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Medvedev Returns To Action In St. Petersburg; When Is The Draw & More

Fri, 13/09/2019 - 8:13am

Following a North American hard-court summer to remember, Daniil Medvedev returns to his home country at a career-high World No. 4 and will attempt to become the first Russian to win the St. Petersburg Open since Mikhail Youzhny 15 years ago. The 23-year-old Medvedev, who came up just short against Rafael Nadal in the US Open final, will be looking to reach a fifth straight final (Washington, Montreal, Cincinnati, US Open). 

Medvedev's countrymen, Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev, also return to Russia as strong contenders for the ATP 250 title. World No. 9 Khachanov is an ATP Masters 1000 champion, claiming the Rolex Paris Masters title in November. Rublev recorded big upsets in August, posting back-to-back wins over Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer in Cincinnati and knocking out Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round of the US Open.

In addition to the Russian trio, the St. Petersburg field includes US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini, Borna Coric, Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych.

Here's all you need to know about the St. Petersburg tennis tournament: what is the schedule, where to watch, who has won and more. 

Established: 1995

Tournament Dates: 16-22 September 2019

Tournament Director: Olesya Gankevich

Draw Ceremony: Sunday, 15 September at 1:00pm on-site

Are You In? Subscribe To Get Tournament Updates In Your Inbox

Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: starts Sunday at 11:00am
* Main draw: Monday at 3:00pm, Tuesday – Saturday 1:00pm
* Doubles final: Sunday, 22 September at 2:00pm
* Singles final: Sunday, 22 September at 4:30pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV 
TV Schedule

Venue: Sibur Arena
Main Court Seating: 7,120
Surface: Indoor Hard

Prize Money: US $1,180,000 (Total Financial Commitment: US $1,248,665)  

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: Thomas Johansson, Andy Murray, Marat Safin (2)
Most Titles, Doubles: Nenad Zimonjic (3)

2018 Finals
Singles: [1] Dominic Thiem (AUT) d Martin Klizan (SVK) 63 61   Read & Watch
Doubles: Matteo Berrettini (ITA) / Fabio Fognini (ITA) d [3] Roman Jebavy (CZE) / Matwe Middelkoop (NED) 76(6) 76(4)  Read More

Social
Hashtag: #spbopen
Facebook: @FormulaTX
Twitter: @Formula_TX
Instagram: @formula_tx

Did You Know... Yevgeny Kafelnikov won the inaugural edition of the St. Petersburg Open in 1995. Marat Safin became the first player to win back-to-back titles in 2000-01. 

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The One Stat That Pushed Medvedev To Cincy Title, US Open Final

Fri, 13/09/2019 - 7:19am

Converting break points at an unprecedented rate was the beating heart of Daniil Medvedev’s sensational North American hard-court summer swing.

An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of the 23-year-old Russian, who won 20 of 23 matches in his past four tournaments, identifies that his biggest statistical jump in Washington, Montreal, Cincinnati and New York compared to the rest of his 2019 season was when he got a look at a break point.

Break Points Won
40.2% = Medvedev 2019 Prior To Washington
45.7% = ATP Career Leader (Guillermo Coria)
49.4% = 2019 Tour Leader (Novak Djokovic)
52.4% = Medvedev Four North American Tournaments

Medvedev spectacularly jumped from converting 40.2 per cent (148/368) of break points from Brisbane in January to before Washington in late July, to converting 52.4 per cent (89/170) during the North American summer hard-court season.

Those metrics are superior to the 2019 break points converted leader, Novak Djokovic, and the career break points converted leader, Guillermo Coria, whose career-high ATP Ranking was No. 3 in 2004.

Medvedev’s best break points converted win percentage was at the Western & Southern Open (63%) in Cincinnati, where he won 17 of 27 break points en route to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title. He dropped only one set for the tournament, which was to World No. 1 Djokovic.

Medvedev 2019 North American Hard-Court Swing: Break Points Won
63% (17/27) = Cincinnati
60% (12/20 = Washington
55% (22/40) = Montreal
45.8% ( 38/83) = US Open

It was in the important moments where Medvedev improved this summer rather than in his overall body of work serving and returning.

Medvedev Total Return Points Won
40.5% (1414/3492) won to Washington
40.8% (735/1800) won four North American tournaments

Medvedev Total Serve Points Won
65.4% (2143/3279) won to Washington
69.1% (1196/1732) won four North American tournaments

Medvedev is currently ranked fourth on Tour on the ATP Return LEADERBOARD, powered by Infosys Nia Data, with a 158.0 rating, and 21st on the ATP Serve LEADERBOARD, powered by Infosys Nia Data, with a 277.0 rating.

See Who Medvedev Is Chasing On The ATP Return LEADERBOARD

Surprisingly, Medvedev’s points won returning first and second serves for the start of the season compared to the North American summer moved only a little, with his return points won against first serves actually declining a little.

Medvedev First-Serve Return Points Won
31.6% (681/2152) won to Washington
30.6% (332/1086) won four North American tournaments

Medvedev Second-Serve Return Points Won
54.7% (733/1340) won to Washington
56.4% (403/714) won four North American tournaments

In the US Open final against Rafael Nadal, Medvedev created 15 break points, but was able to break only five times (33%), including once out of five times (25%) in the deciding fifth set. Just one of those points could have been a difference maker to the final outcome.

Simon, Tsonga Go For Metz Titles Record; When Is The Draw & More

Fri, 13/09/2019 - 6:50am

Starting with Arnaud Clement's triumph at the inaugural Moselle Open in 2003, Frenchmen have combined to win 10 of the 16 editions of Metz's ATP 250 tennis tournament. The French contingent will look to continue the tradition of success in 2019, led by three-time singles champions Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Simon and Tsonga will be joined in the field by 2016 winner Lucas Pouille, Benoit Paire, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Richard Gasquet, Jeremy Chardy and Ugo Humbert. Two other former champions — David Goffin (2014), Peter Gojowczyk (2017) — and Nikoloz Basilashvili and Marin Cilic also feature. 

Here's all you need to know about the Metz tennis tournament: what is the schedule, where to watch, who has won and more. 

Established: 2003

Tournament Dates: 16-22 September 2019

Tournament Director: Julien Boutter

Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 14 September

Are You In? Subscribe To Get Tournament Updates In Your Inbox

Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Sunday and Monday
* Main draw: Monday at 11:00am and 6:00pm, Tuesday at 11:30am and 6:00pm, Wednesday and Thursday at 12:00pm and 6:00pm, Friday at 1:45pm and 6:00pm, Saturday at 2:00pm
* Doubles final: Sunday, 22 September at 1:30pm
* Singles final: Sunday, 22 September not before 3:30pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV 
TV Schedule

Venue: Les Arènes de Metz
Main Court Seating: 5,000
Surface: Indoor Hard 

Prize Money: € 524,340 (Total Financial Commitment: € 586,140)  

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: Gilles Simon, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (3)
Most Titles, Doubles: Nicolas Mahut, Edouard Roger-Vasselin (4)

2018 Finals
Singles: Gilles Simon (FRA) d [Q] Matthias Bachinger (GER) 76(2) 61   Read & Watch
Doubles: [1] Nicolas Mahut (FRA) / Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) d [4] Ken Skupski (GBR) / Neal Skupski (GBR) 61 75  Read More

Social
Facebook: @moselleopen
Twitter: @moselleopen
Instagram: @moselleopen

Did You Know... The Moselle Open has a new trophy for 2019, with Gilles Simon taking home the previous one after winning the Moselle Open for a third time last year. Read More

Le @MoselleCD57 a dévoilé ce matin le nouveau trophée du @MoselleOpen. Il a été réalisé par la cristallerie Lehrer, labellisée qualité #MOSL , avec des élèves de CAP et de brevet des métiers d'art au lycée professionnel Labroise de Sarrebourg. pic.twitter.com/sKWLZZx6ln

— Département Moselle (@MoselleCD57) September 11, 2019 .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%; }

Andreas Mies Honoured In Front Of 85,317 At Auburn

Fri, 13/09/2019 - 5:04am

Andreas Mies has had a breakthrough season on the ATP Tour alongside fellow German Kevin Krawietz. And for his efforts, the former Auburn University Tiger was recognised on Saturday evening in front of 85,713 fans at Jordan-Hare Stadium during the school's football game against Tulane.

"It just means a lot to me. They showed our [US Open] semi-final match here on the big screen at Jordan-Hare and it's just unbelievable," Mies told Auburn Athletics. "It's something you dream of as a kid playing in these big tournaments and to get recognised like this at the football game is incredible. They've supported me so well and it's nice."

Mies and Krawietz began their surge by winning the New York Open, and they captured their first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros. The Germans made another deep run at a major at the US Open, where they succumbed in a tight two-setter in the semi-finals.

Watching the #USOpen #Auburn style! @AndreasMies #WarEagle pic.twitter.com/4XPY5Er9hC

— Auburn Men's Tennis (@AuburnMTennis) September 5, 2019

"It's a dream come true to be able to play in the US Open," Mies said. "During my four years at Auburn, I always dreamed of becoming a professional tennis player and playing at the US Open. It came true last week, and it is such an honour for me."

Mies and Krawietz are currently the fourth-placed team in the ATP Doubles Race To London, putting them in strong position to earn a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. The season finale will take place from 10-17 November at The O2 in London.

Anderson Announces Surgery, End Of 2019 Season

Fri, 13/09/2019 - 2:21am

Just three days after announcing that he would miss the rest of the 2019 season to get healthy, Kevin Anderson revealed on social media on Thursday that he underwent knee surgery.

“Thanks so much for your very nice messages! They’ve been great these past few days, especially as I came out of surgery,” wrote Anderson, who struggled with a right elbow injury earlier in the year. “My team, doctors and I decided to move forward with a procedure to help my knee. It went well and I look forward to rehabbing and getting back on court.”

Thanks so much for your very nice messages! They’ve been great to read these past few days, especially as I came out of surgery. My team, doctors & I decided to move forward with a procedure to help my knee. It went well & I look forward to rehabbing & getting back on court

Andy Murray Accepts A Wild Card Into Shanghai

Fri, 13/09/2019 - 1:33am

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray has accepted a wild card into the Rolex Shanghai Masters, which will take place from 6-13 October, the tournament announced on Thursday.

"I’m really looking forward to be going back to Shanghai, a tournament I have had success at in the past," Murray said, according to the tournament's website. "Thanks to the tournament for a wild card. It’s great to be able to continue my comeback and play more tennis in China. Shanghai is a great city; I feel comfortable there and the fans are always supportive."

Murray has long enjoyed success at China’s ATP Masters 1000 event, where he has tallied a 22-3 record, lifting the trophy on three occasions. The 2010, 2011 and 2016 titlist won the first 12 matches he played at the tournament, and he also made the championship match in 2012 (l. to Djokovic).

The 32-year-old continues to battle back into form after undergoing hip surgery after the Australian Open. Murray made his singles return at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, and his other tour-level appearance came at the Winston-Salem Open. The 45-time tour-level titlist, who opted not to compete at the US Open in singles or doubles, reached the Round of 16 at the Rafa Nadal Open by Sotheby’s, an ATP Challenger Tour event held in the last week of August.

Although he has not yet won a tour-level singles match during his comeback, Murray has enjoyed doubles success, winning the Fever-Tree Championships (w/ Lopez) and reaching two additional quarter-finals. The Scot is scheduled to compete in Zhuhai, Beijing and Shanghai during the Asian Swing.

Did You Know?
Murray owns a 212-82 record at Masters 1000 tournaments. He has lifted 14 trophies at that level.

Get To Know ATP Cup... Part II

Fri, 13/09/2019 - 12:01am
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Fans will soon know which 18 countries are the first to qualify for the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia in January. By Monday (Australian time) ATP and event partner Tennis Australia will announce the first 18 countries – and the Top 2 committed players from each team. Those countries will then be drawn into groups Monday morning and later that day the group-stage schedule will be released.

Ahead of the country announcements and draw, get to know more about the event in Part 2 of our series explaining how the tournament will work. (Read Part 1)

How will the official draw work?
On Monday 16 September, the Top 18 teams will be divided into six groups, with two groups assigned to each of the three host cities. The first six seeds will be placed in Groups A to F. Countries 7-12 will then be randomly drawn into one of the six groups, followed by countries 13-18. (Protected ranking will not be used for seeding.) If Australia is outside the Top 18 countries on Friday it will gain entry as the host country and be randomly allocated to one of the six groups as the 19th team. 

I want to see a particular player in action. When are they playing?
The format of ATP Cup provides fans the unique opportunity to buy tickets in advance with confidence in seeing a particular country play. In addition to knowing on Monday into which groups the first 18 teams have been placed, the daily schedule for the group stage will be made.

The top two entered singles players from each qualified country will be known by Monday 16 September. Those players are committed to playing the event unless overtaken in the ATP Rankings by a countryman at the time of the second entry deadline on 13 November.

The remaining six countries will be announced mid-November, along with the full playing list. Each tie involves match-ups of the two top-ranked singles players and the two second-ranked singles players, followed by doubles. Selection for those match-ups will be finalised 3 p.m. the day before the Tie.

Is Australia guaranteed a place in the tournament?
Yes. If Australia is not one of the Top 18 teams in the ATP Cup Standings on Friday it will gain entry into the tournament as the host country. In this instance 19 teams will qualify at Friday’s first entry deadline and five (rather than six) additional teams will qualify at the second entry deadline on 13 November.

What are the ATP Cup Standings?
The ATP Cup Standings is a provisional entry list for the ATP Cup, ordered by the ATP Ranking (or Protected Ranking) of a country's highest-ranked singles player. ATP Cup Standings also show which players within each country would qualify for a place in their country’s team, subject to player entry rules.

What if a country’s top-ranked singles player does not commit to play the event at the time of the first entry deadline?
The country’s eligibility to qualify at the first entry deadline is determined by the singles ATP Ranking of its next-highest ranked entered singles player.

When will the final five or six teams be drawn into groups?
The remaining teams will be drawn and announced 13 November after the second entry deadline using the 11 November ATP Rankings, with each additional team drawn at random to a group.

Felix Closing On First Next Gen ATP Finals Berth

Thu, 12/09/2019 - 11:38pm

Seven weeks for seven spots. After a thrilling third quarter on the ATP Tour, seven of the eight places at the Next Gen ATP Finals remain up for grabs, and only seven weeks remain in the ATP Race To Milan.

The Race will determine seven of the eight players who compete at the 21-and-under event, now in its third year and to be held 5-9 November in Milan. The eighth spot is reserved for an Italian wild card.

Felix Auger-Aliassime, 19, sits in second place in the Race with 1,636 points. The #NextGenATP Canadian is 31-19 during his first full season on the ATP Tour and enjoyed an emotional homecoming in August at his home ATP Masters 1000 event, the Coupe Rogers in Montreal.

Auger-Aliassime made the third round, falling to 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Karen Khachanov of Russia.

“When there's a lot on the line, when you see the finish line, the nerves get to you. That's part of my journey,” Auger-Aliassime, who was trying to reach his second Masters 1000 quarter-final (Miami), said at the time. “It just means that I still have things to improve to win these types of matches and to deal better with these types of moments.”

Auger-Aliassime fell in the first round of the US Open to 20-year-old countryman Denis Shapovalov, who is in fourth place in the Race with 1,075 points. The left-hander, who also competed at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in 2017, turned around his season during the North American hard-court swing.

Shapovalov had lost five consecutive matches before the Canadian Masters 1000 event, but he beat France's Pierre-Hugues Herbert to snap the streak. One week later, at the Winston-Salem Open, Shapovalov made his second semi-final of the season (Miami).

Defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first player to qualify for Milan during the US Open, but Tsitsipas, who leads the Race with 3,205 points, is also on track to make his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held the following week at The O2 in London.

Alex de Minaur, last year's Milan finalist, is in third place in the Race (1,170) and also jumpstarted his 2019 on hard courts. De Minaur won his second ATP title of the season, beating American Taylor Fritz to win the BB&T Atlanta Open.

The 20-year-old De Minaur started his year by winning his maiden ATP title in Sydney, but a groin injury limited his play on clay and grass.

“This one is really special to me. I felt like I really needed this. To start the year with a bang and then be slowed down by injuries… you expect your level to be right there once you come back, but you have to slowly grind your way back,” De Minaur said in Atlanta.

American Frances Tiafoe, who competed in Milan last year, is in fifth place with 960 points. Norway's Casper Ruud, who's going for his maiden Milan appearance, sits in sixth place with 886 points. And Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, in the seventh and final qualifying spot (873 points), has distanced himself from the rest of the hopefuls.

On 15 July, Kecmanovic was only 57 points ahead of eighth-placed Ugo Humbert of France. But Kecmanovic added 256 points in the past two months, increasing the distance between himself and Humbert to 185 points.

Kecmanovic, 20-15 on the year, made the quarter-finals in Atlanta and the third round at the Western & Southern Open, a Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati. The #NextGenATP Serbian beat Alexander Zverev in Cincy for his first Top 10 win.

“I'm really happy that I was able to play the way I did. I worked a lot, I practised a lot. To see everything come together and happen, it's really special,” Kecmanovic said. “I definitely just tried to go for everything.”

Moya: 'It's Rafa's Biggest Victory Since I Joined His Team'

Thu, 12/09/2019 - 5:00am

There are some matches that set themselves apart from the rest, ones that become instant classics and establish themselves in the annals of tennis history. The competitors are catapulted into the highest echelon, their names etched in the record books and their place secured in the hearts and minds of fans. Sunday’s contest between Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev in the US Open final is one match worthy of that reverence.

The line that separated Nadal from victory and defeat was a fine one. The World No. 2 seemed so close to crossing the finish line after two sets that a straight-sets win and a fourth US Open crown seemed almost assured.

Three sets and almost three hours later, the Spaniard struggled to remain upright as he grappled with both defeat and a stubborn, determined opponent. After nearly five hours, the 33-year-old emerged victorious, 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4, lifting his 19th Grand Slam trophy and nudging one step closer to Roger Federer’s record 20 major titles.

“These are matches that can change history,” coach Francis Roig told ATPTour.com following the epic win. “We have already been through these types of matches and [on Sunday] we had to win. I think history owed us this one, and we accomplished this feat.”

Roig was referring to the painful memories of Grand Slam conquests that barely slipped out of Nadal’s reach during the past several years. In 2014, a back injury hindered his charge’s performance as the Spaniard fell in four sets to Stan Wawrinka 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the Australian Open final.

Nadal had stumbled at the same hurdle in Melbourne two years before, losing to Novak Djokovic 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 for his third consecutive loss in a Grand Slam final. And in 2017, Nadal was leading Roger Federer 3-1 in the fifth set of the Australian Open final before succumbing 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

“You don't know how many opportunities like those he’ll have. Rafa is always seeking them out, though, and he tries to make the most of them at this point in his career. But it’s clear that losing a Grand Slam final hurts,” said fellow coach Carlos Moya, who was on hand to witness his pupil fight off multiple break points and a hard-charging Medvedev in dramatic fashion down the stretch. “It's amazing what Rafa has achieved. He’s won majors in three sets. He’s lost them in five. But he’s always right there battling until the end, and he has this uncanny ability to pull through in difficult circumstances. He’s proven that once again.”

On paper, the final looked intriguing but lacked the allure of an enticing showdown between Nadal and the likes of Djokovic or Federer. On court at Arthur Ashe stadium, however, the encounter produced similar fireworks and resulted in one of the most emotionally charged, enthralling matches of Nadal’s career.

“In terms of excitement and emotion, it’s Rafa’s biggest victory since I joined his team,” Moya confessed. “The last four Grand Slam finals that I’ve been a part of, some were difficult to endure and others, not as much so. But this is definitely the most significant, especially when you take into consideration factors like the speed of the surface.”

Another detail worth noting is that Sunday’s win marked just the third time Nadal needed five sets to notch victory in a Grand Slam final: He outlasted Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7 at Wimbledon in 2008 and again survived a five-set thriller against his Swiss rival, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(3), 3-6, 6-2 in the Australian Open less than a year later.

As fierce and intense as his matches against familiar foes Djokovic and Federer have been, the pressure is even greater and stakes are higher, according to Roig, when it’s a different opponent standing across the court and in the way of another Grand Slam championship.

“Our level of euphoria is determined by the amount of theatrics involved during and surrounding a match,” said Roig, who has been in Nadal’s corner since nearly the start of his career. “Whenever Federer and Djokovic are out of the equation and Rafa is labeled the outright favourite, the pressure rises even higher and that only complicates matters.

“This was a match we couldn’t afford to lose. Medvedev had the kind of summer that made it hard to imagine him losing. They battled on equal terms and even as Rafa lifted his game, you could see the effects that was having on his body. The tension was at an all-time high and we saw no areas of weakness for Rafa to exploit. But that’s what makes Rafa such a great competitor: he always seems to find a way. It was an epic match.”

And if both coaches can agree on something, it’s that their charge saved his best for the final match of the two-week tournament.

More On Rafa's #USOpen
Nadal Claims Epic Five-Set Win Against Medvedev For Title
Nadal Extends Lead Over Djokovic In Battle For Year-End No. 1
Nadal At Net: Rafa Finds New Way To Win Major Title In New York
Social Media Reacts To Nadal-Medvedev Instant Classic

“It was such an exciting match with so many possible outcomes. I wasn’t sitting comfortably at any time throughout the five sets,” Moya said. “We saw so many aspects of Rafa’s game, and he played his best match of the tournament. We knew going into the match it wouldn’t be easy and we were aware of what his opponent was capable of doing so we weren’t surprised by how things played out.”

For Roig, Nadal’s true colors ultimately showed in the fourth and fifth sets when he was forced to dig deep in order to pull through.

“Rafa really shines in the face of adversity,” the coach said. “He unleashes everything in his arsenal when it matters most. In those final sets, he hit even harder and more precisely. His groundstrokes were on target, and he found another gear in order to win.”

Roig’s final point is a familiar storyline in Nadal’s distinguished career.

Get To Know ATP Cup... Part I

Thu, 12/09/2019 - 4:16am
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The countdown is on to the inaugural ATP Cup in January. To be played in three Australian cities and featuring 24 countries, the event will provide an explosive start to the 2020 ATP Tour season.

There’s lots to know about the new US$15 million tournament that will feature the world’s best players playing for their teammates and for the love of country. This week ATPTour.com will run a series of stories to provide fans with greater understanding of the event.

What is the ATP Cup?
The ATP Cup is an annual 24-country team competition featuring US$15 million prize money and a maximum of 750 singles and 250 doubles ATP Rankings points. ATP is staging the event in partnership with Tennis Australia.

When and where will it be played?
The ATP Cup will begin the ATP Tour each season, starting on the Friday before Week 1. The tournament will be a 10-day event finishing on the final Sunday of Week 1. The inaugural event in 2020 will be held from Friday 3 – Sunday 12 January. The ATP Cup will be played alongside an ATP 250 event in Doha that will occupy Week 1 of the calendar.

The group stages competition will be hosted across three Australian cities – Brisbane, Perth and Sydney – over six days. Immediately following the group stages will be the ATP Cup Finals, Sydney – quarter-finals over two days, semi-finals and final – all to be played at Ken Rosewall Arena.

How does the tournament work?
The 24 countries are divided into six groups of four for group stage, round-robin play. The six winners of each group and the two best second-placed finishers across the groups emerge as the Final Eight Teams to contest the ATP Cup Finals, Sydney.

What is the format?
Each tie will comprise two singles and one doubles match. The country winning two matches wins the tie. Every country will be guaranteed to play three ties in the group stages. Singles will be best-of-three tie-break sets. Doubles will feature No-Ad scoring and a Match Tie-break in lieu of a third set.

What is the daily schedule?
There is a day session and an evening session each day per venue. The first singles matches will be played at 10 a.m. local time, starting with the No. 2 players in each tie, followed by the No. 1 players, with the doubles to follow. All doubles matches will be played regardless of whether the tie is decided after the two singles matches.

How does a country qualify for the ATP Cup and which of its players get to play?
A minimum of three ATP ranked players, including two members with singles ATP Ranking points, are required for a country to be eligible to qualify. A country may have up to five players. If a team has five players, at least three must have an ATP Singles Ranking. If less than five players, a team must have at least two players with an ATP Singles Ranking.

When will the teams be announced?
The Top 18 countries will be announced soon after the first entry deadline of Friday, 13 September. If it is not in the Top 18 of the ATP Cup Standings on Friday, Australia will gain entry to the tournament as the host country. That would leave room for five additional teams to be announced at the 13 November second entry deadline. If Australia is in the Top 18 on Friday, an additional six countries will qualify at the second entry deadline.

How will entries work?
At this Friday’s first entry deadline, a country will gain acceptance into the event based on the ATP Ranking of the country’s No. 1 singles player. The qualifying country’s second-highest-ranked singles player will gain acceptance at the same time. If either of the two accepted singles players drop outside their country’s top two ranked singles players at the second entry deadline (13 November), either player may withdraw from the event. Remaining team members (up to an additional three players) will gain acceptance at the 13 November entry deadline, based on the current ATP Rankings.

Rankings to be used for entries are the 52-week ATP Rankings. A Protected Ranking can be used to enter provided the player’s Protected Ranking is valid through the entry deadline for which he is eligible. Protected Ranking will not be used for team seeding.

At the second entry deadline (13 November), the remaining five or six countries will qualify based on the ranking of their No. 1 singles player. Also, all qualified players from all teams will be committed at the second entry deadline.

View ATP Cup Standings

- This story was updated 12 September.

Rafael Nadal: Empowering, Inspiring Others

Thu, 12/09/2019 - 1:29am

Time catches up with everyone. Even the greatest of athletes are not immune to its effects. Rafael Nadal is fully aware of the principles of aging, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t doing everything in his power to stave off its effects and delay the coronation of the next generation of tennis stars. The 33-year-old has thrived at the highest level on the ATP Tour for 15 seasons, racking up 19 Grand Slam trophies and achieving numerous milestones along the way.

Despite his wide-ranging success, the Spaniard is quick to point out that every new achievement is unique and special. No. 2 in the ATP Rankings, Nadal works hard to ensure he still performs at his best every time he competes, just as he did to capture his latest crown: a fourth US Open title on Sunday. He currently trails only Roger Federer (20) in major titles.

Now back in Mallorca and resting after his epic five-set battle against Daniil Medvedev at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York just a few days earlier, Nadal spoke with ATPTour.com at a small media gathering to discuss his victory at Flushing Meadows, the recovery process, his plans for the rest of the year and his state of mind.

You became emotional after watching highlights of your US Open victory.
You have to understand the circumstances. The last three hours were especially hard for me; I had the match practically won. Thinking back, I realise how things suddenly took a turn [in Medvedev’s favour] and how quickly matters spun out of my control.

The situation reached a point so critical, I went from on the cusp of winning to on the verge of losing. Up until that third set, I was on course to win, but he took command from that point on. I realise not only how much we both fought, but what we put ourselves through, mentally and physically, before he showed a moment of weakness and I broke through.

Over the past several weeks, you’ve stated on several occasions that you’re “getting older”. Does that mean you “feel” older?
No, I don't feel any older than my age! I feel what I am. I’m 33 years old. I've always thought that I don't know when my last victory will come. But I feel as though I’m going through a solid phase in my career.

I’m simply aware as the years go on and I get older, I can’t lose sight of the reality of the situation. You must take better care of yourself, make wiser decisions and while you were able to play a lot more matches when you were younger, it’s important to be more selective as you get older. You must be calculating and put a lot of thought into what’s going to be most beneficial to extend your career.

On Sunday, you became the first player in the Open Era to win five Grand Slam titles after turning 30. Not too long ago, many experts of the sport were saying that wasn’t a realistic feat.
My motivation has never been to disprove what others say about me or to demonstrate that I can do things others can't. I stay away from all of that, not just in tennis but in my daily life as well. Ambition and motivation must be driven from the inside, not by any outside forces. I surround myself with positive energy and operate at the best of my abilities.

Apart from what others felt, did you have your own doubts?
Just as many have doubted that I could play on for so many years, I’ve had and will always have my own doubts. But here I am. It’s something I take day by day, and I’m satisfied with this approach. Above all, if my body allows me to train at a high level on a daily basis, I’ll continue to play as I’m still passionate about tennis. I enjoy setting goals and I relish the competition.

Coach Carlos Moya said after the final that, in terms of emotion and significance, this was the most significant victory since he joined your team. Would you also rate it among your best matches?
I haven’t watched the match again! (Laughs) I’ve only played through it and, without seeing it, it’s hard to comment on that. When you’re out there in the heat of the moment, you’re nervous and it’s impossible to process anything but what you have to do to win. The final definitely had all the ingredients necessary for a compelling, remarkable match that won’t be forgotten anytime soon, but I’d have to watch it from start to finish in order to give you my verdict as to where it stands among my best matches.

You haven’t discussed the possibility of reclaiming the No. 1 ATP Ranking, despite a brilliant season thus far. Instead, you maintain the goal is to be competitive for as long as possible.
Being competitive is one of my biggest motivators and I always aspire to be my best. My goal is to give myself the best possible options to compete at the highest level in the biggest tournaments for as long as possible. In order to achieve this goal, I’ve obviously been constraining myself to a less busy calendar. This year I’ve played only 11 events, and I don't know how many I’ll have entered by the end of the year. But as you can tell, the calendar is shrinking, and that’s also partly due to the solid results I’ve obtained.

You’ve reached at least 10 semi-finals in 11 tournaments this year, capturing four titles (Rome, Roland Garros, Montreal, US Open). What’s been the most satisfying moment of the season so far?
Without any doubt, it’s the way I rebounded after Barcelona [Nadal reached the semi-finals at Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell before losing to Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-4]. I struggled the week before at Monte-Carlo as well and wasn’t performing at my best going into Godo [Barcelona]. In the end, that's what leaves me most satisfied. I’m happy with the way I bounced back mentally from those events.

More On Rafa's #USOpen
Nadal Claims Epic Five-Set Win Against Medvedev For Title
Nadal Extends Lead Over Djokovic In Battle For Year-End No. 1
Nadal At Net: Rafa Finds New Way To Win Major Title In New York
Social Media Reacts To Nadal-Medvedev Instant Classic

Even though regaining the No. 1 spot is not an objective, you’re currently the leader in the ATP Race To London.
It’s true that obtaining the No. 1 ATP Ranking is not the main goal, nor has it ever been my ultimate pursuit. Obviously, becoming No. 1 would be very gratifying, but I can’t afford to let that be my top priority at this point in my career. I can’t waste time or energy trying to be No. 1; I need those resources to train and prepare to compete at my best on the weeks I step on the court.

If becoming the top player in the world is a result of that, then I’ll feel rewarded. If I don’t end the year as No. 1, it will still have been a very fulfilling year. I’ve played well on a consistent basis and to me, that’s satisfying.

You’ve insisted on restraining yourself from competing too frequently throughout the season. You ended your title run at Flushing Meadows in a state of exhaustion. What lies ahead for the rest of the year?
I'm tired. The truth is that I still haven’t fully recovered. I came home and we have already done a little recovery. I’m regaining my strength little by little. It’s too early to hash out plans, because since that match, I haven’t had a chance to discuss matters with my team. This week we will have that conversation, but apart from this, I will also have to wait a few days to see how my body heals. One thing I do have is Laver Cup 2019 marked on my calendar.

What are you doing specifically to recover both physically and mentally after such a grueling affair?
Mental recovery is done by resting! (Laughs) It's not just about the last match; my body has been put through a lot of stress the past few weeks. You’re competing in one of the most important tournaments of the year and it requires a lot from your body on a daily basis.

When you finish, after such a dramatic final, the physical and mental effects are consequential. You have to recover steadily by taking all the necessary steps to ensure proper recuperation. As for the mind, I just need to rest and adjust my schedule accordingly to one that I feel will wield the best results and won’t hinder my recovery.

Are you doing anything differently this time around in terms of physical recovery?
No, nothing different. Preparations for my return have been similar to what I’ve been doing as of late following similar demanding tournaments like the Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon. I’m getting proper rest. The only thing that’s changed in recent times is that I spend more time training at home [in Manacor, Mallorca, Spain] and then take it up a notch when I arrive [on location] ahead of a tournament.

Medvedev is providing glimpses of the future, and indications that a new wave of talent is knocking on the door.
A changing of the guard has been predicted for years, but it’s developed a little slower than perhaps expected. The old guard has shown resistance but some mainstays like David Ferrer have recently passed the torch. The truth is, the three of us [including Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer] have gained so much success in these past 14 years, and we’re still atop the ATP Rankings.

Now here comes [Daniil] Medvedev, [Alexander] Zverev, [Karen] Khachanov, [Andrey] Rublev, Felix [Auger-Aliassime], [Matteo] Berrettini and [Denis] Shapovalov. That’s a formidable group and the overwhelming logic is that the next generation is already here. They’re making a lot of noise and attracting lots of attention. Several members of that next wave are already in the Top 10 and my guess is that we’ll see more and more every year.

What’s your take on the state of Spanish tennis?
Spaniards have achieved things in tennis over the past 30 years that almost certainly cannot be replicated. On the other hand, we are competing as a country with players from nations with economic capacities that outweigh us by infinity.

The budgets of federations that govern the sport in nations that host majors are tremendously higher than ours. You can include the Italian Tennis Federation and [Tennis Canada], which oversee two very big ATP Masters 1000 events [the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and Coupe Rogers, respectively] with that group as well. They have a much higher budget and far more funds.

During these boom years in Spain, we’ve made the mistake of not being able, as a federation, to establish our tournaments on that same level to potentially generate an annual income that could then be used to promote the sport, to help cultivate young talent and to provide them with resources to flourish. That said, we must see how our rising talent fares, Jaume Munar, Carlos Alcaraz, Pedro Martinez, we’ll see how they progress.

You are an inspiration not only to those players and Spaniards in general, but for the tennis community as well. This can be seen in the reactions from the stands after victories like the one at the US Open.
It’s not something that’s always on my mind but it is something to keep in mind. I always try to be myself and do the things that seem right to me. I apply the lessons that my family has given me since I was young. One has the ability to see things their role models do and try to emulate those things.

In the same way, one has the power to avoid destructive behavior. I always strive to imitate positive behavior and have the awareness to shun what could bring me down. It brings me a lot of satisfaction to know that what I do can help and inspire others. We all have to get up to go to work, fight through whatever life throws our way and simply keep a positive outlook, and if what I do somehow inspires someone to do that, that’s gratifying. There’s nothing more satisfying to me than making others feel more empowered or to raise the spirits of other people.

Nadal Helps US Open Set New Attendance Record

Wed, 11/09/2019 - 5:35am

Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev's instant classic US Open final helped the season's fourth major set a new attendance mark this year. A record 737,872 fans strolled through the gates in New York, about 5,000 more than last year, to break the prior record of 732,663.

In total, during the past three weeks, 853,227 people attended the tournament, including the US Open Fan Week, which includes qualifying matches.

Nadal beat Medvedev in the five-set final that lasted four hours, 49 minutes to win his 19th major title and second of the season.

Q3 Review: Medvedev Goes On A Tear; Nadal Extends Race Lead

Wed, 11/09/2019 - 4:40am

The development of Daniil Medvedev’s game and his subsequent rise up the ATP Rankings has been one of the storylines of the 2019 ATP Tour season. Medvedev’s star shone brightly on the summer North American hard-court swing, which will live long in the memory, when he recorded 20 wins from 23 matches.

His four-tournament tear included his first ATP Masters 1000 crown at the Western & Southern Open, where he beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and David Goffin in the final. Having been No. 19 in the ATP Rankings on the eve of the Australian Open in January, Medvedev found himself in the Top 5 after his Cincinnati run, the first Russian man to hold that position since Nikolay Davydenko in June 2010.

Back-to-back finals at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. (l. to Kyrgios) and the Coupe Rogers (l. to Nadal), had preceded Cincinnati, but it was at the US Open where he showcased his personality and tactical maturity in reaching his first Grand Slam championship final.

Read Reaction: Medvedev – ‘After The Summer, I Had No Fear’ 

By beating 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka in the quarter-finals, Medvedev qualified for the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, the season finale at The O2 in London from 10-17 November, for the first time, and he didn’t rest on his laurels in overcoming Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows.

Only an inspired performance by Rafael Nadal, over five epic sets, could stop the momentum of the 23-year-old, who became the first player to record 50 match wins in 2019. Currently at No. 4, Medvedev has set eight new ATP Rankings highs this season.

Nadal Steps Up Bid For Year-End No. 1
Nadal’s enduring quality and longevity was highlighted in New York City, when the Spanish superstar reached his third major championship final of the year (also Australian Open and Roland Garros) to earn his 19th Grand Slam crown. Read Final Match Report

Fourteen years on from his first triumph at 2005 Roland Garros, the 33-year-old has now reached three Grand Slam finals in a single season on four occasions (also 2010-11 and 2017).

Nadal built up an 11-match winning streak over the summer by clinching a record-extending 35th Masters 1000-level crown in Montreal and kept his nerve — as other seeded players lost early — en route to a fourth trophy at the US Open.

As a result of his two tournament performances, Nadal added 3,000 points to his 2019 ATP Race To London tally, going from 6,225 points on 5 August to 9,225 points on 9 September. In the same period, Djokovic has gone from 6,725 points to 7,265 points, and now sits 1,960 points behind Nadal, who is in a strong position to finish year-end No. 1 for a fifth time (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017).

Djokovic lost in the Cincinnati semi-finals (l. to Medvedev) and the US Open fourth round (retired vs. Wawrinka), where he explained he looks forward to a battle for No. 1.

Kyrgios Manages Racquet Emergency For D.C. Title
Nick Kyrgios channelled his energy and worked his way through a racquet emergency for his second ATP 500-level title of his career in early August at the Citi Open. The 24-year-old Australian, who’d beaten three Top 10 players (d. Nadal, Isner and Zverev) en route to the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC earlier in the season, won six matches in Washington, D.C. for his sixth ATP Tour crown.

Shortly after his 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(6) semi-final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, when Kyrgios saved one match point, the 24-year-old realised he had only one undamaged tennis racquet left in his bag. His father sent a rush shipment of additional racquets from Canberra, Australia, but they were stuck in customs at FedEx’s Washington Dulles International Airport.

Kyrgios enlisted the help of Citi Open owner Mark Ein, but went to bed on the eve of the final thinking that he’d only be playing with one frame. Ein came to the rescue and Kyrgios beat Daniil Medvedev 7-6(6), 7-6(4) in the final. Read Report & Watch Final Highlights

Basilashvili Retains Hamburg Crown During Clay Swing
Nikoloz Basilashvili was the standout performer at the Hamburg European Open, where he extended his winning streak to 11 matches at the ATP 500-level tournament. Having won his first ATP Tour title in 2018 as a World No. 81-ranked qualifier, the 27-year-old Georgian returned to save two match points against Alexander Zverev 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals before another tough three-set win against Andrey Rublev in the final.

Read Feature: Basilashvili: Putting Together A Jigsaw

Elsewhere on the summer European clay-court swing, two players lifted their first ATP Tour trophies. Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic backed up April’s run to the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters final by lifting his first ATP Tour title at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag (d. Balazs) and Chile’s Nicolas Jarry was successful at the Swedish Open in Bastad (d. Londero). Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas swept through to the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad crown (d. Stebe).

Dimitrov Returns To Big Stage
Grigor Dimitrov returned to some of his peak performances days at the US Open, where he reached the third Grand Slam championship semi-final of his career (also 2014 Wimbledon and 2017 Australian Open). With a 1-6 record since Roland Garros, Dimitrov admitted to having low expectations ahead of the US Open, but solid practice prior to the final major of 2019, coupled with his all-round game, came together in a five-set quarter-final victory over Roger Federer. Read Match Report & Watch Highlights

“I kept on believing in the process, kept on working, kept on trying to improve, whatever else I had to improve on my end,” admitted Dimitrov after beating Federer. “I really controlled the things that I could.”

From the high of No. 3 in the ATP Rankings and the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals crown to losing to World No. 405 Kevin King in the BB&T Atlanta Open first round, Dimitrov competed in New York City at No. 78, and with a lot of doubts. The 28-year-old managed to turn around his year through sheer dedication, and provided tennis fans with a heart-warming run and hope of better results in 2020.

Berrettini Moves Into Mix For Nitto ATP Finals Spot
Matteo Berrettini had 1,140 points on 15 July, following the conclusion of Wimbledon, and was 845 points adrift of eighth-placed Medvedev. While he’d enjoyed a breakthrough season, with two ATP Tour titles at the MercedesCup In Stuttgart (d. Auger-Aliassime) and the Hungarian Open in Budapest (d. Krajinovic), in addition to a runner-up finish at the BMW Open by FWU in Munich (l. to Garin), Berrettini’s hard-court form wasn't quite as strong.

Having gone 5-8 on hard courts this year prior to the Italian’s lone post-Wimbledon outing in Cincinnati, where he lost in the first round to Juan Ignacio Londero, very little was expected of him on the eve of the US Open. After all, he’d lost to No. 72-ranked Denis Kudla in the 2018 first round.

But the 23-year-old grew in confidence throughout the US Open, winning five straight matches, including a thrilling 7-6(5) fifth-set victory over Gael Monfils in the quarter-finals, to set up a clash against Nadal, who he’d idolised as a child. By reaching his first Grand Slam championship semi-final, and, as a result of early losses for Nitto ATP Finals contenders, Berrettini soared from 17th to ninth in the 2019 ATP Race To London.

With four singles spots left up for grabs at the season finale, July's Generali Open titlist Dominic Thiem and 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas are in strong positions to qualify, but Berrettini (2,160) is now one of four players within 100 points of eighth-placed Nishikori (2,180). Defending Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev (2,120), David Goffin (2,080) and Gael Monfils (2,080) are also in contention.

With two months to go until the Nitto ATP Finals, the conclusion of the regular ATP Tour season will be intriguing. Buy Your Tickets

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Sock & Fritz Round Out Team World For Laver Cup In Geneva

Wed, 11/09/2019 - 12:56am

Team World Captain John McEnroe has named Jack Sock and Taylor Fritz to his team for Laver Cup 2019, taking place in Geneva from 20-22 September.

“Jack has been our MVP for the past two years and I’m delighted he’ll be joining us in Geneva this year,” McEnroe said.

“We’ve got to be strategic, Team Europe is going to be tough to beat. For us, doubles has been very important over the past couple of years. We’ve won the great majority of our doubles matches and obviously Jack was a big part of that.

“He’s one of the best doubles players in the world, tremendously versatile and a great team player – it’s an environment he thrives in. I think he may very well be the key to success for us in Geneva.”

Sock can’t wait to play the Laver Cup for a third time.

“I look forward to playing Laver Cup every year and experiencing the amazing team atmosphere and camaraderie. It’s probably the best atmosphere any of us have ever played in.

“I’m fortunate to be playing with some of my best friends on tour, we all get on really well and have a lot of fun. You know the other guys have your back out there, they’re supporting you, watching your whole match, it makes you want to play your best, and I think it happens and can make a huge difference.

“For the first two years Team World has really hung in there and we’ve definitely had our chances to win, and it’s been so close. If a couple of points here and there had gone the other way, you know we could’ve been holding the trophy in both years.

“Being in his home country we’re expecting an insane number of Roger and Team Europe fans, but you know we had a similar experience in Prague so we’re used to it. We’re definitely heavy underdogs but it’s going to be fun to get out there to try and prove people wrong, and cause a big upset.”

McEnroe announced World No. 30 Taylor Fritz will join Team World, as Kevin Anderson withdrew from the Laver Cup due to the knee injury that also prevented him playing at the US Open.

“Taylor Fritz is having the best season of his career, he’s shown some blistering form this year, and had a rapid rise up the rankings to hit a high of World No. 25,” McEnroe said.

“Taylor is one of the young guns to watch in world tennis. He’s only 21 years old, he gets on great with all the guys and he’ll be a great addition to the team in Geneva.

“I know Kevin is disappointed he can’t play Laver Cup this year – he was fantastic in Chicago – and we all wish him the very best with his rehab and look forward to seeing him back on the court soon,” McEnroe continued.

Laver Cup fast facts:
• The Laver Cup is a three-day tournament pitting a team of six of the best tennis players from Europe against six of their counterparts from the rest of the world
• Björn Borg is captain of Team Europe and John McEnroe is captain of Team World
• Thomas Enqvist and Patrick McEnroe are vice captains of Team Europe and Team World, respectively
• Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini are confirmed to play for Team Europe
• John Isner, Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios, Taylor Fritz, Denis Shapovalov and Jack Sock will play for Team World
• The tournament is named in honor of Australian tennis legend Rod Laver, the only man to win two calendar-year Grand Slams, and one of the greatest players of all time
• The unique format of the tournament showcases tennis superstars competing on the same team, playing singles, pairing up in doubles and cheering each other on from the sidelines
• The inaugural Laver Cup was held at the O2 arena in Prague, Czech Republic, in September 2017, with Team Europe defeating Team World 15-9
• In September 2018 more than 90,000 fans attended the Laver Cup at the United Center in Chicago, where Team Europe once again edged out Team World to win the second Laver Cup 13-8
• The location will rotate between major cities in Europe and the rest of the world each year.

LAVER CUP 2019 – TEAMS

Team Europe
Captain: Bjorn Borg
[2] Rafael Nadal
[3] Roger Federer
[5] Dominic Thiem
[6] Alexander Zverev
[7] Stefanos Tsitsipas
[11] Fabio Fognini

Team World
Captain: John McEnroe
[20] John Isner
[24] Milos Raonic
[27] Nick Kyrgios
[30] Taylor Fritz
[33] Denis Shapovalov
[37 doubles] Jack Sock

ATP Rankings vs ATP Race To London: What's The Difference?

Tue, 10/09/2019 - 12:30pm

It’s that time of the year again when the attention of the tennis world begins to focus on who will qualify for Nitto ATP Finals. Only this season’s best eight singles players and doubles teams will compete at the world's biggest indoor tennis event, to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November.

Players earn their place at the season finale by finishing in the Top 8 of the ATP Race To London on 4 November, when the ATP Tour regular season concludes after the Rolex Paris Masters. The Race is a calendar-year points race that starts at the beginning of each ATP Tour season. 

Throughout the season a player adds his best eligible results from up to 18 tournaments to his Race points tally. Winning a prestigious ATP Masters 1000 title earns the champion 1000 points. Titles at ATP 500 and 250-level tournaments return 500 points and 250 points, respectively. Players who don’t win the title still earn points based on how far they advance in the draw.

The Race differs from the ATP Rankings, the historical world rankings. A player’s ranking is determined by his best 18 tournament results over the preceding 52 weeks. A high ranking is needed to get into the world’s best tournaments and rankings also determine if a player is seeded. Novak Djokovic is known as the World No. 1 because he sits atop the Rankings. Daniil Medvedev is known as a Top 10 player because he is No. 4 in the Rankings.

More often than not, a player’s Race standing is different to his ranking. For example, Rafael Nadal is first in the Race but second in the Rankings because he has enjoyed more success in 2019 — with two Grand Slam and two ATP Masters 1000 titles — than over the longer time period of the past 52 weeks. Nadal concluded his 2018 season early due to injury, following a semi-final run at the US Open.

In the latter part of the season, a player’s focus turns to his position in the Race because it becomes an accurate predictor of what the player’s year-end ranking will be. And, of course, the Race determines who makes it to London.

Djokovic, Nadal, Roger Federer and Medvedev are the four players who have already booked their spots at The O2. In doubles, one team – Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah – has booked its spots.

Editor’s notes: Strictly speaking, the Race begins in mid November of the preceding season (the week after the Rolex Paris Masters). Results at the Nitto ATP Finals are excluded, but players competing in late-season ATP Challenger Tour events earn points that count towards the next season’s ATP Race To London.

Officially, only the Top 7 in the Race are guaranteed places at the season finale. The eighth place is reserved for a Grand Slam champion positioned between 8th and 20th in the Race. If all Grand Slam champions of the current year are positioned in the Top 8 of the Race after Paris, then the Top 8 players in the Race qualify.

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Kafelnikov On Medvedev: ‘Everyone Was Watching Until 4 In The Morning’

Tue, 10/09/2019 - 8:20am

As Sunday evening turned into Monday morning in Russia, the two Russian men who have won a Grand Slam singles title had their eyes glued to their respective televisions. Both former World No. 1s, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin were texting one another as their countryman, Daniil Medvedev, took the tennis world on a roller-coaster ride in the US Open final. The 23-year-old battled from two sets and a break down to force a fifth set against Rafael Nadal before ultimately succumbing after nearly five hours in an epic clash against the Spaniard, who is now a 19-time Slam titlist.

“We exchanged text messages saying, ‘It could be an easy three sets’ after he lost the first set. But then after the third, we started thinking, ‘Wow, this is going to be interesting!’” Kafelnikov told ATPTour.com. “And of course, especially in the beginning of the fifth set, we said, ‘He’s going to win it!’ because he had total control of the match in the beginning of the fifth set.”

A loss is a loss, but it didn’t feel like one for Medvedev. Not only did he come full circle with the crowd, which gave him an applause to remember during his post-match speech, but the Russian proved that he can go blow-for-blow under a lot of pressure against an all-time great.

“To turn it around from having lost the match and to turn it around to almost winning the match and to end up losing, it’s a bummer. But at the end of the day, it’s absolutely a victory,” Kafelnikov said. “He gained experience, I’m sure. I was hoping it was not going to be the last time he was going to participate in a Grand Slam final, but after what I saw yesterday, I’m absolutely sure he’s going to have his chances many, many times more.”

Before arriving in Flushing Meadows, Medvedev had never advanced past the fourth round of a major. But riding the form of a tremendous North American summer hard-court swing in which he reached the final in Washington and Montreal before triumphing in Cincinnati, the new World No. 4 kept his level up to put forth another great showing, this time in New York.

“That’s another huge step forward for Daniil. At 23 we had not seen him get past the fourth round. This tournament he showed, ‘Okay, I’m going to be a contender for a very long time now in the Grand Slams,’” Kafelnikov said. “Daniil believes now he can be a contender every time he steps on the court in the Slams. That kind of confidence is very important for every player.”

And as the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier said after his loss, he had no fear after the past couple of months, and he thought Nadal was the player with something to lose. Medvedev also defeated three-time Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the quarters and ousted 2017 Nitto ATP Finals winner Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in the semi-finals.

“Right now it’s obvious that he has another gear when he plays against [top] opponents, whom he is capable of beating. He showed it against Djokovic this summer and he showed it yesterday against Rafa, that he can bring it up a gear, he can raise his game to another level, which I was not able to see before,” Kafelnikov said. “This is a sign of a player who has matured, who has gotten better. He belongs to the Top 5 at the moment for sure.”

According to the new International Tennis Hall of Famer, it wasn’t that Medvedev did not have the game to finish off the Spaniard inside Arthur Ashe Stadium; he earned three break points to go up 2-0 in the decider. It was that Nadal brought certain intangibles to the court that the Russian had not yet earned.

“We all know that Rafa is a fighter. Every time he smells [a chance he is] like, ‘Okay, this is my chance’, he always takes the opportunity and after he got back into the match at 1-1 in the fifth set, he just said, ‘Okay, I’m not going to let the title go,’” Kafelnikov said. “From that point on I think what played a huge role in the fifth set is experience. Rafa was definitely more experienced than Daniil. At the end of the day, Daniil got what’s needed. He’s 23 years old, he will have many more opportunities in the future.”

Medvedev entered the match winless in four previous five-setters. But hanging in with the physicality of facing Nadal is an even tougher challenge. And although he lost, the fifth seed met that challenge and came ever so close to passing it.

“I was most impressed how he kept his physical condition to stay in the match for four and a half hours with Rafa,” Kafelnikov said. “In the past he showed that he was not physically capable of going the distance all the way, and yesterday I was really impressed that for four and a half hours he was battling against one of the toughest opponents of all time.”

They even broadcasted the match on one of Russia's biggest television stations, and countless people back home watched as the five-time ATP Tour champion battled against the legendary lefty.

“I am very proud that he did fight, he did not give up after being two sets to love down and a break down in the third set. He has nothing to be ashamed of, he did as best as he could,” Kafelnikov said. “Everyone was watching from 11pm, midnight until four in the morning. Everyone was stuck to the TVs. We are really proud of what he did and what he gave us in terms of entertainment.”

Following US Open, Cabal/Farah Lead Charge In ATP Doubles Race To London

Tue, 10/09/2019 - 5:46am

Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah are firmly in control of the top spot in the ATP Doubles Race To London after claiming their second Grand Slam title of the season at the US Open. But with seven berths into the Nitto ATP Finals remaining, there is plenty at stake for the world’s best doubles teams.

Cabal and Farah won their second consecutive major on Friday, earning 2,000 points to move their total in the Race to 7,940, which is more than double the second-placed team of Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo (3,445). Last year, the Colombians qualified for the season finale for the first time, and now they are nearing their first finish atop the year-end ATP Rankings.

Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, who have won 118 tour-level titles together, are in strong position to earn their 15th Nitto ATP Finals qualification as a team. They are in third place with 3,380 points, just five points ahead of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies, the Roland Garros champions and US Open semi-finalists who seek their first trip to London. Only five points behind the Germans are 2018 qualifiers Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus, who are trying to make the season finale for the second consecutive year.

Typically, the Top 8 teams in the Race automatically qualify for the season finale in London, to be held at The O2 from 10-17 November. But that may not be the case this year.

Frenchmen Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut won the Australian Open, but they are in 11th place with 2,180 points, outside of the cut. If Krawietz and Mies do not fall from the Top 7 and the Frenchmen are outside the top 7, they will qualify based on the Grand Slam winner rule.

If both Krawietz/Mies and Herbert/Mahut do not make the Top 7 and are placed from No. 8-20 in the Race, then only the higher-placed team will make London as the Grand Slam winner rule applies to just one team.

Two pairs which have lifted the trophy at The O2 are currently positioned to return to London. Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, the 2015 titlists, are in sixth place with 2,860 points, and two-time winners Henri Kontinen and John Peers are 40 points behind.

Currently rounding out the Top 8 is the first-year team of Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury, who have 2,570 points. The American-British duo was victorious in Dubai earlier this year and has reached two additional finals in 2019.

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Nadal Extends Lead Over Djokovic In Battle For Year-End No. 1

Tue, 10/09/2019 - 12:33am

Entering the US Open, first-placed Rafael Nadal led Novak Djokovic by just 140 points in the ATP Race To London, representing the battle for year-end World No. 1. By claiming his fourth trophy in Flushing Meadows, Nadal has significantly increased his advantage.

The 19-time Grand Slam champion extended his lead to 1,960 points, putting himself in prime position to finish the season No. 1 for the fifth time in his career. If the Spaniard accomplishes the feat, he will join ‘Big Three’ rivals Djokovic and Roger Federer, as well as Jimmy Connors, in a tie for the second-most year-end No. 1 finishes. Pete Sampras holds the record of six year-end No. 1 finishes (achieved in consecutive years from 1993-1998).

“If I am able to be No. 1 doing [it] my way, great. But I always say the same: today it’s not my main goal. Of course, it’s great to be in that fight,” Nadal said. “But for me personally, it’s not really a fight. I just try be competitive the weeks that I need to compete, or the weeks that I want to compete... If I am able to play well until the end of the season, I’m going to have my chances. That going to be amazing.” 

Most Year-End No. 1 Finishes

 Player  # of Year-End No. 1 Finishes  1. Pete Sampras  6  T2. Roger Federer  5  T2. Novak Djokovic  5  T2. Jimmy Connors  5  T3. Rafael Nadal  4  T3. Ivan Lendl  4  T3. John McEnroe  4

View ATP Race To London Standings

The Race is nowhere near over, though, with two months remaining in the season and plenty of points up for grabs. Just last year, Djokovic claimed 2,600 points after the US Open. At the two remaining ATP Masters 1000 events — the Rolex Shanghai Masters and the Rolex Paris Masters — and the prestigious Nitto ATP Finals, a player can add as many as 3,500 points to their total.

Nadal finished as the year-end No. 1 player in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2017. In the latter three, Nadal won the US Open. Each time he has triumphed a the US Open — in 2010, 2013 and 2017 — the Spaniard has gone on to finish the season atop the ATP Rankings.

Nadal Ties Federer & Djokovic Atop 'Big Titles' Leaderboard

Mon, 09/09/2019 - 8:22pm

Rafael Nadal has drawn level with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on 54 ‘Big Titles’ each by capturing his fourth US Open title on Sunday.

The Spanish superstar was emotional at the end of his epic five-set victory over Daniil Medvedev at Flushing Meadows on Sunday night, when the big screen showed highlights of all of his 19 Grand Slam singles championship crowns — second only to all-time leader Federer (20).

Afterwards, Nadal admitted, “[To] see all the things [that] I went through, [to] be able to still be here is so special for me. I went through some tough moments, physically especially. When you have physical issues, then mentally things became much more difficult. The emotions have been there watching all the success, all the moments that came to my mind in that moment.”

More From The US Open
Nadal Claims Epic Five-Set Win For Fourth Title
Nadal: ‘This Trophy Means Everything To Me’
Nadal At Net: Rafa Finds A New Way To Win Title

Nadal’s fourth ‘Big Title’ of the 2019 season — Roland Garros (d. Thiem), the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome (d. Djokovic), the Coupe Rogers in Montreal (d. Medvedev) and the US Open — also draws him level with Djokovic for conversion rate in Grand Slam championships, Nitto ATP Finals or ATP Masters 1000 tournaments.

Incredibly, both Nadal and Djokovic have won 54 ‘Big Titles’ from 182 events for a conversion rate of 3.4. Federer, at 38 years of age, has also won 54 'Big Titles' but played in more of these events (231) and has a conversion rate of 4.3.

Djokovic, who this week ties Jimmy Connors for third-most weeks all-time at No. 1 (268), has lifted three 'Big Titles' at the Australian Open (d. Nadal), the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Tsitsipas) and at Wimbledon (d. Federer). Federer, who lost to Grigor Dimitrov in the US Open quarter-finals, won his fourth crown at the Miami Open presented by Itau in March.

Current and Former Champions' Big Titles Won (Records Since 1990)

Player Grand Slams Nitto ATP Finals 1000s Total (Avg) Roger Federer 20/78 6/16 28/137 54/232 (4.3) Novak Djokovic 16/59 5/11 33/112 54/182 (3.4) Rafael Nadal 19/57 0/8 35/117 54/182 (3.4) Pete Sampras 14/52 5/11 11/83 30/146 (4.9) Andre Agassi 8/61 1/13 17/90 26/164 (6.3) Andy Murray 3/48 1/8 14/98 18/154 (8.5) Boris Becker* 2/26 2/6 5/51 9/83 (9.2) Thomas Muster 1/29 0/4 8/53 9/86 (9.6) Gustavo Kuerten 3/33 1/3 5/67 9/103 (11.4) Jim Courier 4/38 0/4 5/71 9/113 (12.6) Stefan Edberg** 3/28 0/4 1/24 4/56 (14) Marcelo Rios 0/26 0/1 5/56 5/83 (16.6) Michael Chang*** 0/50 0/6 7/86 7/142 (20.3) Marat Safin 2/41 0/3 5/87 7/131 (18.7) Andy Roddick 1/46 0/6 5/75 6/127 (21.2)

* Becker's four other Grand Slam titles came before 1990.
** Edberg's three other Grand Slam titles came before 1990.
*** Chang's one Grand Slam title came before 1990.

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Berrettini, Zverev Ready To Battle For Nitto ATP Finals Qualification

Mon, 09/09/2019 - 7:14pm

Matteo Berrettini has moved into contention for a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 10-17 November, after a sensational run to the US Open semi-finals.

The Italian has vaulted from 17th position to ninth (2,160) in the 2019 ATP Race To London, only 20 points behind Kei Nishikori (2,180). The 23-year-old Berrettini has enjoyed a breakthrough year with two ATP Tour titles at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart (d. Auger-Aliassime) and the Hungarian Open in Budapest (d. Krajinovic).

Alexander Zverev will be working hard for a chance to defend his Nitto ATP Finals title, following a run to the US Open fourth round, but he still has work to do if he wishes to compete at the season finale.

The German star produced his best performance at Flushing Meadows in five appearances, losing out to Diego Schwartzman, and added 180 points to sit in 10th position. This season, the 22-year-old has won one ATP Tour title at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open (d. Jarry), finished runner-up at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC (l. to Kyrgios) and reached the Roland Garros quarter-finals for the second consecutive year.

Incredibly, there are four players — Berrettini (2,160 points), Zverev (2,120), David Goffin (2,080) and Gael Monfils (2,080) — are all within 100 points of eighth-placed Nishikori (2,180), who is just 170 points behind Roberto Bautista Agut in seventh position (2,350).

Additionally, first-round exits at Flushing Meadows for Stefanos Tsitsipas (sixth place) and Bautista Agut (seventh place), who are both bidding to qualify for the The O2 in London for the first time, have ensured that the final two months of the regular ATP Tour season will be fascinating.

View Latest ATP Race To London

US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev, who qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time on 4 September, ended the summer North American hard-court swing with a 20-3 match record, to move up one spot to fourth position (4,805). The Russian is now almost 1,000 points clear of fifth-placed Dominic Thiem (3,845), who lost in the first round in New York City and continues to fight for a place in London for the fourth consecutive year.

The battle for year-end No. 1 has also intensified after Rafael Nadal captured his fourth US Open crown, which marked the 19th major singles championship of his career. Nadal led Djokovic (7,265) by 140 points coming into the tournament, but the Spaniard has since pushed the gap to 1,960 points. Nadal, who will next compete at the Laver Cup and then the Rolex Shanghai Masters, finished year-end No. 1 in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2017.