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Edmund, Jaziri Move On In Nottingham

ATP news - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 8:02am

Britain's Kyle Edmund, a member of the Next Generation, swept Czech Lukas Rosol 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the Aegon Open Nottingham on Monday. Edmund, a career-high No. 68 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, made his second ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season last week at The Queen's Club in London, where he lost to eventual champion Andy Murray in three sets.

"He's a very dangerous player. You don't know what to expect of him," Edmund said of Rosol, who beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon in 2012. "Coming off a good week last week, it was important that I didn't relax, I still stay focused, still look to improve. I felt I did that well.”

Malek Jaziri will face seventh seed Andreas Seppi in the second round after outlasting British wild card James Ward 6-1, 3-6, 6-4. Jaziri, No. 60 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, won 62 per cent of his service points and converted five of his 10 break points against the 29-year-old Ward, No. 177 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Jaziri, 32, lost to Seppi in their prior FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting (Moscow 2012).

German Benjamin Becker also prevailed in three sets, beating Aussie Jordan Thompson 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. Becker next will face 13th seed Guido Pella of Argentina for the first time.

Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic moved into the second round with a 7-6(7), 6-7(4), 6-2 win against American Rajeev Ram. Estrella Burgos next will face Fernando Verdasco, who won their prior FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting (Cincinnati 2008).

DAY 3 PREVIEW: ALL 16 SEEDS IN ACTION 

There is one first round singles match to be completed on Tuesday at the Aegon Open Nottingham as reigning champion Denis Istomin and Damir Dzumhur will play a third set. All 16 seeds are in second round action, including the top two seeds Kevin Anderson and Pablo Cuevas on Centre Court.

In the opening match of the day, No. 8 seed Gilles Muller and fellow left-hander Jiri Vesely meet for the first time. Muller is looking to maintain his recent grass court form in which he’s reached the final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (l. to Mahut) and the quarter-finals at Queen’s Club (l. to Tomic). Muller is 6-2 on grass this season. Vesely is one of three players (Lopez, Murray) this season to beat World No. 1 Djokovic. He defeated Djokovic in the opening round at ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo in April. The 22-year-old Czech Republic opened on Monday with a straight-sets win over Zeballos.

In the next match on, reigning champion Istomin and Bosnian Damir Dzumhur continue their 1R match from Monday. Istomin won the first set 6-1 before Dzumhur evened the match by winning the second set in a tie-break (7-4). Istomin, who defeated Sam Querrey in last year’s final to become the first Uzbekistani winner on the ATP World Tour, is looking to turn around his 2016 campaign. Istomin comes in with a 4-15 match record on the season and he’s no won back-to-back matches. Dzumhur is putting together his best career year with a 13-13 match record and Top 10 wins over No. 5 Rafael Nadal (ret.) at ATP Masters 1000 Miami and No. 7 Tomas Berdych at ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo.

In the third match on, No. 16 seed Ricardas Berankis, who celebrates his 26th birthday today,takes on British No. 4 Daniel Evans for the second time. Berankis won the previous meeting in five sets in a 2010 Davis Cup tie in Lithuania. Last month (on May 23), Berankis became the first Lithuanian-born player to break the Top 50 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Evans, is one of four Britons in the Top 100 Emirates ATP Rankings at No. 95. Last month on May 9 he reached a career-high No. 86.

In the next match on, Anderson and Ivan Dodig meet for the second time. Anderson won the previous meeting in four sets in a Davis Cup World Group playoff tie in 2011. Anderson comes in with a 3-8 match record on the season and he’s looking to regain the form of last season when he broke the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time on Oct. 12. The 30-year-old South African has been hampered by left knee and right elbow injuries this season. Dodig, who reached the semi-finals in 2013, opened on Monday with a straight sets win over Benneteau.

final match on, French qualifier Stephane Robert and Cuevas meet for the first time. Robert is one of three players (Herbert, Stepanek) to qualify an ATP World Tour-best five times this season. Cuevas, who is a two-time ATP World Tour winner this season (Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo), is making his season debut on grass.

Wales wins to top Euro 2016 Group B, England qualifies second

ABC Sport - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 7:35am

A Gareth Bale-inspired Wales beats Russia 3-0 to move into the knockout round of Euro 2016 as Group B winners, while England draws 0-0 with Slovakia to finish as runners-up.

Rain Slashes Schedule On Day 1 Of Wimbledon Qualifying

ATP news - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 7:24am

Rain caused havoc on Day 1 of qualifying on Monday at Wimbledon, washing out play entirely on nine of 16 courts. Only 16 first-round matches were completed, with #NextGen star Quentin Halys of France among the winners.

Halys made his Wimbledon debut a memorable one won by defeating Hans Podlipnik-Castillo of Chile, 6-0, 6-1. The 19-year-old has cut his ranking in half since last June, currently sitting at a career-high Emirates ATP Ranking of No. 142. Next up for him is Zhe Li of China, who defeated Dmitry Popko of Kazakhstan.

The upset of the day went to British wildcard Daniel Cox, who scored a convincing win over No. 16 seed Thiemo de Bakker of the Netherlands, 6-1, 6-2. Injuries have limited the World No. 554 in the Emirates ATP Rankings to just six tournaments since last September. Cox will now play Dennis Novak of Austria, who defeated Ze Zhang of China in his first-round match.

Other winners on Day 1 include former Roland Garros doubles champion Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France, No. 28 seed Dennis Novikov of the United States and Julian Reister of Germany.

All remaining first-round qualifying singles matches will be completed on Tuesday. Among those on the schedule include a slew of #NextGen stars, including top seed Karen Khachanov of Russia, American Frances Tiafoe and Andrey Rublev of Russia.

Smith salutes Gallen for Origin milestone

ABC Sport - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 6:54am

Cameron Smith hails Paul Gallen as a great player and leader as Gallen prepares to equal the record for most State Of Origin games as Blues captain.

Paralympian robbed at gunpoint in Rio

ABC Sport - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 6:49am

Australian Paralympian Liesl Tesch says Rio de Janeiro is a "dangerous place" after being robbed of her bicycle by an armed man during a fitness ride in the Brazilian city.

Sport scientists investigate fighters' weight-loss method

ABC Sport - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 6:13am

Scientists at the Australian Institute of Sport are investigating a weight-loss method used in boxing, wrestling and mixed martial arts that involves loading up on water before a bout.

Volandri, Cecchinato Rally On Boathouse In Milan

ATP news - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 3:20am

Before competing on the slow red clay of the ATP Challenger Tour event in Milan, Italy, two Italian stars had a fun hit on a much different surface.

Marco Cecchinato and 2013 champion Filippo Volandri hit a few balls on the boathouse on the Naviglio river, located in the Darsena district in Milan. The oldest canal along the river began being built in the 12th century, while the port Darsena was built in 1603 as a trade hub. There’s also a weekly market held in Darsena on Saturdays, which has become a popular tourist attraction in Milan.

Both Volandri and Cecchinato play their first-round matches in Milan on Tuesday. Cecchinato, the No. 5 seed, plays Juan Ignacio Londero of Argentina, while Volandri takes on qualifier and fellow Italian Lorenzo Sonego.

Balldogs Take Court At Poprad Tatry Challenger

ATP news - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 3:10am

This past weekend’s exhibition match at the ATP Challenger Tour event in Poprad Tatry, Slovakia, featured a unique twist as four-legged "balldogs" took to the court to fetch balls.

Former World No. 4 and Olympic gold medalist Miloslav Mecir and former World No. 34 Marian Vajda were joined on Saturday by three dogs who collected balls during the match. Ruby, Layla and Luky are from a local animal shelter and were brought out to highlight the importance of adopting.

“[They] are the first three official tennis ball collectors in Slovakia,” said local civil activist Monika Kozelova. "They demonstrated how clever, skilled and useful the dogs from an animal shelter can be.”

Mecir was also impressed by the balldogs, declaring that “they are such beautiful dogs, really well-trained. It would be such a pity if they didn’t find their home.”

Horacio Zeballos of Argentina won this year in Poprad Tatry without dropping a set, defeating Gerald Melzer of Austria in the final. 

Mecir said he was pleased with the tournament and believes it keeps improving each year. “We had stronger players than last year. We had a Top 50 player in Martin Klizan and some other top players in the Top 100. You could see most of the Slovak Davis Cup team in the singles semi-finals and doubles final,” he said. “After 14 years, we hope a Slovak player can win the singles title here. We haven’t managed it so far, but you can always see top tennis here.” 

ATP Stars Celebrate Dads

ATP news - Tue, 21/06/2016 - 3:04am

Not only have our ATP World Tour players been inspired by their dads, but some of them are dads themselves! We asked our stars to share some of their favourite memories.

To see what the players have to say, visit the ATP Dads capsule on MyATP. Not a member? Sign-up at MyATP.com or download the app to your iPhone or Android device.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Milos Raonic: “My father was a great inspiration to me… for them, education was very important but I got to do whatever I loved as well.” Watch

Bob Bryan: "Being a parent is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me and I consider it my most important and rewarding challenge. Seeing their smiles, hearing their laughter, and the pitter-pattering of their feet always warms my heart." Read More & View Photo

Kevin Anderson: “My dad made it all possible for me to get to where I am today.” Read More & View Photo

Alexander Zverev: “He’s been helping me for such a long time. He's been a great role model.” Read More & View Photo

Bruno Soares: “Being a dad is the most special feeling in my life. I think it's the biggest gift someone can get.” Read More & View Photo

Vasek Pospisil: “My dad is a tennis diehard. I don’t know if I know anybody that loves the sport more than he does.” Watch

John Peers: "[My dad] has not only been a great role model but a true friend." Read More & View Photo

Joao Sousa: “Aside from being my idol, he's the main pillar and responsible for my life's success.” Read More & View Photo 

Steve Johnson: “He's always been there for me in life, on and off the court.” Read More & View Photo 

Nicholas Monroe: "He's always been such a great father, coach and my number one supporter." View Photo

Marius Copil: “He used to be a professional rugby player and played tennis for fun and because of his hobby for Tennis, I quit playing Soccer and started Tennis!” Read More & View Photo

View the entire ATP Dads capsule on MyATP.

 

ATP Challenger Tour Awards Announced

ATP news - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 11:58pm

The ATP has announced the 2015 Challenger Tournaments of the Year, with long-standing events the Sparkassen OPEN (Braunschweig, Germany) and the Ethias Trophy (Mons, Belgium) joined by newcomer the Monterrey Open (Mexico) as the most favoured ATP Challenger Tour events. 

The Challenger Tournament of the Year awards, voted for the first time by ATP players, recognise the leading standards set across the 161 Challenger tournaments in 41 countries in 2015.

ATP Challenger Tour Committee Co-Chairs, Alison Lee, ATP International Executive Vice President and Ross Hutchins, Chief Player Officer, said “Challenger tournaments provide ATP players with important playing opportunities for much of the year, and provide local tennis fans with the chance to see world-class tennis and rising stars. There are many outstanding Challenger tournaments around the world, managed by dedicated people who love tennis. However, the three tournaments in Braunschweig, Mons and Monterrey were overwhelmingly voted for by the players for the high standards they set in their facility, player services and attendance. We are grateful that these Promoters go above and beyond in making their Challenger week such an incredible event for the players and their local tennis fans.”

The Sparkassen OPEN in Braunschweig has received many accolades in its 22-year history, attracting more than 30,000 spectators in 2015. The Challenger incorporates live music and entertainment throughout the week to complement the tennis.

MORE: 'Tennistainment' Key To Braunschweig Challenger Success

Sparkassen OPEN Tournament Director Volker Jaecke and Tournament Promoter and CEO of Brunswiek Marketing Harald Tenzer, said, “A very special thanks to the ATP and all the players who have voted for our ATP Challenger Sparkassen OPEN in Braunschweig. It is such an honour for the whole team to receive this Award again. After winning the Award in 2014, we have been even more motivated to organise a great tournament for players, spectators, sponsors and partners in 2015. However, we did not expect the effort to be paid off so quickly. This year, we were able to improve several areas to make players feel even more comfortable.”

“It is important to mention that this tournament could not exist without all the sponsors and partners, who support us each year. We are therefore pleased to announce that our title sponsor, Braunschweigische Landessparkasse, has renewed for five more years. We are looking forward to another year of successful cooperation and organisation with the ATP.”

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The Ethias Trophy in Mons, staged since 2005, is also a local crowd favourite with almost 20,000 people coming to watch the week of tennis. Tournament Director Dominique Monami, said, “In the name of Ethias and the organisation committee, we are proud to receive this award. Year after year, we are trying to make this event the most attractive to the players. As a former player on the WTA, I understand better than anyone what the players are expecting during a tournament. With my team, we do our best to make sure that the players can perform in the best conditions and make their stay the most comfortable. This is the best recognition we can get!”

MORE: Rave Reviews For Inaugural Monterrey Challenger

The Monterrey Open, played at the Sierra Madre Tennis Club, made a huge impact on players winning the prestigious Best Challenger Award in its inaugural year in 2015. Tournament Director Hernan Garza said, “It is an honour for us have been named one of the winners of the ATP Challenger of the Year awards for 2015, which we look forward to receiving in November at the Barclays ATP Tour World Finals in London. This confirms the good direction we have taken with the Monterrey Open Challenger, and commits us to continue our efforts to provide the players and the public a high quality event.”

Moët Moment: Murray Wins Queen's

ATP news - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 11:27pm

Moët Moment: Andy Murray beats Milos Raonic to win the Aegon Championships at The Queen's Club.

Holden 'discussing future' of club sponsorship after McGuire gaffe

ABC Sport - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 10:41pm

Holden, one of Collingwood's premier sponsors, says it "categorically disapproves" of Eddie McGuire's joke about drowning journalist Caroline Wilson, and is engaging with the club to "discuss the future of our sponsorship".

Titans beat Manly 30-10 as Sea Eagles' slump continues

ABC Sport - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 8:58pm

Gold Coast heaps more pressure on Manly coach Trent Barrett after handing out a 30-10 NRL hiding to the Sea Eagles, their sixth loss in a row.

Maroons to unleash Inglis on maligned Walker

ABC Sport - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 5:32pm

Queensland and Greg Inglis are set to target Dylan Walker in Origin II in Brisbane, with Maroons captain Cameron Smith expecting a hostile home crowd.

Scott embarrassed for not 'fact checking' umpire claims

ABC Sport - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 4:50pm

Brad Scott apologises for his post-match claims an umpire had labelled Lindsay Thomas a "ducker", saying he is embarrassed for not properly checking the facts.

Backlash over AFL boss's acceptance of McGuire apology

ABC Sport - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 4:24pm

The AFL's response to Eddie McGuire's remarks about Fairfax journalist Caroline Wilson causes a stir on social media, after the league's chief executive says he was advised by women that the Collingwood president's apology was sufficient.

McGuire to escape punishment by Triple M for 'drowning' comments

ABC Sport - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 4:07pm

The broadcasters at the centre of the Caroline Wilson 'drowning' comments on Triple M radio are unlikely to face any sanction, according to the station.

McGuire 'likely forced' to apologise for drowning remarks

ABC Sport - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 1:39pm

Fairfax journalist Caroline Wilson says Eddie McGuire has not yet learned from his mistakes, and was likely dragged "kicking and screaming" to apologise for his drowning comments.

Eddie McGuire's history of gaffes

ABC Sport - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 1:19pm

As Eddie McGuire apologises for his comments about journalist Caroline Wilson, check out some of the Collingwood chief and Channel Nine star's previous gaffes.

Paralympians overwhelmed by national support ahead of Rio

ABC Sport - Mon, 20/06/2016 - 1:02pm

Australian Paralympic co-captain Kurt Fearnley says he is overwhelmed by the amount of support the team has received ahead of the Games in Rio in September.