10-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal has overtaken Roger Federer to spend a fifth stint as world No.1 on the ATP rankings.
The Spaniard has returned to the position following his Swiss rivals shock second round exit at the Miami Open. Federer, who won the Miami title in 2017, was defending 1000 points and was required to reach the quarter-finals to maintain his top position. This week is Nadal’s 168th as world No.1, which is the seventh longest of all time. Should he spend a further three weeks at the top, he will overtake John McEnroe.
Heading into his beloved clay season, Nadal is set to return to action in the Davis Cup later this week. Spain will take on Germany on the clay in Valencia. He has played 32 matches in the team competition since 2004, winning 27 of those. His last appearance was back in 2016 when he played a doubles match against India. Nadal arrived in Valencia on Sunday to start training with his team.
— Tenis España (@spaintenis) 1 April 2018
It is unclear as to what matches Nadal will play in the upcoming tie. The match nominations will take place later this week.
“Here I am, I come to do the best I can,” Super Deporte quoted Nadal as saying upon arrival at the airport on Sunday.
The other movers
Elsewhere in this week’s rankings, Alexander Zverev and John Isner both moved up. Germany’s Zverev, who will also feature in Spain’s Davis Cup clash, has returned to No.4. One spot shy of his career high. Meanwhile, Miami Open champion Isner has returned to his career best of 9th. A position he first held on April 16th 2012.
Outside of the top 10, Borna Coric has broke into the top 30 for the first time in his career at 28th. The Croat has enjoyed a strong run at the first two Masters 1000 events of the season. Reaching the semifinals of Indian Wells followed by the quarter-finals in Miami. Hyeon Chung, who also reached the last eight in Miami, has broken the top 20 at 19th for the first time. Becoming the first South Korean in history to do so.
At the other end of the spectrum, Bosnia’s Miza Basic was the biggest faller by dropping 20 places to 95th in the world. Since winning his first ATP title in Sofia earlier this year, Basic has only managed to win two matches on the tour. He is the only player to drop ten or more places in the top 100 this week.
ATP Top 20 (week commencing April 2nd 2018)
1. Rafael Nadal – 8770 points (+1)
2. Roger Federer – 8670 points (-1)
3. Marin Cilic – 4985 points
4. Alexander Zverev – 4925 points (+1)
5. Grigor Dimitrov – 4635 points (-1)
6. Juan Martin del Potro – 4470 points
7. Dominic Thiem – 3665 points
8. Kevin Anderson – 3390 points
9. John Isner – 3125 points (+8)
10. David Goffin – 3110 points (-1)
11. Lucas Pouille – 2410 points (-1)
12. Pablo Carreno Busta – 2395 points (+7)
13. Novak Djokovic – 2310 points (-1)
14. Sam Querrey – 2265 points
15. Diego Schwartzman – 2200 points (+1)
16. Jack Sock – 2200 points(-5)
17. Roberto Bautista-Agut – 2175 points (-2)
18. Tomas Berdych – 2140 points (-5)
19. Hyeon Chung – 1897 points (+4)
20. Fabio Fognini – 1840 points (-2)
‘Best Match’ Of 2020 Changes Nothing For Ash Barty At Australian Open
The reigning French Open champion explains why she doesn’t consider herself the frontrunner in Melbourne.
World No.1 Ash Barty has vowed not to get ahead of herself despite producing a dominant display in her latest match at the Australian Open.
Barty, who is seeking to become the first home player to win a singles title in Melbourne Park since 1978, dropped just five games during her 6-3, 6-2, win over Elena Rybakina. Who won the Hobart International last week. Despite being tested at times by the 29th seed, Barty prevailed with the help of 28 winners as she broke five times during the 79-minute match.
“I think today was probably my sharpest match that I played. I felt really comfortable moving around the court. I felt like I found the middle of the racquet a lot sooner than my other matches.” Barty commented during her press conference.
“Particularly there were tough, long service games. I was able to get out of them and continue the momentum. I think all in all it was a pretty well-rounded performance.”
The win follows her victories over Lesia Tsurenko and Polona Hercog earlier in the tournament. Barty is now on a seven-match winning streak after winning the Adelaide International last week. Her first ever WTA title on Australian soil.
As the top seed in the women’s draw, the 23-year-old is carrying the burden of expectation on her shoulders. Although the WTA Tour is renowned for its unpredictability with the last 12 major tournaments being won by 10 different players. During that time, Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep is the only players to have won multiple trophies. At the Australian Open specifically, the last time the tournament was won by the number one seed was in 2015 by Serena Williams.
It is perhaps for this reason why Barty is remaining coy about her chances over the coming days. After branding her latest victory as the best of 2020 so far, she once again played down the idea of being the favourite to win.
“I’ve said from the very start, for us it’s about coming out here and enjoying it. I’m loving every minute. Trying to do the best I can. That’s all I can ask of myself.” She said.
“There’s a ‘No. 1’ next to my name and that’s about it. I think my family is the same. I’m the same.”
Danger lurks for the Australian in the next round with a rematch against Alison Riske looming. Riske was the player who knocked Barty out of Wimbledon last year. The American 18th seed edged out Julia Goerges in three sets in her third round match.
Barty doesn’t appear to be too traumatised by the loss at the The All England Club. Blaming it on a combination of factors such as tiredness and the quick turnaround from winning her first grand slam title at the French Open. She states that she lost no sleep over the defeat.
Meanwhile, Riske herself admits that she faces a tough task of repeating her Wimbledon heroics.
“It’s going to be a different experience. I’m playing on her home turf. I expect the fans against me, as they should be. It’s going to be a battle. So I’m looking forward to it.” She said.
Should Barty prevail in the next round, she will progress to the last eight of the Australian Open for only the second time in her career.
Caroline Wozniacki Bids Emotional Farewell To Tennis After Defeat to Jabeur
Caroline Wozniacki gave her last on-court interview and said goodbye to the fans after she lost the last match of her career.
Caroline Wozniacki brought the curtain down on her exceptional tennis career with a tearful farewell on Margaret Court Arena.
Appropriately, the Dane’s last professional match was the kind of pulsating three-set battle she is famous for. Ultimately, she lost it 7-5 3-6 7-5 to Ons Jabeur, but the occasion was about so much more than that.
It was a time for Wozniacki to look back at what she achieved and celebrate her triumphs. And, although she was clearly emotional that it was all over, there was no regret in her voice.
“I think it’s only fitting that my last match would be a three-setter, a grinder, and that I would finish my career with a forehand error,” the Dane said in her on-court interview.
“Those are the things that I’ve been working on my whole career, and I guess this was just meant to be.”
Wozniacki continued, “There’s so many things I will remember. Obviously the achievements I had on the court were amazing. The feelings that the fans give us players when we’re out here are really amazing.”
“I will remember the support I’ve had from my family – especially my dad who has coached me all these years.”
“Those are the special memories that I will always cherish. The journey we’ve been on together has been really amazing. It’s been a great ride. I really am happy, but I’m ready for the next chapter (in my life) and I’m excited for what’s to come. You may see me around – off the court.”
Players pay tribute to Wozniacki
During a special tribute, some of the players Wozniacki competed against gave their thoughts on the Dane. Several mentioned that she was a great fighter, while others praised her positive attitude.
Meanwhile, Sloane Stephens summed up many an opponent’s feelings when facing Wozniacki. “Most annoyingly, she just got every ball back – literally every ball,” the American said. “And she had that backhand which was just not fun (to face).”
“I have a lot of really nice memories of her of just being a really genuinely nice person,” added Naomi Osaka.
The last words were left for one of the Dane’s best friends: Serena Williams. “It’s going to be really hard for me to not have Caroline on the tour,” she said. “I’m really happy for her and I know that she’s doing what she wants to do and that’s what it’s all about.”
Wozniacki was then asked how she fought so hard on court but made so many friends on tour.
“When you’re on the court, you’re there to compete and there to win,” the Dane responded. “But when we’re off the court, we’re all in the same boat. We’re all travelling to the same tournaments and I think it makes it a lot more fun if you have friends on tour.”
After her final on-court interview, all that remained was for Wozniacki to say goodbye. Tournament director Craig Tiley gave her a hug and presented her with a koala. Then her dad Piotr lifted her up and carried her across the court.
Finally, the Dane walked around the stadium thanking the fans for their love and support with happy tears in her eyes. She will be remembered very fondly by the tennis community.
Serena Williams Crashes Out Of The Australian Open With Shock Loss To Wang
Serena Williams suffered a shock third-round exit at the 2020 Australian Open. She lost a tight three-set match to Wang Qiang.
Serena Williams unexpectedly tumbled out of the 2020 Australian Open at the third-round stage with a 6-4 6-7(2) 7-5 defeat to Wang Qiang.
It is a massively upsetting results for the American. And it means that her quest for a Margaret Court-equalling 24th Grand Slam title will have to continue if she wants it to be successful.
For Wang, this day means something entirely. It is undoubtedly the biggest win of her career so far and should give her great confidence for her first-ever Grand Slam last-16 match in two days’ time.
It also marked an extraordinary transformation from the Chinese player. At the US Open in September, she was humiliated by the great American. She lost 6-1 6-0 in 44 minutes and did not hit a single winner.
Today in Melbourne, she took the game to Serena and hit 25 of them. In addition, she made sure she held onto her serve as much as possible (she was only broken once) and she made the American play as many balls as she could.
Wang punishes Serena’s mistakes
The 23-time Grand Slam champion did not perform at her best. She made more unforced errors (56) than winners (43), which is usually a bad sign. And she only got 56% of her first serves, which enabled Wang to attack her second serve.
To the 27th seed’s immense credit, she capitalised on Serena’s mistakes. She remained so consistent and made so few unforced errors in the match (just 20 in 160 minutes of play) that she reduced the margin for error for her opponent significantly.
This meant that when the American faltered, Wang could pounce. She was gifted 0-30 in the ninth game of the first set and hit two winners to seize the crucial break.
Then Serena made some sloppy errors in the fifth game of the second set and the Chinese player broke her again. Unfortunately for the 27th seed, the World No.9 played arguably her best tennis of the match to break back four games later and then eventually take the set 7-2 in the tie-break.
In the decider, Wang served brilliantly. She got 74% of her first serves in and won 84% of those points. Consequently, she did not face a single break point in the set.
By contrast, Serena had to save two break points to keep the match going all the way to 6-5 in the Chinese player’s favour.
However, that was the limit of the American’s resistance. She made five unforced errors to gift Wang the game and with it the win that she had worked so hard for.
The Chinese player will now take on another surprise winner – Ons Jabeur – in the fourth round. The Tunisian became the last player to beat Caroline Wozniacki in her career when she recorded a 7-5 3-6 7-5 win.
Barty eases into Last 16
While the former World No.1 was knocked out, the current occupier of that ranking – Ashleigh Barty – suffered no such strife. She continued her serene progress through the draw with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory over rising star Elena Rybakina.
The Australian, 23, has now lost just twelve games in her last six sets after she dropped the first set against Lesia Tsurenko in round one.
It is ominous form, but if Barty’s rivals are starting to worry, they may take some comfort from the fact that the World No.1 might have to play the woman who beat her at Wimbledon – Alison Riske – in the next round.
Furthermore, if the Australian makes it to the quarter-final, she will probably face a very tough task in the shape of Petra Kvitova.
The Czech, 29, has made this Grand Slam business look very easy so far at this year’s Australian Open. She followed up straight-set victories over Katerina Siniakova and Paula Badosa with a 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Ekaterina Alexandrova to book her place in the fourth round.
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