros title, ESPN tennis analyst Brad Gilbert believes his former charge has the tennis wisdom to do the same for defending champion Novak Djokovic.

Speaking on an ESPN conference call ahead of Roland Garros, the former No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings shared his thoughts on the partnership. Although some have questioned how successful the new coaching arrangement will be, Gilbert said the similarities in their playing styles could spark a successful relationship.

“Andre played his best tennis from 29 on. Djokovic just turned 30. Today's 30 is like 25 used to be,” said Gilbert. “A lot of times when I'm watching Djokovic, when he's playing at his best, nobody plays closer to the style that Andre played. He hits big, but with safe margins in the court. He doesn't hit a lot of winners, but hits very few unforced errors when he’s playing his best tennis.

“I think it's really exciting that Andre is going to coach for the first time. A lot of players have approached him before. He brings an incredible amount of knowledge, wisdom and passion. It’s just getting to know each other at the start, but I think the potential is there for an exciting partnership.”

[ALSO LIKE]

Gilbert also discussed the resurgence of Rafael Nadal, who remains an on-paper favourite to win his 10th title at Roland Garros. Although the Spaniard suffered his first loss on clay this year to Dominic Thiem at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, Gilbert doesn’t think the loss will hold much weight heading into Paris.

“He's serving a lot better this year. He doesn't have a massive serve, but his serve really sets up his game. I think his forehand looks as good as it has in the past two or three years,” he said. “He's hitting a lot more aggressively and with more confidence. Those are two aspects of his game that really can lift him. He's playing at an elite level again.”

Having also coached World No. 1 Andy Murray for 16 months from July 2006 to November 2007, Gilbert also believes last year’s Roland Garros finalist can’t be counted out. Although Murray is experiencing a dip in form on clay compared to his stellar 2016, Gilbert said the gritty play required to succeed in Paris is tailor made for Murray’s personality.

“He was dictating play a lot more last year on clay, especially with the forehand," said Gilbert. "Having that balance between offence and defence has been an issue. But he has plenty of time to turn it around. He loves the fight. He’s not about the show and the bling. He loves the guts and working hard.

“I do think the resurgence of Roger Federer and Rafa will only inspire Novak and Andy. For years, Djoker and Murray were chasing them. Now it's back to those guys chasing them again. I think this will inspire Andy to put a little fuel to the fire.”

Thiem Tops Cuevas In Clay Masters Golden Hot Shot Vote

Sat, 27/05/2017 - 8:07am
.videoWrapper { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; /* 16:9 */ padding-top: 25px; height: 0; } .videoWrapper iframe { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

Dominic Thiem and Pablo Cuevas produced sensational hot shots en route to quarter-finals upsets earlier this month in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 action. 

After five days of voting, fans crowned Thiem’s backhand strike against Rafael Nadal at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia as the Clay Masters Golden Hot Shot. It finished with 54 per cent of votes cast, ahead of Cuevas' no-look winner against Alexander Zverev at the Mutua Madrid Open with 23 per cent of votes.  

View Complete Results For Golden Hot Shot 

Thiem's hot shot brought up break point for the Austrian, and he promptly capitalised, going on to win three straight games to end Nadal's hopes for the Masters 1000 title treble. Cuevas, meanwhile, turned the tables against #NextGenATP star Zverev with his moment of brilliance early in the second set. 

"I don't practise it very often," said Cuevas. "It was just a last-minute thing that I hit. I thought it would work... Normally I never try that shot. Today I tried that shot. I thought I hit the ball pretty well. When I looked that I placed it in a good place in the court, I was happy."

[ALSO LIKE]

Nick Kyrgios' doubles winner from Madrid came from behind on the final day of voting to move into the top three, moving ahead of Rafael Nadal's impossible angle shot from the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

Re-live nine great hot shots from the season’s ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay tournaments:

Subscribe to our Hot Shot playlist, and watch match replays on TennisTV.

Nadal Prepares For Run At History In Roland Garros

Sat, 27/05/2017 - 7:11am

The season of “La Décima” ascends to its final stage during the next two weeks, and the conquistador, Rafael Nadal, appears primed for more history. Nadal will go for a record 10th title at Roland Garros, the season's second Grand Slam, which starts Sunday.

He's approaching unprecedented tennis history: No man or woman has won a Grand Slam title 10 times in the Open Era, since April 1968. But Nadal, who won Roland Garros crowns in 2005-08 and '10-14, has already entered double digits at two tournaments this year.

The Spaniard captured his 10th title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. Two weeks ago, he also won his fifth Mutua Madrid Open crown. Nadal is feeling positive as he prepares in Paris this week.

“I feel at home because I have a great relationship with all the girls that are working here, with a lot of people that are running the event. It's always good to see people that I have spent a lot of days in my life with,” said Nadal, who is making his 13th consecutive appearance at the tournament. “I just say thanks to them for everything that they do for me, and I feel great every time that I have the chance to be back here and to see all of them.”

The 30 year old Nadal boasts a remarkable 72-2 record at Roland Garros. Only three times since 2005 has he not reached the title match, including last season when a left wrist injury forced him to withdraw prior to his third-round match against countryman Marcel Granollers.*

Nadal Through The Years At Roland Garros

Year

Result

Opponent

2016

Third Round

w/o to Granollers*

2015

QF

l. to Djokovic

2014

Champion

d. Djokovic

2013

Champion

d. Ferrer

2012

Champion

d. Djokovic

2011

Champion

d. Federer

2010

Champion

d. Soderling

2009

Round of 16

l. to Soderling

2008

Champion

d. Federer

2007

Champion

d. Federer

2006

Champion

d. Federer

2005

Champion

d. Puerta

But the draw certainly didn't treat him like a nine-time champion. Nadal opens against Frenchman Benoit Paire, No. 45 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. The 28 year old beat World No. 3 and 2015 Roland Garros champion Stan Wawrinka in the third round of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters earlier this month.

Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 2-0 and both meetings came on clay – 2013 Madrid, 2013 Barcelona.

“He's not an opponent you want to play against in the first round. He's a player with big talent – great serve, great hands and a fantastic backhand. He's a dangerous opponent,” Nadal said.

A year ago, the Spaniard also arrived at Roland Garros feeling positive. The left-hander had won his ninth title in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and was again one of the top contenders to take the Roland Garros crown. But the nagging injury cut short his stay in Paris. “I hope that the story doesn't repeat itself,” Nadal said, smiling.

[ALSO LIKE]

This season, though, the Spaniard has more than returned to his best level. With the addition of former World No. 1 Carlos Moya to his team, Nadal has reached three hard-court finals and won three clay-court titles already this year.

On the red dirt, the left-hander is 17-1, with his only loss coming to Dominic Thiem in the Internazionali BNL d'Italia quarter-finals last week in Rome. Nadal beat Thiem in straight sets to win the Barcelona and Madrid titles.

“Since the beginning of the season I am happy with the way that I have played. I think I played well in almost every event... played well on hard. Then played great on clay,” Nadal said. “Here we are, another year, just trying to have the right days of practice before the competition starts. I know I need to be ready in the beginning because I have a tough opponent in the first round. So I am focused.”

Nadal could meet Thiem in the semi-finals. “I am very happy the way that I arrived here. Now I have to play well here. That's all,” Nadal said.

Nadal On Clay In 2017

Tournament

Result

Opponent

Internazionali BNL d'Italia

QF

l. to Thiem

Mutua Madrid Open

Champion

d. Thiem

Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell

Champion

d. Thiem

Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters

Champion

d. Ramos-Vinolas

Djokovic All Smiles With Agassi On Board

Sat, 27/05/2017 - 5:57am

Novak Djokovic has a familiar face in his corner this week in the build-up to Roland Garros, which gets underway on Sunday. With his pigeon-toed walk, former World No. 1 Andre Agassi has been drafted in to help the Serbian recapture his peak form and confidence.

Agassi has returned to top-level tennis for the first time since retiring at the 2006 US Open and Djokovic, the defending champion in Paris, has been all smiles in recent days.

”It feels like a new chapter,” said Djokovic, who admitted to talking to Agassi on the phone after each match at the Mutua Madrid Open and Internazionali BNL d’Italia. “I was very glad that he accepted to come in person to Paris and spend some time together.”

“He's someone that inspires me a lot,” said Djokovic. “That's one of the things I felt like I needed is new inspiration, someone that knows exactly what I'm going through on the court [and] off the court. He has been through all these transitions, he has been in my shoes before playing Grand Slams, being the best in the world, and facing all the challenges that are present in tennis, in professional sport.”

”We can relate to each other in many different ways from many different sides. That's why I'm very excited for him being here, because it's a great opportunity for me to learn.”

Djokovic announced on 5 May that he had parted company with three long-time members of his team - coach Marian Vajda, fitness trainer Gebhard Phil Gritsch and physio Miljan Amanovic. Former World No. 1 Boris Becker stepped down as Djokovic's coach at the end of 2016.

Having just turned 30, Djokovic is now hoping that Agassi can help him “rediscover what kind of approach is the right one.”

Agassi, who won two of his eight Grand Slam championship trophies over the age of 30, is back in familiar surroundings at the site of his 1999 triumph, when he completed a career Grand Slam. Last year, Djokovic became the eighth man in tennis history to win all four major titles with his first triumph at Roland Garros.

”Yesterday was obviously the first day, and we had two practise sessions together,” said Djokovic. “Then we had a very, very long conversation in the evening. Even though it was the first day, it felt like we knew each other for a very long time. We clicked and connected very fast.

”I was not rushing the process of getting a new coach, because I trust myself. I believe in my own abilities. I have been around long enough to know how to play tennis. So I gave it some time, and I was patient. Andre is a perfect fit for me now in every aspect. I'm trying to absorb as much of his wisdom and knowledge and experience that he tries to share with me.”

Djokovic begins his quest for a 13th Grand Slam championship crown against Spaniard Marcel Granollers. He’s been drawn in the same half of the draw as nine-time former titlist Rafael Nadal, who beat the World No. 2 in the Madrid semi-finals two weeks ago. “I definitely see him as probably the No. 1 favourite for this title… It's definitely [going to be] an interesting edition of 2017 Roland Garros. It's a long two weeks.”

[ALSO LIKE]

Wawrinka Looks To Repeat In Geneva

Sat, 27/05/2017 - 5:44am

Stan Wawrinka will attempt to retain his Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open title on Saturday when he faces German qualifier Mischa Zverev in the final. The Swiss star, who is tied 1-1 lifetime against Zverev in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, is aiming to lift the 16th tour-level trophy of his career.

Wawrinka improved to a 19-8 record on the season when he defeated Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov 6-3, 7-6(4) in one hour and 39 minutes on Friday. He is 6-5 in clay-court finals and his last crown came in September 2016 at the US Open (d. Djokovic).

"The crowd has been great this week," said Wawrinka. "They are very loud and support me a lot when I need most. I’m happy to be in the final and I'm looking forward to it. Mischa Zverev is a very talented player. He prepared very well for the season and has been playing some great tennis this year. He’s had some great victories especially against [Andy] Murray in Melbourne. He’s a lefty and has a special style that we don’t see too often nowadays."

Zverev, who will attempt to capture his first ATP World Tour title, will be contesting his first final appearance since September 2010 at the Moselle Open in Metz (d. Simon).

Earlier in the day, Zverev, a traditional serve-and-volleyer who has varied his game style throughout the week in Geneva, kept his nerve to knock out second seed Kei Nishikori 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

The 29-year-old German required two hours and 18 minutes to reach the second ATP World Tour final of his career. Six days ago his younger brother, Alexander Zverev, captured his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome (d. Djokovic).

 Watch Live On TennisTV

 Watch Full Match Replays

Colombians Advance To Doubles Final

Second-seeded Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah will look to win their second Geneva doubles crown in three years on Saturday after they beat wild cards Johan Nikles and Tim Puetz 6-4, 6-4 in the semi-finals. Cabal and Farah, who beat Raven Klaasen and Yen-Hsun Lu for the 2015 title, have a 10-11 record in team finals (1-2 in 2017).

Later in the day, top seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau overcame Scott Lipsky and Leander Paes 6-3, 3-6, 10-3 in 80 minutes. They will now look to lift their 14th team crown (13-4 in finals).

Berdych Ousts Raonic To Reach Lyon Final

Sat, 27/05/2017 - 4:55am

Third seed Tomas Berdych will play for his first ATP World Tour title of the season after earning revenge against Canadian Milos Raonic 7-6(5), 7-6(2) on Friday during the semi-finals of the Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon.

Berdych had lost to Raonic in straight sets eight days ago at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, and Raonic led their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 5-2. But the 31-year-old Berdych delivered nine aces to eke out a tight win and reach his first ATP World Tour final since last October, when he beat Richard Gasquet to win the Shenzhen Open.

“Best match here definitely. I'm improving match by match, which is good and that's very important. I'm happy with the way the week is going,” Berdych said.

The World No. 14 last played in a clay-court final in 2015, when he fell to Novak Djokovic at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. The Czech right-hander will try to secure his 14th title when he meets Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who advanced to his first clay-court final with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory against Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

[ALSO LIKE]

“Good feelings today. I played a tough opponent... He was very solid. I managed to keep it up in the third set while he dropped his level a little bit,” Tsonga said.

The 32-year-old Tsonga hit 14 aces and saved eight of 10 break points in the last-four contest. “It was a big advantage for him... He was serving really good,” Basilashvili said.

Tsonga has played in 25 tour-level finals during his 14-year career but none on clay. He won back-to-back indoor titles in February in Rotterdam and Marseille, but has gotten off to a slow start on the clay.

Tsonga had to withdraw from his second-round match at the Mutua Madrid Open and from the Internazionali BNL d'Italia because of a right shoulder injury.

Berdych leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 8-4, but Tsonga won their last clay-court meeting, 2015 Roland Garros. “I'm expecting again a very good test, a big battle and I'm looking forward to it,” Berdych said. “Let's finish the week strong.”

Nadal, Djokovic In Same Half At Roland Garros

Fri, 26/05/2017 - 11:29pm

In-form Rafael Nadal faces a major test if he is to claim ‘La Decima’, a 10th title at Roland Garros this year. The Spanish superstar has been drawn in the same half of the draw as defending champion Novak Djokovic, Milos Raonic and Dominic Thiem, the player who beat him in last week's Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarter-finals.

View Draw

Fourth seed Nadal will meet France’s Benoit Paire in the first round as he looks to add to his incredible 72-2 record at the clay-court Grand Slam championship, where he has clinched the 2005-08, 2010-14 crowns. Nadal could meet No. 31 seed Gilles Simon in the third round, with a potential quarter-final against fifth seed Raonic, who begins his quest against Steve Darcis.

Nadal, who will celebrate his 31st birthday on 3 June, has already captured his 10th title at both the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in 2017. Two weeks ago, he also won a fifth crown at the Mutua Madrid Open.

Second seed Djokovic, who completed the career Grand Slam with his first Roland Garros title in 2016 (d. Murray), will take on Marcel Granollers in the first round. The Serbian, who has a 12-9 record in Grand Slam championship finals, has started to work with Andre Agassi this week as he seeks his first tour-level title since clinching the Qatar ExxonMobil Open crown (d. Murray) in January.

Djokovic, who also finished runner-up on Parisian clay in 2012, 2014 (l. to Nadal both times) and 2015 (l. to Wawrinka), could meet No. 16 seed Lucas Pouille in the fourth round, before a potential quarter-final against sixth seed Dominic Thiem or No. 10 seed David Goffin. Djokovic beat Thiem in the Rome semi-finals, but was ousted by Goffin in the Monte-Carlo last eight in April. Thiem, who opens his bid against Bernard Tomic, lost to Djokovic in last year’s Roland Garros semi-finals. The Austrian has won six ATP World Tour clay-court crowns and is 17-4 on the surface in 2017.

World No. 1 Andy Murray, who became the first Briton to reach the Roland Garros final since Bunny Austin in 1937, on the back of a title run at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (d. Djokovic), has been working hard in Paris this week with his coaches Ivan Lendl and Jamie Delgado. Murray, who has a 16-7 record in 2017, including the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships trophy (d. Verdasco), opens his campaign against Andrey Kuznetsov. Murray may face a tricky third-round encounter against No. 29 seed Juan Martin del Potro, who opens against a qualifier.

Murray or del Potro could then challenge No. 13 seed Tomas Berdych, who recorded the 600th match win of his career last week in Rome. #NextGenATP German Alexander Zverev, the ninth seed and winner of his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy in The Eternal City last week, begins his quest for glory against Fernando Verdasco. Zverev may then face No. 22 seed Pablo Cuevas in the third round, with a possible fourth-round tie against eighth seed Kei Nishikori.

Nishikori, who competes at Roland Garros for the seventh time hoping to better his 2015 quarter-final run (l. to Tsonga in five sets), plays Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, who is on the comeback trail from a shoulder injury. The Japanese star may meet No. 27 seed Sam Querrey, this year’s Abierto Mexicano Telcel champion, in the third round.

Stan Wawrinka, currently competing at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open, where he is the defending champion, is 18-8 on the year, but will be hoping to evoke memories of his 2015 Roland Garros title run. Last year’s semi-finalist, who competes in Murray’s half of the draw, opens against a qualifier with a third-round test against Fabio Fognini in prospect. Seventh seed Marin Cilic, No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 15 Gael Monfils, No. 18 Nick Kyrgios, No. 24 Richard Gasquet all feature in Wawrinka's second quarter of the draw.

ATP Announces New Name And Extended London Stay For Nitto ATP FInals

Fri, 26/05/2017 - 12:17pm
During a press conference from the Shard, the ATP announces that under a new title sponsorship with the Nitto Denko Corporation, the Nitto ATP Finals will stay in London a further two years through to 2020.

#NextGenATP Tsitsipas Qualifies For Roland Garros

Fri, 26/05/2017 - 8:39am

#NextGenATP's Stefanos Tsitsipas is one of eight players who qualified for the main draw of Roland Garros with final-round qualifying wins on Thursday. Among those also reaching their first Grand Slam main draw are Nicolas Jarry and Stefano Napolitano.

Tsitsipas encountered few problems moving past Oscar Otte of Germany 6-3, 6-2. The 18-year-old Greek player has never played the main draw of a Grand Slam before. He showed promise on clay by reaching back-to-back ATP Challenger Tour finals on the surface last October in Morocco.

Nicolas Jarry had never won a round at a Grand Slam prior to this week, but the Chilean is through to the main draw after defeating #NextGenATP American Reilly Opelka 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3. The 21 year old has reached two Challenger finals this year.

[ALSO LIKE]

Stefano Napolitano was also winless in Grand Slams before his dream run this week, taking out #NextGenATP player Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2. The 21-year-old Italian won his maiden Challenger last November on home soil in Ortisei.

The remaining final-round qualifying round winners on Thursday were all established veterans. The winners were ninth seed Santiago Giraldo, 13th seed Guido Pella, 21st seed Sergiy Stakhovsky, Teymuraz Gabashvili and Simone Bolelli.

All eight remaining final-round qualifying matches will be contested on Friday, with former Top 15 player Paul-Henri Mathieu and #NextGenATP Russian Andrey Rublev among those in action.

Nitto ATP Finals To Stay In London Through 2020

Fri, 26/05/2017 - 7:44am
The new-look Nitto ATP Finals will remain at London's iconic O2 arena through 2020. Only the world's best eight singles players and eight doubles teams make the cut.

Nitto ATP Finals Will Showcase World's Best

Fri, 26/05/2017 - 7:43am
The world's best eight players and doubles teams will again light up The O2 arena in London during the Nitto ATP Finals from 12-19 November.

Nishikori Saves 3 M.P. In Thrilling Comeback

Fri, 26/05/2017 - 6:25am

Second seed Kei Nishikori withstood a stern challenge from Kevin Anderson on Thursday at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open, surviving three match points to reach the semi-finals 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(6).

“There haven’t been too many times that I’m down match point and win, so it’s great for me,” said Nishikori. “He had more chances, but I served a little bit better in the end. It’s important to win some matches like this.” 

The Japanese star rallied from 2/4 in the final set tie-break and earned a match point at 6/5 with a backhand passing shot winner. Anderson erased it with a forehand winner, but Nishikori responded with a forehand return winner in the next point. The second seed hit another winner off that wing at 7/6 to wrap up the match after two hours and 29 minutes.

Nishikori improves his FedEx ATP Head2Head against Anderson to 4-1 and reaches his first ATP World Tour semi-final on clay this season. He’s seeking his first title since winning Memphis in February 2016 (d. Fritz).

 Watch Live On TennisTV

 Watch Full Match Replays

He’ll next play qualifier Mischa Zverev, who continued his run through the draw by defeating fifth seed Steve Johnson 6-4, 7-5. Zverev won all 14 of his first serve points in the opening set and 81 per cent in the match. The German moves into his maiden ATP World Tour semi-final of the season and first since last October in Basel.

“It’s my first [ATP World Tour] semi-final on clay, so I can be very happy with that,” said Zverev. “It took six or seven tournaments on clay, but now I’m finally finding my game on this surface.”

Top seed Stan Wawrinka was down a set and an early break to an in-form Sam Querrey, but delighted the home crowd by fighting back to win 4-6, 7-5, 6-2. Wawrinka improves to 4-3 on clay this season and is through to his maiden ATP World Tour semi-final on the red dirt this year. He defeated Marin Cilic in last year's final for his first title on home soil. The Swiss star also boosts his FedEx ATP Head2Head against Querrey to 5-1.

Awaiting Wawrinka in the semi-finals is Andrey Kuznetsov, who prevailed against lucky loser Cedrik-Marcel Stebe 6-2, 1-6, 7-5. Kuznetsov moves into his second ATP World Tour semi-final of the season after also reaching the final four this January in Sydney. He is even with Wawrinka in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 1-1 and won their most recent match in March 2016 at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Miami. 

[ALSO LIKE]

DOUBLES

Both doubles quarter-finals on Thursday didn’t make it to court due to withdrawals. Scott Lipsky and Leander Paes advanced past Rogerio Dutra Silva and Paolo Lorenzi due to a right ankle injury sustained by Dutra Silva. Lipsky/Paes will face top seeds Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau on Friday.

Wild cards Johan Nikles and Tim Puetz moved past third seeds Treat Huey and Robert Lindstedt after Lindstedt pulled out with a groin injury. Nikles/Puetz also received a walkover in their opening round. They will take on second seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah for a place in the final.