Blockbuster Entry List Announced For The Brisbane International - UBITENNIS
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Blockbuster Entry List Announced For The Brisbane International

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The main court at the Brisbane International Open (image via brisbaneinternational.com.au)

The organisers of the Brisbane International Open have confirmed that seven Grand Slam champions will play in the 2016 tournament.

 

The tournament will begin on January 3rd at the Queensland Tennis Centre featuring both women’s and men’s draws for the eighth consecutive year. The tournament is categorised as an ATP 250 event for the men and a Premier event for women.

Headlining the men’s event will be defending champion Roger Federer. The 34-year-old defeated Milos Raonic to claim the title last year. The Swiss will be one of eight top 20 players participating in the men’s draw. Other entrants include Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic. 37-year-old Radek Stepanek will also participate in the tournament. The Czech won the tournament in 2009.

The women’s tournament will see three out of the top four battling it out in a sensational draw. World No.2 Simona Halep headlines the field followed by Garbine Muguruza and Maria Sharapova. Sharapova is the defending champion after defeating Ana Ivanovic in three sets in the 2015 final. There are eight top 15 players confirmed for the draw which also include Carla Suarez Navarro, Belinda Bencic and Roberta Vinci. It may be the last time Vinci will play in Brisbane after the Italian recently confirmed that 2016 will most likely be her final year on the tour before retiring.

Tournament director, Cameron Pearson, has spoken about his delight of having the world class field for his event.

“We’re really excited by the strength of both the men’s and women’s draws and counting down to what should be a fantastic week of tennis,” he said.
“We’re thrilled to welcome our two defending champions back to Brisbane, who will both have a real fight on their hands to win back-to-back titles. Every year the tournament increases in profile and the calibre of the 2016 field is certainly testament to the players’ regard for the event”.

The tournament has been hosted in Brisbane since 2009. Prior to 2009 the two draws were separate with the men playing in Adelaide and the women playing in the Gold Coast.

Full list of entrants (via brisbaneinternational.com.au)

Men
Roger Federer (SUI)* – No.3
Kei Nishikori (JPN) – No.8
Marin Cilic (CRO)* – No.13
Milos Raonic (CAN) – No.14
Gilles Simon (FRA) – No.15
David Goffin (BEL) – No.16
Bernard Tomic (AUS) – No.18
Dominic Thiem (AUT) – No.20
Viktor Troicki (SRB) – No.22
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) – No.28
Steve Johnson (USA) – No.32
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) – No.37
Hyeon Chung (KOR) – No.51
Jerzy Janowicz (POL) – No.57
Radek Stepanek (CZE) – No.57**
Sam Querrey (USA) – No.59
Sam Groth (Vic) ­– No.60
Denis Istomin (UZB) – No.61
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) – No.65
Denis Kudla (USA) – No.69
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) – No.71
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) – No.78

Women
Simona Halep (ROU) – No.2
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) – No.3
Maria Sharapova (RUS)* – No.4
Angelique Kerber (GER) – No.10
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) – No.12
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) – No.13
Belinda Bencic (SUI) – No.14
Roberta Vinci (ITA) – No.15
Sara Errani (ITA) – No.20
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) – No.21
Victoria Azarenka (BLR)* – No.22
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) – No.23
Andrea Petkovic (GER) – No.24
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) – No.26
Sam Stosur (Qld)* – No.27
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) – No.28
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) – No.29
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) – No.33
Camila Giorgi (ITA) – No.35
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) – No.38
Madison Brengle (USA) ­– No.40
Alize Cornet (FRA) – No.42
*denotes Grand Slam champion
**denotes injury-protected ranking

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Matteo Berrettini Scores Historic Win Before Exit From ATP Finals

The 23-year-old ends his breakthrough season on the ATP Tour with another milestone in his career.

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LONDON: Matteo berrettini has become the first Italian player in history to win a match at the ATP Finals after defeating Dominic Thiem on Thursday afternoon.

 

The world No.8 managed to dismantle the game of his rival, who was far from his best at times, with the help of his blistering serve to seal the 7-6(3), 6-3, victory. Ending Thiem’s streak of four consecutive wins over top 10 players, including Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer earlier this week. 

MORE TO FOLLOW

 

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Focus On Tennis, Not Politics: Former Legends Back Inaugural ATP Cup Amid Ongoing Dispute

The brand new tennis event sparks excitement, intrigue and yet more uncertaincy for the future of men’s team tennis.

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The launch of the Davis Cup at the 2018 ATP Finals

LONDON: The attention should be on the court and not what is going on in the background. This is the message being stressed by the ATP less than two months before the launch of their latest masterpiece.

 

The ATP Cup has been billed as an event that has the potential to overshadow the historic 119-year-old Davis Cup. Held over 12 days at the start of January in Australia, 24 teams will lock horns in a group format. Unlike any other current team event, both ranking points and prize money will be up for grabs. A huge attraction for many of the men’s elite during what is a turbulent time in tennis politics.

“I ask you, I know there is lots of talk about tennis politics and all of that sort of stuff, but please get behind this event. I genuinely believe we are all in this business together, trying to sell our sport.” ATP CEO Chris Kermode pleaded during a press conference on Thursday in London.
“This (the ATP Cup) will be global and we want to try to reach new markets by presenting it in a different way.”

The tournament promises to provide a mixture of current stars working with former legends of the sport. The German team will be lead by captain Boris Becker, who was nominated for the role by Alexander Zverev. Under rules of the competition, captains are nominated by the top player from each country after discussions with their fellow teammates.

“Tennis is in a very good place right now. The fact that we have so many new competitions speaks for the interests, speaks for the image and the quality of the players we have.” Said Becker.
“This format gives players a chance to, in one way, represent their country, another way start the year off with a big bang.” He added.

https://twitter.com/ATPCup/status/1194733806344912896

It’s not perfect, but it will do for now

Embed from Getty Images

From 2020 there will be three team tournaments taking place on the men’s tour. Besides the ATP Cup, the Davis Cup now has a week-long finale at the end of the season in November. Meanwhile, the Roger Federer-backed Laver Cup occurs shortly after the US Open.

With three team events taking place during what is already a packed calendar, some have questioned the long-term likelihood of these events co-existing. Leading to some of the sport’s biggest names calling for the two of the biggest tournaments to be combined. A far from simple concept given the Davis Cup is run by the ITF, not the ATP. In recent months the two governing bodies have held somewhat tentative discussions with little compromise being reached.

Of course we need to fix a couple of more things on the tour to make a big, big competition. I think two team tournaments, Davis Cup and ATP Cup in one month, is something that, in my opinion, is not good.” Rafael Nadal commented during the Paris Masters.
“My feeling is that we need to create one big, big competition to stay together. ITF, ATP, that’s a good opportunity to make that happen and we need to make that happen.”

Nadal is not along in his calls. World No.2 Novak Djokovic has also made similar comments. They argue that having one big event will alleviate pressure on the player’s schedule and not have such an impact on what is already a very limited off-season period.

Adavntage ATP Cup

1995 French Open champion Thomas Muster leads the Austrian contingent. He points out that the current date of the new event places it in a stronger position of that held by the Davis Cup. Djokovic and Nadal have both stated their intention to play in the Davis Cup next week. However, Nadal had admitted that he is unsure of how his body will hold. Meanwhile, Marin Cilic and Milos Raonic have both withdrawn due to injury. Furthermore, Federer and Alexander Zverev have opted to play exhibition matches instead of the event.

“That sort of brings back to the conclusion of why certain players are not playing at the end of the year at Davis Cup final.” Said Muster. “It’s just because it’s late in the season, and players are tired and they have played a lot, and there is not much time between now and the new start of the season.”

Fellow former world No.1 and Russian captain Marat Safin also issued the same sentiment. Deciding the ATP Cup as ideal preparation for the Australian Open. A tournament he won back in 2005.

“It’s a perfect setup for this event at the beginning of the year, so all the guys are already in Australia and they want to start with a good step in the new year,” Safin stated.
“Quite interesting placement of the event, the beginning of the year. I think it’s a good choice.”

There is a feeling that at some point, one team event has to give way. Although it is impossible to see which one. It won’t be the newly created ATP Cup, which has a prize money pool of $15 million. The Laver Cup has managed to gain growth within the past three years. Meanwhile, the Davis Cup has received a much-needed investment from Kosmos. Creating a complicated situation in the sport.

“Is this the perfect scenario? No.” Admits Becker. “But I don’t want to talk about the politics in tennis. I think we are here today to speak about a new competition, a new venture, a new event, which is great.”
“I’m not responsible for the Davis Cup format, and I’m not responsible for the Laver Cup, either.”

The ATP Cup will officially launch on January 3d.

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ATP Finals 2019 Day 5 Preview: Will It Be Djokovic Or Federer In The Semis?

It’s the 49th installment of Federer against Djokovic, with the winner moving onto the semifinals, and the loser being eliminated from the tournament.

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The advancement scenarios for today are that simple, as Dominic Thiem has already guaranteed his place in the semis with tremendous back-to-back wins over both Djokovic and Federer.  For Djokovic, there are also year-end No.1 ranking implications, as he now needs to win this event to keep his hopes alive. And while Matteo Berrettini cannot advance to the semis after going 0-2 thus far, he’ll play to become the first Italian man to ever win a match at the ATP Finals.

 

Dominic Thiem (3) vs. Matteo Berrettini (8)

This will be their third meeting within the past five weeks.  Berrettini prevailed in the Shanghai quarterfinals to reach his first Masters 1,000 semi, while Thiem was victorious at home in Vienna on his way to that title.  Their only other previous encounter was last year at Roland Garros, where Dominic won in four. What a week it’s already been for Thiem, but he has a lot of work still ahead of him.  And perhaps he is due for a letdown after two sensational wins, especially with his qualification for the semifinals already secured. However, Dominic should feel supremely confident coming off his results earlier this week.  And I’m sure his team will warn him of the danger in allowing his level to drop today, even with the result having no impact on his advancement. On the other side of the net, Berrettini has absolutely nothing to lose. Matteo can play freely, and knows he owns a recent win over Thiem.  Still, based on his form this week, Dominic should be favored to go 3-0 in the Bjorn Borg Group round robin play.

Novak Djokovic (2) vs. Roger Federer (3)

Four months ago in this same city, Djokovic saved two championship points and went on to defeat Federer in the first-ever 12-all fifth set tiebreak at Wimbledon to win his 16th Major singles title.  It was a heartbreaking loss for Federer, who was just one point away from his record-extending 21st Major.  Instead, he’s now just four Majors ahead of Djokovic, and only one ahead of Nadal after Rafa’s US Open victory.  Overall Djokovic leads this prolific rivalry 26-22. Novak has claimed their last five meetings, dating back to the championship match at this event four years ago.  But notably, Roger’s last win was just a few days prior, during the round robin stage of this tournament in 2015. On hard courts, Djokovic leads their head-to-head 19-17.  At the ATP Finals, Novak leads 3-2. Djokovic looked extremely agitated at times on Tuesday, seemingly surprised by how vehemently the crowd was rooting for Thiem. But Djokovic will know the London audience to be fully behind Roger today, so I don’t expect that to throw him.  Federer will certainly be eager to avenge the Wimbledon defeat from earlier this year, though overcoming Djokovic on this surface is no easy task. I anticipate another tight contest today between these two all-time greats, but give the slight edge to Novak to prevent Roger from advancing to the semifinals for just the second time in 17 appearances at the ATP Finals.

A breakdown of the Djokovic-Federer rivalry

By tournament

Grand Slams: Djokovic leads 10-6
ATP Finals: Djokovic leads 3-2
Masters 1000: Djokovic leads 11-9
ATP 500 events: Federer leads 4-2
Davis Cup: Federer leads 1-0

By year

YEAR

DJOKOVIC

FEDERER

2006

0

2

2007

1

3

2008

1

2

2009

3

2

2010

1

4

2011

4

1

2012

3

2

2013

2

0

2014

3

3

2015

5

3

2016

1

0

2017

0

0

2018

2

0

2019

1

0

 TOTAL

26

22

 

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