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Updated: 9 min 48 sec ago

Kyrgios-Nishikori Highlights Potential Clashes To Watch In Miami

2 hours 12 min ago

After a thrilling first ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the year in Indian Wells, won by Dominic Thiem, the ATP Tour heads to Miami with another 1,000 ATP Ranking points up for grabs for the titlist. ATPTour.com looks at five potential early-round matches to watch:

Kei Nishikori vs. Nick Kyrgios (R3)
At the BNP Paribas Open, there was much anticipation for a potential Novak Djokovic vs. Nick Kyrgios third-round battle. But German Philipp Kohlschreiber defeated them both.

There is another third-round blockbuster on the horizon for Kyrgios. But this time, it could be against sixth seed Kei Nishikori. If both guys advance to the third round, the Aussie will be especially motivated, given that Nishikori has won all four of their FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings.

“I always find it tough playing him,” Kyrgios said after his most recent loss against Nishikori, at Wimbledon last year.

Kyrgios has one of the best serves on the ATP Tour. And when he is on his game, like when he triumphed at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco, he can take the racquet out of almost anyone’s hands. But Nishikori’s returning skills, speed, and ability to play aggressively could make for a thriller in Miami, three years after he beat Kyrgios in this event’s semi-finals in straight sets.

Novak Djokovic vs. Tomas Berdych (R2)
There might not be a more enticing second-round match than the potential of top seed Novak Djokovic meeting former World No. 4 Tomas Berdych. Less than four years ago, they were both inside the Top 5 of the ATP Rankings at the same time.

Djokovic has won 25 of 28 FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Berdych — including all 21 of their matches on hard courts. But the Czech has proven his ability to challenge anyone in the world, owning multiple victories against each member of the ‘Big Four’.

Berdych at his best elicits short replies with his serve and immediately seizes control of rallies with his flat, penetrating groundstrokes. He got off to a quick start in 2019, winning 11 of his first 14 matches.

But Djokovic will be hungry to get back on track after a third-round loss against Kohlschreiber in Indian Wells. Last year, the six-time champion lost his opener in Miami against Benoit Paire. The World No. 1 certainly won’t want to endure deja vu.

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Roger Federer vs. Stan Wawrinka (R3)
Rematch, anybody? Roger Federer beat Stan Wawrinka in the third round at the BNP Paribas Open last week. Wawrinka may have a chance to return the favour in the third round at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Like Djokovic-Berdych, this has mostly been a one-sided FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry, with Federer winning 22 of 25 battles against his Swiss compatriot. But former World No. 3 Wawrinka has shown throughout his career that his best tennis is as good as anyone’s.

Wawrinka did a good job of making 73 per cent of his first serves against his fellow Swiss star in the California desert. But Federer was not troubled, winning 41 per cent of those points. In fact, Wawrinka won 12 per cent more second-serve points than he did with his first delivery.

If the friends do battle in the third round, it’ll be an opportunity for a breakthrough for Wawrinka, who is still working his way back from two left knee surgeries in August 2017. The 30th seed seeks his first win against a Top 5 opponent since beating then-World No. 1 Andy Murray at 2017 Roland Garros.

Marin Cilic vs. Denis Shapovalov (R3)
Another rematch that could be on the cards in Miami would pit Marin Cilic against #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov. In the span of five months, the two have split their only two FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings.

In Indian Wells, Shapovalov needed just 78 minutes to dismiss Cilic, winning all but three of his first-serve points and saving the two break points he faced. This matchup is entertaining in that both have similar games, looking to land a big first serve and dictate play from the first ball of rallies. The intrigue: who can do their best better?

Shapovalov advanced to the fourth round in Miami on debut last year, and he may have to get by Cilic in the third round if he is to repeat that showing, and possibly go further, this time. Cilic, on the other hand, has lost three of his past four matches, so he will be keen to perform well at the year’s second Masters 1000 event.

Sam Querrey vs. David Ferrer (R1)
Perhaps the most interesting first-round match in Miami could be former World No. 3 David Ferrer’s last at the tournament. The Spaniard faces former World No. 11 Sam Querrey, who has won at least one match in Miami 11 times.

Both players will be plenty motivated, as Ferrer, who made the final in 2013, will try to make a magical run in his final hard-court Masters 1000 event. World No. 68 Querrey is at his lowest ATP Ranking since 2014, so he will be hungry to get back on track with a strong performance in Miami.

The bonus for the winner: a clash with second seed Alexander Zverev.

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Wawrinka & Federer Could Clash In The Third Round... Again!

5 hours 20 min ago

Roger Federer could meet compatriot Stan Wawrinka in the third round for the second straight tournament at the Miami Open presented by Itaú. After Federer defeated Wawrinka in straight sets in Indian Wells en route to the final (l. to Thiem), Wawrinka, the 30th seed may get a chance to avenge that loss in the second ATP Masters 1000 tournament of the year.

If the Swiss stars meet, it will be their 26th FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting (Federer leads 22-3). All three of Wawrinka’s victories have come on clay, at either Roland Garros or a Masters 1000 tournament. But perhaps Federer was a prophet after beating his friend in the California desert.

"“I think he knows, as well as I, that he's very, very close and it's just a matter of time until he's going to break through again,” Federer said after their Indian Wells match.

Federer will have to get past Aussie Matthew Ebden or a qualifier, and Wawrinka must defeat Serbian Filip Krajinovic or Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert to set the popcorn battle. Federer has won all 12 of his clashes with Wawrinka at hard-court Grand Slams or Masters 1000 events, triumphing on eight of those occasions in straight sets.

Watch Highlights Of Roger & Stan's Indian Wells Clash:

Also in their quarter is sixth seed Kevin Anderson, Rolex Paris Masters champion Karen Khachanov, 13th seed Daniil Medvedev and 2017 Nitto ATP Finals winner Grigor Dimitrov.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who is pursuing a record seventh Miami title, will look to get back on track after a surprising third-round loss against German Philipp Kohlschreiber in Indian Wells. Regardless of who he meets in the second round, it will be a familiar foe. Djokovic will play former World No. 4 Tomas Berdych or Aussie Bernard Tomic.

The top seed has won 25 of 28 FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Berdych — including all 21 of their matches on hard courts — and all five of his clashes with Tomic. But Berdych owns four victories against World No. 1s, including a triumph in Miami against then-World No. 1 Federer nine years ago.

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The first seeded opponent Djokovic could face is No. 32 seed John Millman, who beat Roger Federer in the fourth round of last year's US Open before Djokovic dismissed him. No. 22 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, who upset Djokovic en route to the Doha title in January, could be a fourth-round opponent for the Serbian. No. 15 seed Fabio Fognini, who partnered Djokovic to the Indian Wells doubles semi-finals, is also in his section.

Fresh off his maiden Masters 1000 triumph in Indian Wells, Dominic Thiem carries plenty of confidence into Miami. Matching his career-high ATP Ranking of No. 4, the third seed will play Indian Wells quarter-finalist Hubert Hurkacz or Italian Matteo Berrettini in the second round. The next highest-ranked player in his quarter is Kei Nishikori. There may be another popcorn third-round match, as Nishikori could face Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC winner Nick Kyrgios. 

Seventh seed John Isner begins his title defence against Slovak Martin Klizan or a qualifier, and he could face Australian Open semi-finalist Lucas Pouille in the third round. Alexander Zverev, who lost to Isner in last year's final, is the second seed. The German will face an early test against former World No. 3 David Ferrer or home favourite Sam Querrey. 

Zverev's quarter is filled with #NextGenATP stars. He could play 28th seed Frances Tiafoe in the third round, while reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas and 20th seed Denis Shapovalov are also among the #NextGenATP players in the bottom fourth of the draw.

Projected Quarter-final Matches
No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 7 John Isner
No. 3 Dominic Thiem vs. No. 5 Kei Nishikori
No. 4 Roger Federer vs. No. 6 Kevin Anderson
No. 2 Alexander Zverev vs. No. 8 Stefanos Tsitsipas

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Federer's Backhand Struggles Clear Way For Thiem

7 hours 1 min ago

The conversation starts and ends with backhand returns. The rest is just window dressing.

Dominic Thiem defeated Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to win the the BNP Paribas Open final on Sunday, with backhand returns meaning more to the outcome than any other shot.

In the opening set, with Thiem serving at 0-1, the Austrian directed all 10 serves in the game to Federer’s backhand return, and the Swiss put all 10 back in the court, breaking Thiem on the fourth break point of the game.

Federer also clocked a backhand return winner to break Thiem at 3-4 in the opening set. The stroke was completely dialed in early on, but the longer the match progressed, the more it missed its mark.

Flashback to 2017 when Federer won his fifth title in the desert, and his backhand return was the focal point of his renaissance. After dominating Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-3 in the round of 16 in Indian Wells, Federer said post-match, “I am able to step into the court much easier than I ever have. By coming over my backhand return from the get-go in the point I can start dominating points from the start.”

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Federer 2.0, which originated at the 2017 Australian Open and spilled over to Indian Wells two months later, was born from total commitment to come over the backhand return.

It was the bullseye of his resurgence, but that asset turned into a liability in the second and third sets on Sunday against Thiem as Federer increasingly had to slice the return to make it, providing Them with more time to immediately attack with a powerful Serve +1 groundstroke following his serve.

After making his first 10 backhand returns of the match, Federer missed five for the rest of the first set (18/23), seven in set two (13/20) and six in set three (17/23). Those 18 backhand return errors were the difference makers.

With Federer leading 6-3, 1-1 and having a break point at 30/40, he had an opportunity to put the match to bed. Almost all opponents historically go away against Federer when down a set and break.

Thiem's first serve was always going to go out wide to Federer’s backhand return. In fact, at ATP Masters 1000 matches from 2014-2018 when serving at 30/40, Thiem has gone out wide in the Ad court almost two times out of every three (63%).

Thiem predictably went with his favourite strategy, kicking a heavy 101 mph first serve out wide to the backhand. Two years ago against Nadal, Federer stepped into the court and clocked it down the line for an outright winner as he surged to the finish line.

Sunday against Thiem, he shanked the break point backhand return straight into the court in front of him and bounced it over the net – table tennis style. Opportunity evaporates quickly in the desert heat.

Federer manufactured another break point two points later, but a backhand groundstroke error into the net at the end of an 11-shot rally brought the score back to Deuce. Two points later and Thiem held for a 2-1 advantage that provided the launching pad for his unlikely victory.

Thiem broke Federer in the following game, with the Swiss double faulting to start the game, then uncharacteristically served and volleyed on three consecutive second serves.

At 15/30, Thiem clocked a short-angled backhand return winner against the serve-and-volleying Swiss. On break point at 15/40, Federer attempted a forehand half-volley approach but buried it into the net, and out of nowhere he trailed 1-3.

The momentum was gone, and it would never return. Thiem suddenly was the one hitting backhand return winners when it mattered the most, and in the blink of an eye Federer went from being on his toes to on his heels.

Read More Data-Driven ATP Tour Stories

Federer missed a backhand return in the 1-3 game and again at 2-4. With Thiem serving at 5-3, Federer missed a backhand long on the opening point, another one at 30/0, and lost the set with a backhand return error long with Thiem serving at 40/15.

A drip had turned into a torrent, and Thiem had successfully established a “go-to” hole on the other side of the court any time he needed a point.

With Thiem serving at 0-1, 30/30 in the third set, Federer had another opportunity to pounce. Instead, he netted a backhand return.

Thiem won his next service game at 1-2 with another Federer backhand return error. With Thiem serving at 2-3, two more backhand return errors increased the hemorrhaging for the Swiss.

Federer had one last window of opportunity with Thiem serving at 3-4, 0/30 in the third set. He lost the last point of the three-deuce game with a backhand return error.

At 5-5 in the third set, Federer seemingly panicked again. When he got broken in the second set, he doubled down on the secondary pattern of serving and volleying three times on second serves.

At 5-5, 30/15, in the third set, the Swiss went with the risky gambit of drop-shotting on two consecutive points, losing both. Federer missed his last backhand return of the match with Thiem serving at 6-5, 30/15, setting up match point.

Federer’s backhand return was the primary reason he won Indian Wells in 2017, but it turned into a gateway to defeat against Thiem on Sunday. Back to the drawing board.

Uncovered: Behind The Scenes In Indian Wells

7 hours 20 min ago
ATP Tour Uncovered presented by Peugeot goes behind the scenes at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open, following all the stars, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, before the first ATP Masters 1000 event of the year.

Uncovered: Relive The Epic 2018 BNP Paribas Open Final

7 hours 21 min ago
ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot relives the epic 2018 BNP Paribas Open final in Indian Wells, in which Juan Martin del Potro beat Roger Federer in a three-set classic. Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Uncovered: The Inspiration Behind Jarry's Climb

7 hours 23 min ago
ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot delves into the climb of Chilean Nicolas Jarry, why he can continue his ascent, and the family member who has inspired him along the way.

Read & Watch: The Inspiration Behind Jarry's Climb

7 hours 34 min ago

Tennis runs in Nicolas’ Jarry’s blood.

Yes, the 23-year-old is extremely dedicated to the sport. But professional tennis flows through Jarry’s veins. Most notably, his grandfather Jaime Fillol, a founding member of the ATP who won six ATP Tour singles titles, 15 doubles trophies and climbed as high as No. 14 in the ATP Rankings in 1974.

“He’s one of the best Chilean tennis players [ever],” Jarry said. “He’s taught me the sport since I was little. He took me to great tournaments. I remember Wimbledon when I was 12, and I remember going to the US Open a couple of times. They used to make an ATP [Tour event] in Santiago, so I was always, always involved in tennis.”

According to Jarry, Fillol made all his sons and daughters play tennis until they were 14. Fillol’s brother Alvaro Fillol reached No. 102 in singles and the Top 50 in doubles. Jarry’s aunt Cataline Fillol is the tournament director of an ATP Challenger Tour event held in Santiago, Chile, which Jarry won two years ago. The World No. 79 is also coached by his uncle Martin Rodriguez, who peaked at No. 71 in singles and No. 15 in doubles.

“I was always doing sports and tennis grew a little bit more every year until I began doing some fitness before school and when I finished I dedicated myself completely to the sport,” Jarry said.

Watch Highlights Of One Of Jarry's Two Top 10 Wins:

Chilean tennis has a rich history, with three players cracking the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings in recent years: Marcelo Rios, Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez.

“Of course the Top 3 Chilean players — Massu, Rios, Gonzalez — they’ve always been players that I’ve looked up to,” Jarry said. “But outside that of course, the top players. Del Potro, the South American, Cilic, Anderson.”

It’s fitting that of today’s players, Jarry looks up to the likes of Juan Martin del Potro, Marin Cilic and Kevin Anderson. All are tall players who look to dictate play from the baseline.

Jarry is 6’6”, and his biggest weapons are his abbreviated yet powerful serve and his booming forehand. Infosys ATP Scores & Stats show that in 2018, Jarry ranked 15th on the ATP Tour by winning 83 per cent of his service games.

“We think he’s got the tools,” said television commentator Nicolas Pereira, who won three junior Grand Slam titles in 1988. “He hits the ball really hard. Expect him to be big news and a great player.”

But while Jarry has proven he has the game — advancing to his maiden ATP Tour final last year in Sao Paulo and climbing to a career-high No. 39 in November — he brings more than just physical gifts to the court.

“His temperament. He’s cool under pressure,” Pereira said. “He doesn’t give much away with his behaviour and that is a very, very positive thing nowadays.”

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Thiem Returns To Top 4, Mover Of The Week

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 5:05pm

No. 4 (Joint-Career High) Dominic Thiem, +4
The 25-year-old claimed the biggest title of his career on Sunday by lifting his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Roger Federer. The Austrian, who had previously finished runner-up in two ATP Masters 1000 finals at the Mutua Madrid Open in 2017 (l. to Nadal) and 2018 (l. to Zverev), first rose to No. 4 in the ATP Rankings on 6 November 2017, spending two weeks in the position. Read More & Watch Indian Wells Final Highlights

No. 45 Jan-Lennard Struff, +10
The 28-year-old advanced to the fourth round of an ATP Masters 1000 for the first time in beating John Millman, Ricardas Berankis and No. 3-ranked Alexander Zverev, before falling to Milos Raonic. In rising 10 spots, the German is now one place off his career-high of No. 44 (8 May 2017)

No. 54 (Career High) Hubert Hurkacz, +13
The 22-year-old continues his rise, moving from No. 88 in the ATP Rankings at the start of 2019 to his current position of No. 54. The Pole reached his first ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final (l. to Federer), which included his second Top 10 win — over No. 7 Kei Nishikori in the third round — and Denis Shapovalov in the fourth round. 

No. 64 Yoshihito Nishioka, +10
The Japanese moved up to six places off his career-high (No. 58 on 20 March 2017) after a thrilling run to the Indian Wells fourth round, which includes victories over Denis Kudla, Roberto Bautista Agut and in-form Felix Auger-Aliassime. 

No. 95 (Career High) Miomir Kecmanovic, +35
The 19-year-old Serbian qualified for his second ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Indian Wells, where he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Raonic). He rises 35 places to a career-high No. 95.

Other Notable Top 100 Movers This Week
No. 6 Kei Nishikori, +1
No. 12 Karen Khachanov, +1
No. 36 Marton Fucsovics, -5
No. 37 Stan Wawrinka, +3
No. 46 (Career High) Radu Albot, +7
No. 52 Matteo Berrettini, +5
No. 56 Taylor Fritz, -10
No. 68 Sam Querrey, -17
No. 71 Denis Kudla, -6
No. 74 (Career High) Hugo Dellien, +13
No. 79 Nicolas Jarry, +7
No. 80 Guido Andreozzi, +8
No. 82 Ricardas Berankis, +13
No. 84 (Career High) Prajnesh Gunneswaran, +13
No. 85 Pablo Cuevas, -12
No. 92 Hyeon Chung, -29

Berrettini Saves 1 MP For Phoenix Crown

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 4:25pm

A LOOK BACK
Arizona Tennis Classic (Phoenix, Arizona, USA): If the first edition of the Arizona Tennis Classic is any indication of what's to come, the tournament will be a staple on the ATP Challenger Tour for many years. 

Matteo Berrettini and Mikhail Kukushkin produced arguably the most dramatic match of the Challenger season thus far, battling for two hours and 50 minutes in Sunday's final. It was the Italian prevailing in the end, ousting his Kazakh opponent 3-6, 7-6(6), 7-6(2) after saving one match point in the second set.

What a way to finish!

Matteo Berrettini saves a match point to clinch his third #ATPChallenger title, rallying past Kukushkin 36 76(6) 76(2) in Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/I9eAashtSg

— ATP Challenger Tour (@ATPChallenger) March 18, 2019

One year after Kukushkin ousted Berrettini in the final edition of the event in Irving, Texas, the Italian got his revenge at the inaugural Challenger 125 in Phoenix. Same week, same final match-up, but a different result under the Arizona sun. 

Less than a year after lifting his maiden ATP Tour trophy in Gstaad, Berrettini celebrated his third Challenger title. The 22-year-old Rome native is off to a strong start to 2019, having also reached the semi-finals at the Sofia Open.

With Berrettini entering the week at No. 57 in the ATP Rankings and Kukushkin at No. 43, it was the highest-ranked Challenger final in two years. As a whole, the tournament featured a world-class field, with all 16 seeds inside the Top 100. David Goffin led the pack, but was upset in the quarter-finals by Salvatore Caruso.

Pingshan Open (Shenzhen, China): This was a long time coming for Marcos Baghdatis. After five years, the former World No. 8 returned to the winners' circle, claiming the title in Shenzhen. The second seed defeated Stefano Napolitano 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 in Sunday's final, capping a strong week in the Chinese city.

Baghdatis had dropped four straight finals - three on the ATP Tour and one on the Challenger circuit - since he last lifted a trophy at the 2014 Geneva Challenger. But this was the Cypriot's week to shine. He is pushing towards a Top 100 return after struggling with a knee injury in 2018. Having also secured a signature Top 20 win over Lucas Pouille last month in Montpellier, the 33-year-old is making his move in the early stages of the year.

Challenger Banque Nationale de Drummondville (Drummondville, Canada): Top seed Ricardas Berankis is a force on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2019. The 28-year-old did not drop a set in clinching a pair of titles, following his convincing performance in Rennes, France, with an equally dominant showing in Drummondville.

Berankis capped his campaign in Canada with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Yannick Maden on Sunday, claiming his 11th Challenger title in impressive fashion. He joins Alexander Bublik as the only players with multiple titles thus far this year. Up 13 spots to No. 82 in the ATP Rankings, the Lithuanian is targeting a Top 50 return in the near future. He also recently registered a quarter-final result as a qualifier at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

A LOOK AHEAD
The three-week China swing concludes in Zhangjiagang, with top seed and New York Open finalist Brayden Schnur leading the pack. James Duckworth is seeded second, with Chinese teen Wu Yibing also in the field.

And at the Play In Challenger in Lille, France, home hope Gregoire Barrere looks to go back-to-back after clinching the title in last year's inaugural edition. He is seeded third, while Spanish veteran Guillermo Garcia Lopez is first and Drummondville finalist Maden is second.

 

Story Of The BNP Paribas Open

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 2:54pm
Relive the best of the action from the 2019 BNP Paribas Open. Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Watch live tennis streams at http://www.tennistv.com.

Thiem On Indian Wells Breakthrough: 'It Feels Unreal'

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 1:58pm

Who said that Dominic Thiem can bring his best tennis only on clay courts?

The Austrian completed a dream fortnight on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open by toppling Roger Federer for his first ATP Masters 1000 title. Fans perhaps best know Thiem for his clay-court prowess, but the high-bouncing hard courts in Indian Wells suited his game perfectly and his skills on slower surfaces seamlessly transferred over.

“It feels unreal what happened in these 10 days. I came with really bad form in all categories and now I'm the champion of Indian Wells,” said Thiem. “It's amazing that I did my first big title here on a different surface than clay. I turned a pretty bad start to the season to a very good one."

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After a first-round exit last month at the Rio Open presented by Claro, Thiem was able to prepare for nearly two weeks in Indian Wells with new coach Nicolas Massu. The hours logged on the practise court were evident and Thiem delivered a high-quality brand of attacking tennis that gave no indication of his 3-4 record to start the season.

Perhaps the most satisfying part of his title run is who he defeated. After beating Milos Raonic in the semi-finals for the first time in their three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, Thiem took out Federer for the first time on a hard court. He became one of at least five players to defeat Federer on all three surfaces, joining Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Patrick Rafter.

But Thiem was quick to praise Federer after the match and said he will likely never catch up to the Swiss star’s 100 tour-level singles titles. He also noted how difficult it still is to beat Federer, in part because of everything he’s accomplished throughout his career.

“He's such a legend. For all of us younger players, it's a privilege to still be able to compete with him and play against him in the finals of big tournaments like this one,” said Thiem. “Against Roger, Rafa, Novak, and some other guys, you have to beat not only the player, but also the great aura they have and all these titles they have won. You have to play doubly good to beat them.”

Thiem’s victory at Indian Wells moves him up to No. 4 in the ATP Rankings, matching his career-best standing. He also jumps well inside the Top 8 of the ATP Race To London. But with his first match at the Miami Open presented by Itau less than a week away, Thiem is already looking forward to hitting the practise courts and continuing his top form.

“Of course, the title is amazing [and] it will stay there forever,” said Thiem. “But it would be nice if I could hold this shape and all of these positive emotions in the next tournament and every tournament I play.”

Highlights: Thiem Topples Federer For Maiden Masters Title

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 1:36pm
Watch highlights as Dominic Thiem defeats Roger Federer in the 2019 BNP Paribas Open final to lift his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy. Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Watch live tennis streams at http://www.tennistv.com.

Federer Says Thiem Was ‘Better When It Really Mattered’

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 1:22pm

Roger Federer fell short in the BNP Paribas Final for the second consecutive year on Sunday, losing to Dominic Thiem in three sets. But even with a record-setting sixth title on the line, Federer took the loss with perspective.

“I'm not too disappointed. I feel like he had to come up with the goods, and it did feel like to some extent it was on my racquet,” Federer said. “[I] just came up against somebody who was, on the day, a bit better when it really mattered. That's how it goes. Sure, it's frustrating and disappointing and sad to some extent. But look, I have been in these positions so many times that I get over it very quickly.”

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Federer also missed out on his sixth Indian Wells title in last year's final against Juan Martin del Potro, failing to convert three championship points against Juan Martin del Potro. He also fell just short in the California desert in 2014, '15.

“It's hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong [against Thiem]. The return he hits on the line at 5-all [in the third set], that's the one I needed, and I couldn't produce that. Why is that? You can start looking, digging so deep, and then you end up getting lost, rather than just saying he played maybe a little bit better when he really had to,” Federer said. “I didn't feel like I played bad, either. I had my chances. I was in the points.”

It would be one thing if Federer was blown off the court because of his own poor play. But, for the most part, the deciding factor was Thiem’s fearlessness in the big moments, not a Federer implosion.

“I feel like I'm actually playing good tennis. Like, in Australia, I wasn't too down on myself because I feel like my game is there, my body is there. I think when you feel that way, you take it more... positively?” said Federer, who was stunned in the fourth round of the Australian Open by reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas. “I don't know how to explain, but it's just not as dramatic. Whereas, when you're hurt and things are difficult… maybe those hurt more.”

This loss may sting a little bit, but Federer has still won 12 of 14 matches this year. At the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the Swiss became the second player in the Open Era to earn 100 tour-level titles (Jimmy Connors, 109).

“I'm happy for Dominic, winning his first Masters 1000, as well. It's a massive event to win,” Federer said. “I just got my 100th in Dubai, and I had a good week here. Really, there is no reason to get down. Plus there is more to look forward to in Miami.”

Federer will now turn his attention to the Miami Open presented by Itau, the second Masters 1000 tournament of the year. With Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal, the Swiss will be the fourth seed. And while Federer has played 10 matches since only 25 February, he is eager to pursue his fourth trophy at that event.

"The body is perfectly fine. That also always keeps me upbeat, and I feel it's a privilege when I feel this way leaving a tournament,” Federer said. “I have been playing every single day for the past three weeks. I can be very happy and proud of that fact.

“I feel really good, so why shouldn't I go into the tournament and to the event confident?”

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A Look Back At The 2019 BNP Paribas Open

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 12:38pm

From the opening round of the ATP Masters 1000, when 40-year-old Ivo Karlovic made history, to the final, where Dominic Thiem made personal history, relive the best moments of the 2019 BNP Paribas Open... 

Thiem Becomes Masters 1000 Champion: Dominic Thiem had three wins on the 2019 season coming into the BNP Paribas Open. He won five matches in Indian Wells to win his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title. "It's unreal," Thiem said.

The 25-year-old fell in both of his previous Masters 1000 finals (2017, 2018 Madrid), but Thiem rallied to beat Federer, who was seeking his 101st title, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. Thiem now has 12 tour-level titles, only three of which have come on hard courts.

Read Final Match Report

We Are The Champions: Nikola Mektic & Horacio Zeballos had played all of one tournament together before taking to the purple courts in Indian Wells. Who said you need experience as a team before success?

The Croatian/Argentine pairing beat Lukasz Kubot/Marcelo Melo 4-6, 6-4, 10-3 to win the Masters 1000 title. The champions overcame two match points in the second round against top seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut.

Read Final Match Report

Federer Falls Short Of No. 101: Roger Federer, just two weeks after winning his 100th title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, looked on the verge of winning No. 101. Federer, winner of 27 Masters 1000 titles, blitzed through the opening set in 36 minutes. But, like during his 2018 Indian Wells final against Juan Martin del Potro, Federer was unable to close it out and fell in three. The Swiss, however, heads to Miami full of confidence.

Read Match Report: Federer Falls To Thiem In Indian Wells Final

The Gold Connection: Thiem hoped to have more hard-court success by bringing two-time Olympic gold medalist Nicolas Massu onto his team, and so far, so good. The two have spent only three weeks together, and Thiem already has his first Masters 1000 title.

Watch: Massu Reveals Why He's Helping Thiem

When Champions Unite: Rafael Nadal unfortunately had to withdraw from his semi-final against Federer, but fans inside Stadium 1 still received a show. Five-time champion Novak Djokovic, former No. 1 John McEnroe, two-time champion Pete Sampras and Tournament Director Tommy Haas played a doubles exhibition.

Read More: Djokovic, McEnroe, Sampras and Haas Put On A Show

Courage Under Fire: Nadal had seen the trainer and had his right knee taped, but the Spaniard, an all-time fighter, still persisted to enjoy a courageous win over Russian Karen Khachanov in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals. “I am used to playing with some issues, so I just tried to be focused,” Nadal said. “It's one of the victories... that I am really proud of.”

Read More: Nadal Beats Khachanov To Reach Indian Wells SF

Milos & The Magician: The hire turned heads initially: Milos Raonic, a power hitter, working with "The Magician" Fabrice Santoro? But Santoro has helped the Canadian add variety to his power game, and the partnership seems to be going well on and off the court.

Read Feature: Raonic, With Power & Variety, Seeks Masters 1000 Glory

Luckiest Loser: Quick: The last Serbian male standing at the 2019 BNP Paribas Open? If you didn't guess “Who is Miomir Kecmanovic?”, you're not alone. The 19-year-old didn't predict his maiden ATP Masters 1000 quarter-final run in Indian Wells, either. “I did not see that coming, not at all,” said Kecmanovic, who lost in the final round of qualifying and got into the main draw after Kevin Anderson withdrew. “It will be funny that somebody other than Novak is still in."

Read Feature

Sweet Dream: Hubert Hurkacz and Roger Federer had hit together once before. "I remember in the warm-up he barely made a mistake, and every time he made a mistake, he apologised," said Federer "He’s a really nice guy, and he seems very sweet." With wins over Lucas Pouille, Kei Nishikori and Denis Shapovalov to reach his first Masters 1000 quarter-final, the 22-year-old Hurkacz set up his dream meeting with his idol on one of the biggest stages in tennis.

Read Feature

Djokognini Debuts: It just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? "Djokognini." OK, maybe not, but the fans didn't care. They still rooted for the players behind the nickname -- Fabio Fognini and Novak Djokovic -- as the two reached the semi-finals before falling to Kubot/Melo. The doubles draw in Indian Wells, always a fan favourite, featured 20 of the 32 seeded singles players.

Read More: Kubot/Melo Down Djokovic/Fognini

Magical Monfils: Indian Wells featured tennis fans' three favourite words often during the fortnight: Monfils Hot Shot. The Frenchman was entertaining but also intense in the desert, looking like a man destined for a deep run. An injury, however, halted Monfils' stay. The Frenchman had to withdraw ahead of his quarter-final against Thiem because of a severely strained Achilles tendon in his left leg.

Read More: Monfils Magic: Gael Dominates Kohlschreiber

Finally Free: Filip Krajinovic has learned his Masters 1000 lesson: No more finals. The Serbian reached the 2017 Rolex Paris Masters title match, the best result of his career, but he's glad that the ATP Rankings points from that run have finally come off his ranking. "I make sure I'm not playing finals. It's better to play quarters," he joked.

Read Feature

Just Getting Started: Philipp Kohlschreiber played a World No. 1 in only his second tour-level match. Seventeen years later, and on his 12th attempt, he finally got a win over the top player on the ATP Tour – defeating Novak Djokovic in the third round. In his on-court interview, when asked how it felt to see his hard work still paying off at this stage, the 35-year-old German joked, "What do you mean, this stage? I’m just starting my career!" 

Read Match Report | 5 Things To Know

Roller Coaster Ride: Yoshihito Nishioka had the match in the bag: The Japanese left-hander led #NextGenATP Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-7(2), 6-4, 5-1. Auger-Aliassime, however, saved three set points and forced a third-set tie-break before Nishioka finally closed it out 7-6(5).

Read More: Nishioka Rides Roller Coaster To Thrilling Win

Denis RAP-ovalov: A bet's a bet, even if you're one of the best #NextGenATP players on the ATP Tour and you've reached the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open. After Denis Shapovalov beat Steve Johnson on Sunday, he agreed with Stadium 3 emcee Blair Henley that, if he won again on Stadium 3, he'd rap after the match. On Tuesday, he beat Marin Cilic to reach the fourth round, and Henley compelled him to make good on their agreement. Read More

Two Hip Surgeries Later: Marcos Giron was ready for his third-round Indian Wells run... four years ago. In 2014, he pushed John Isner at the US Open and felt like ATP Tour success was to follow. But Giron had to overcome early struggles on the Tour and two hip surgeries before he'd enjoy his moment in the desert.

Read Feature

India's No. 1:  He nearly quit tennis. Now, at the age of 29, Prajnesh Gunneswaran is India's top player. In the space of 11 months, the Chennai native has claimed his first two ATP Challenger Tour titles, won on his ATP main draw debut (d. Shapovalov) and risen into the Top 100. His progression continued at the BNP Paribas Open, where he qualified for his first Masters 1000 main draw and proceeded to upset former World No. 18 Benoit Paire and No. 17 seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Read 5 Things To Know

Fueled By Home Cooking: Maybe it was the maple syrup? Felix Auger-Aliassime faced his first Top 10 foe in Indian Wells, and the #NextGenATP Canadian scored his first Top 10 win, beating Greece's #NextGenATP star Stefanos Tsitsipas. Auger-Aliassime felt at home all week in Indian Wells, partly because his family was there with him.

We joined the 18-year-old Canadian at his home in Indian Wells, where his mother showed off the secret sauce: maple syrup from Quebec. Read Match Report | Read Feature

Watch: Felix Fueled By Home Cooking In Indian Wells

40s Are The New 30s: By now, 40-year-old Ivo Karlovic is used to the "oldest to do" accomplishments on the ATP Tour. He's even embracing the label. "Every week I am the oldest at something, so I don't know. Next week it will be the oldest ever to walk without implants in his hip," he said, smiling.

Karlovic added another bullet point to that list in Indian Wells. Read Feature

Honouring The Best: The BNP Paribas Open has been voted as the Masters 1000 Tournament of the Year for five straight seasons, and last week, celebrated its distinction in the 2018 ATP Awards with fans at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Read More

Cards Against Humanity: Grigor Dimitrov, John Isner, Nick Kyrgios and Kyle Edmund have rarely laughed more in their lives.

Watch: Cards Against Humanity: ATP Tennis Style

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ATP Masters 1000: Tournaments, Records, Stats

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 11:24am

The 2019 BNP Paribas Open ushered in the 30th year of ATP Masters 1000 tennis, with Dominic Thiem claiming his first title at the elite level. The series, which debuted in 1990, features the best men's tennis players at nine top tournaments on the ATP calendar. Champions at Masters 1000 events earn 1,000 ATP Rankings points.

Tournament  City 2019 Dates Defending Champion BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells 7-17 March Juan Martin del Potro Miami Open presented by Itau Miami 20-31 March John Isner  Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters Monte-Carlo 14-21 April Rafael Nadal Mutua Madrid Open Madrid 5-12 May Alexander Zverev  Internazionali BNL d'Italia Rome 12-19 May Rafael Nadal Coupe Rogers Montreal 5-11 August Rafael Nadal Western & Southern Open Cincinnati 11-18 August Novak Djokovic  Rolex Shanghai Masters Shanghai  6-13 October  Novak Djokovic  Rolex Paris Masters Paris  28 Oct - 3 Nov  Karen Khachanov


MASTERS 1000 TITLE LEADERS...
2019 marks the 30th year of ATP Masters 1000 tennis. There have been 66 different champions crowned in 261 events since the series began in 1990. Only six players have won more than 10 Masters 1000 titles. Rafael Nadal leads the way with 33 following a trio of Masters 1000 titles in 2018, while Novak Djokovic has 32.

 Player Titles Rafael Nadal 33 Novak Djokovic 32 Roger Federer 27 Andre Agassi 17 Andy Murray 14 Pete Sampras 11


MASTERS 1000 WINS LEADERS...
Entering the 2019 BNP Paribas Open, Roger Federer leads Masters 1000 win leaders, but Rafael Nadal has a chance to overtake the Swiss with his run in Indian Wells. Stan Wawrinka is in position to enter the leaderboard and pass BNP Paribas Open Tournament Director Tommy Haas. Wawrinka has a 143-98 record at ATP Masters 1000 events with one title (2014 Monte-Carlo).

Player W-L Titles Roger Federer 368-105 27 Rafael Nadal  366-77 33  Novak Djokovic 333-74  32  Andy Murray 212-81  14  Andre Agassi  209-73  17 Tomas Berdych 191-117 1  Pete Sampras 190-70 11 David Ferrer 186-120 1  Andy Roddick  157-70  5 Tommy Haas  144-107  1

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GREATEST CHAMPIONS (since 1990)...
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan dominate the titles leaderboard for the Masters 1000 tournaments.  City Singles Doubles Indian Wells Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer (5) Mark Knowles, Daniel Nestor (4) Miami Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovic (6) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (5) Monte-Carlo Rafael Nadal (11)  Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (6)  Madrid Rafael Nadal (5) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (5) Rome Rafael Nadal (8) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (4) Canada Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal (4) Mahesh Bhupathi, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (5)  Cincinnati  Roger Federer (7)  Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Daniel Nestor (5) Shanghai  Novak Djokovic (4) Marcelo Melo (3) Paris Novak Djokovic (4) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (4)


MAIDEN MASTERS
: Seven players have won their first Masters 1000 title over the past 15 series events:
Alexander Zverev (2017 Rome)
Grigor Dimitrov (2017 Cincinnati)
Jack Sock (2017 Paris)
Juan Martin del Potro (2018 Indian Wells)
John Isner (2018 Miami)
Karen Khachanov (2018 Paris)
Dominic Thiem (2019 Indian Wells)

In the 78 ATP Masters 1000 events prior to 2017 Rome, six players won their first Masters 1000 title:
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2008 Paris)
Ivan Ljubicic (2010 Indian Wells)
Robin Soderling (2010 Paris)
David Ferrer (2012 Paris)
Stan Wawrinka (2014 Monte-Carlo)
Marin Cilic (2016 Cincinnati).

During the stretch from 2008 Madrid through 2017 Madrid, Novak Djokovic (26), Rafael Nadal (18), Andy Murray (13) and Roger Federer (12) combined to capture 69 of the 78 Masters 1000 titles (88.5%).

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Hot Shot: Thiem's Thunderous Backhand

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 10:53am
Watch Dominic Thiem hit a backhand that nobody would be able to stop in the 2019 BNP Paribas Open final. Photo Credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images. Watch live tennis streams at http://www.tennistv.com.

Hot Shot: Federer Breaks Thiem With A Stunner

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 10:49am
Watch Roger Federer crush a backhand return for a winner to break Dominic Thiem's serve in the 2019 BNP Paribas Open final. Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour. Watch live tennis streams at http://www.tennistv.com.

Hot Shot: Federer's Fantastic Dropper Stops Thiem In His Tracks

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 10:46am
Watch Roger Federer pull a perfect drop shot out of his arsenal against Dominic Thiem in the 2019 BNP Paribas Open final. Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour. Watch live tennis streams at http://www.tennistv.com.

Delpo, Rafa To Miss Miami Open

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 10:43am

The Miami Open presented by Itau will be without two Top 5 players when the tournament begins Wednesday.

No. 2 Rafael Nadal (right knee) and No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro (right knee) will miss the month's second ATP Masters 1000 tournament. Del Potro also missed the BNP Paribas Open, where he won the 2018 title for his first Masters 1000 (d. Federer).

Lamentablemente no podré jugar el @miamiopen este año por mi lesión de rodilla. Espero verlos el año próximo

Hot Shot: Federer's Magic Not Enough In Epic Rally

Mon, 18/03/2019 - 10:09am
Watch Roger Federer throw everything in his toolbox — including a tweener â— at Dominic Thiem before Thiem finishes off the point in the BNP Paribas Open final. Photo Credit: Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images. Watch live tennis streams at http://www.tennistv.com.