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Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open – Geneva, Switzerland
Open Parc Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Lyon – Lyon, France
Roland Garros Qualifying – Paris, France

Last Week’s Winners:
Internazionali BNL d’Italia – Sascha Zverev

Sascha Zverev Wins 1st Masters 1000 Title
Sascha got revenge for his good friend Dominic Thiem’s semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic, with a strong 6-4, 6-3 win over Djokovic in the finals in Rome.  The win is the first Masters 1000 title for Sascha, who at 20-years-old is the youngest to win a Masters title since Novak Djokovic in 2007.   Sasha will also enter the Top 10 for the first time in his career with the title in Rome.  We think Sascha has officially gone from #NextGen to #GenerationNow.

Thanasi Kokkinakis Makes Return to Singles
The young Aussie is playing in his first ATP World Tour level event in singles since he made a (brief) comeback in January.  Kokkinakis has had a rough time with injuries so early in his career, and we’re so glad to see him back on court!  Unfortunately, he lost in the first round to Denis Istomin in Lyon but we hope this is just the beginning of a strong comeback for him.

Novak Djokovic Announces Andre Agassi as New Coach
Rumors had been swirling for a while that Andre Agassi would be joining Djokovic’s coaching team.  Djokovic confirmed the rumors in his post-match conference in Rome, following his loss to Zverev.  Djokovic will officially start working with Agassi in Paris on a trial basis.

Dominic Thiem Beats Rafael Nadal in 3rd Straight Try
The hottest new rivalry on tour lately has been Rafa vs Domi.   The two met in the finals in both Barcelona and Madrid, with Rafa emerging as the winner of both titles.  Domi came closer to victory each match, and finally figured out a way to beat Rafa in the quarterfinals in Rome.  Thiem won the match 6-4, 6-3, showing off his aggressive and powerful playing style.  Bamos!

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Rome 2017 😊 #mygame

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Roland Garros Qualifying Underway
It’s hard to believe that it’s already time for the second slam of the season!   Roland Garros Qualifying is officially underway.  In the US, you can watch the action on Tennis Channel Plus.   Players to watch include young Americans Reilly Opelka, Dennis Novikov, and Stefan Kozlov, and new pros Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Casper Ruud.

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What a city 🇫🇷

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Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Internazionali BNL d’Italia – Rome, Italy

Last Week’s Winners:
Mutua Madrid Open – Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal Wins 3rd Consecutive Title in Madrid
Rafa’s outstanding clay season continues, as he won his 3rd consecutive title on clay so far this season.    Rafa has been on a roll winning Monte Carlo, Barcelona and now Madrid.   The King of Clay defeated arguably the best clay court player of the younger generation, Dominic Thiem (the Prince of Clay?), in both the Barcelona and Madrid finals.  The Madrid title was especially sweet as Rafa defeated Novak Djokovic for the first time in 7 matches, in their record 50th career meeting.

Juan Monaco Announces Retirement
“Pico” made a surprise announcement that he would be retiring from professional tennis on Monday on social media.  He had only played 3 matches so far this year.  Monaco turned pro in 2002 and had won 9 ATP World Tour Titles, reaching a career high of #10 in the world.    We wish Pico all the best!  (and maybe more game show appearances?)

Frances Tiafoe Wins Aix en Provence Challenger
The #NextGen American won his second clay court challenger title of the year over the weekend in Aix en Provence.  The win brings Frances up to a career high of #65 in the ATP World Tour rankings and to #3 in the ATP #NextGen Race to Milan.  #BigFoeOnTheComeUp indeed.

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Mutua Madrid Open – Madrid, Spain

Last Week’s Winners:
Millennium Estoril Open – Pablo Carrena Busta
BMW Open – Alexander Zverev
TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open – Marin Cilic

Sascha Zverev Wins 3rd Title in Munich
20-year-old Sascha Zverev won his 3rd career title, and his 2nd title of the year at the BMW Open in Munich.   The title is Sascha’s first on home soil in Germany.  The young German beat Guido Pella in the final, 6-4, 6-3.

Thiem Throwback
Riccardo Bellotti, fellow player and close friend to Dominic Thiem, posted this throwback photo on Instagram of him, Domi, and Dennis Novak.  We love the early 00s boyband vibes they’ve got going on – especially Rico’s JT inspired hair!

Novak Djokovic Splits With Longtime Team
Novak Djokovic has been struggling to find his form lately, ever since winning the French Open last year.   He announced this week he was cutting ties with his long time team:  coach Marian Vajda,  fitness coach Gebhard Phil Gritsch and physiotherapist Miljan Amanovic, after over 10-years working together.   Djokovic shared the news on his website with theheadline, “I want to find the winning spark on the court again.”


Tennys Sandgren Wins USTA Roland Garros Wildcard

26-year-old American Tennys Sandgren has qualified for the main draw of a grand slam for the first time in his career.  Tennys (yes, it’s pronounced like “tennis”) won the USTA Roland Garros Wildcard challenge by reaching the finals of the challenger in Sarasota and winning the challenger in Savannah.

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Millennium Estoril Open – Estoril, Portugal
BMW Open – Munich, Germany
TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open – Istanbul, Turkey

Last Week’s Winners:
Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell – Rafael Nadal
Gazprom Hungarian Open – Lucas Pouille

Rafael Nadal Wins “La Decima” in Barcelona
Welcome to Rafa’s house!   Literally.  Just days after the center court at the Barcelona Open was renamed “Court Rafa Nadal,” Rafa won his 10th title at the tournament.   He defeated Dominic Thiem, one of the best clay court players of the younger generation, in an entertaining final, 6-4, 6-1.   Rafa celebrated by jumping in the pool at the club after his victory.   10 in Monte Carlo…10 in Barcelona…can he make it 10 at Roland Garros?  Vamos!

Grigor Dimitrov Shows Off Dancing Skills
We’re glad Grigor takes his side hustle as a member of the One Handed Backhand Boys seriously.   He showed off his dancing skills at a charity event over the weekend, and he’s got some serious moves.  (Don’t forget about that time he sang a Backstreet Boys song, too!)

Juan Martin del Potro Kicks Off Clay Season in Estoril
Delpo is back in action in his first tournament since the Miami Open.  He is starting his clay season at the Estoril Open in Portugal, with just 3 weeks to go until Roland Garros!

Roger Federer Attends Met Gala
Federer is taking some time off from the tour, with his next tournament likely at Roland Garros at the end of the month.   He’s been keeping busy in the meantime!  He hosted a charity event in Seattle over the weekend with Bill Gates, John Isner, and Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, bringing in over 2 million for the Roger Federer Foundation.   Fed then flew to NYC for the Met Gala, rocking a Gucci suit with a crystal cobra on it.  (Don’t forget he is GQ’s reigning Best Dressed Man)

Lucas Pouille Wins 2nd Title in Budapest
Frenchman Lucas Pouille won the 2nd title of his career, and his first on clay at the Gazprom Hungarian Open.  This was the first ATP World Tour Event ever held in Budapest.  Lucas defeated Aljaz Bedene in the final 6-3, 6-1.

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell – Barcelona, Spain
Gazprom Hungarian Open – Budapest, Hungary

Last Week’s Winners:
Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters – Rafael Nadal

Rafa Wins Record Breaking 10th Monte Carlo Title
Rafael Nadal won the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters over the weekend for the 10th time, the first time in the open era that any player has won any singles tournament 10 times.   Rafa is also going for 10 titles in Barcelona and Roland Garros this year.  Vamos!

Barcelona Open Unveils “Pista Rafa Nadal”
When you’ve won a tournament 9 times, you earn a little recognition!  The Barcelona Open renamed their center court in honor of Rafael Nadal, the 9 time champion.  Rafa will start the campaign for his 10th title in Barcelona on “Pista Rafa Nadal” on Wednesday.

New York Empire Announce 2017 Schedule
New York’s World Team Tennis team, the New York Empire, announced their schedule for the 2017 season.  Matches will be played on Court 17 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, AKA the home of the US Open.  This year’s team, led by coach Gigi Fernandez, includes Mardy Fish, John Isner, Genie Bouchard, Guido Pella, Maria Sanchez, and Kristin Flipkens.  View the full schedule at NYEmpireTennis.com.  Tickets for all matches are on sale now!

Frances Tiafoe Wins Sarasota Challenger
19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe won his 3rd challenger title over the weekend in Sarasota.   The win brings Frances up to a career high of #72 in the ATP World Tour Rankings and the youngest player in the top 100.   Frances is also up to #5 in the ATP #NextGen Race to Milan.

Hungary Welcomes 1st ATP World Tour Tournament
The Gazprom Hungarian Open, which kicked off yesterday in Budapest, is the first ever ATP World Tour Tournament to be held in Hungary.  The inaugural 250 level event is led by #1 seed Lucas Pouille.

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournaments:
Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters – Monte Carlo, Monaco

Last Week’s Winners:
US Men’s Clay Court Championship – Stevie Johnson
Grand Prix Hassan II – Borna Coric

Borna Coric Wins 1st ATP World Tour Title in Marrakech
20-year old Borna Coric won his first ATP Tour Title at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech!  Borna had an incredible comeback in the final against Phillip Kohlschreiber, saving 5 match points in the 2nd set and coming back from 0-3 down in the 3rd.  This was Borna’s second final in Marrakech, and his third final overall.   The win puts Borna back in the top 50 of the rankings and up to #2 in the #NextGen race to Milan, just behind Sascha Zverev.  Borna had knee surgery late last Fall after being forced to withdraw from his match at the US Open.  We’re glad to see him back on court and playing well!

Monte Carlo = The Most Beautiful Tournament of the Year
Forget Wimbledon.  The tournament in Monte Carlo is at the top of our tennis tournament bucket list.  The Monte Carlo Country Club hosts the tournament, and center court is surrounded by view of the mountains and sea.  Tune in to Tennis Channel all week for some spectacular views and tennis!

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15000 personnes attendues aujourd'hui #MCRM2016

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Rafael Nadal Going for Perfect 10
Rafa, the undisputed King of Clay, has already won a record breaking 9 titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Roland Garros.  He is the only player in the open era to have won a tournament at least 9 times.  Could he go even further and make it a perfect 10?

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#Practice 👍🎾 @rafanadalacademy

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Stevie Johnson Wins 2nd Title in Houston
After a rough start to 2016, Stevie Johnson has been on a roll since last year’s grass court season.  He picked up his first ATP World Tour Title in Nottingham, made the 4th round of a slam for the first time, and picked up a bronze medal at the Olympics.  Stevie worked hard in the off season, shedding nearly 20 pounds, and it’s shown!   He won the 2nd title of his career, and his 1st on clay, at the Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston.  Stevie took out Jack Sock in the semifinals before defeating Thomaz Bellucci in the finals.   And as is the tradition at the tournament, Stevie celebrated the victory by jumping into the pool at the River Oaks country club!

Tennis Tuesday: News Roundup

This Week’s Tournament:
Davis Cup

Last Week’s Winner:
Miami Open – Roger Federer

Roger Federer Wins Sunshine Double
Roger Federer’s incredible comeback continues!  He pulled off the “sunshine double” (aka winning both Indian Wells and Miami) for just the 3rd time in his career, defeating Rafael Nadal in the Miami Open final 6-3, 6-4.   It’s Federer’s 3rd title of the 2017, and the 3rd time he’s played and defeated Nadal this year.  2017 has been a fun year for tennis, hasn’t it?   Federer did say on court that he’d be sitting out most of the clay season and his next tournament would be Roland Garros.

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🍊

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Davis Cup Quarterfinals This Weekend
The Davis Cup is back April 7-9!  The World Group Quarterfinals are taking place in venues across Europe and Australia.  We’re looking forward to the tie between the US and Australia as John Isner, Jack Sock, Sam Querrey & Stevie Johnson take on Nick Kyrgios, Jordan Thompson, Sam Groth & John Peers.

Australia (host) vs USA
France (host) vs Great Britain
Belgium (host) vs Italy
Serbia (host) vs Spain

The #NextGen is Coming
#NextGen ATP stars Sascha Zverev and Jared Donaldson were both impressive in Miami.  Sascha defeated John Isner (saving 3 match points) and Stan Wawrinka en route to the Quarterfinals, where he fell to Nick Kyrgios in one of the best matches of the Miami Open.  Jared Donaldson played his way through qualifying and made it to the 4th round.  He eventually lost to Jack Sock, but his run in Miami brings him to a career high of 75 in the ATP rankings.

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A rivalry for the ages. See you again my friend 🙏🏽🎾

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Tennis Watching Etiquette
We’ve covered concert etiquette before, and after watching the match between Nick Kyrgios and Roger Federer last week, we feel the need to address tennis watching etiquette as well.  If you’re lucky enough to be watching a professional tennis match in person, here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Cheering in support of your favorite player is fine, but show some respect for the other player.  Calling out against them, cheering negative things, or playing linesman and calling close balls “out” is rude and distracting to both players.
2. Learn when to cheer and when to be quiet.  Generally speaking, if the ball is in play, that’s your cue to sit and watch.   Between points, cheering is welcome and encouraged!   But please do not applaud double faults and do not call out in between 1st and 2nd serves.
3. Wait for the changeovers to enter or leave your seats.  It’s distracting to both the players and the other fans in the stadium to have people constantly going in and out.
4. Enjoy points like this!