Upcoming ATP Challenger Tour Events In China Cancelled

The ATP announced today that the following ATP Challenger Tour events in China have been cancelled due to the recent coronavirus outbreak:

Qujing CH 50 (Week of 2 March 2020)
Zhuhai CH 80 (Week of 9 March 2020)
Shenzhen CH 90 (Week of 16 March 2020)
Zhangjiagang CH 80 (Week of 23 March 2020)

The ATP will continue to monitor the ongoing situation in China and will communicate the possibility of rescheduling these events later in the year.

Presently, the following scheduled events remain on the 2020 ATP Challenger Tour calendar: Taipei CH 125 (Week of 30 March 2020), Nanchang CH 80 (Week of 6 April 2020), Changsha CH 80 (Week of 13 April 2020), Anning CH 125 (Week of 20 April 2020).

Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/upcoming-atp-challenger-tour-2020-events-in-china-cancelled

A Trip Through The New Life of Nicolas Massu

Nicolas Massu is in no doubt; Dominic Thiem, whom he has been coaching for almost a year, is ready for the challenge of facing Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open.

The meeting takes place on Wednesday night at Rod Laver Arena as both men attempt to book their place in the semi-finals of the year’s first Grand Slam.

During the build-up, Massu sat down with ATPTour.com to discuss his time in the World No. 5’s box.

How was the preseason?
He had a good pre-season. Twenty one days in Miami and almost two weeks on the Gold Coast. In Miami, we worked hard on fitness. It’s a very good city for the pre-season because of the weather at that time of year, and there were a lot of players too. Then, on the Gold Coast, we put more emphasis on tennis.

The two players we chose for the pre-season were very good. We arrived in Australia on 20 December, we’ve been here for five or six weeks. Dominic wanted to do it like that this season and it’s been good so far.

As a player, you always try to be motivated. Obviously, he has the capacity to work very hard. He always wants to improve and is always prepared to do so. Those of us who surround him, his team and family, try to help him. The important thing is that Dominic is keen and he listens, which is key.

From the outside it seems that you two get on very well.
We come from different cultures and have different nationalities, but we understand each other very well. When the results are positive everything is easier, but the most important thing is believing in the work you’re doing.

I’m here to help him, and I’m really excited about doing it too. I liked pressure as a player and now I like the adrenaline of being a coach, that’s why I’ve started this new phase [of my career]. These are sensations you can only get from sport. I had both sides, as a player and a coach, and I enjoy them equally.

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Why do you two click?
We’re both of similar ages. I’ve played many of the players that are still on Tour today. I have an up-to-date vision of tennis and I try to transmit my experience to him. You do have to know the player you’re coaching. I had one style of tennis and Dominic has another, but at the end of the day we’re both motivated to keep doing great things, he as a player and I as a coach.

We share a l

Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/massu-qa-australian-open-2020-day-9

Djokovic Ready For ‘Big Effort’ Against Federer

When Novak Djokovic steps onto court at Rod Laver Arena on Thursday night, he will be prepared to push himself to the limit against Roger Federer.

The two rivals, who own a combined 13 Australian Open crowns, will meet for the 50th time in their ATP Head2Head rivalry (Djokovic leads 26-23) with a place in the final on the line.

No man knows what it takes to beat Federer at this stage better than Djokovic, having defeated Federer to reach finals at Melbourne Park in 2008, 2011 and 2016. But the seven-time champion is well aware of the threat Federer possesses. Federer ended Djokovic’s hopes of finishing 2019 as the year-end No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in their most recent meeting, beating the Serbian in straight sets at last year’s Nitto ATP Finals in London.

“I know that whenever we get a chance to play each other, we understand it takes a big effort and it's required from us to come up with the best game in order to win against each other,” said Djokovic.

“At Wimbledon last year, he had two match points, he was one shot away from winning that match. It's not like I've been dominating the matchups. I've had success against him, in Grand Slams in particular.

“But Roger is Roger. You know that he's always going to play on such a high level, regardless of the surface. He loves to play these kind of matches, big rivalries, semi-finals, finals of Grand Slams.”

Djokovic will also be wary of the battling qualities of his opponent. Federer was two points from defeat at 4/8 down in a final-set tie-break against John Millman in the third round and saved seven match points to overcome Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-finals.

“What he did today was really amazing,” said Djokovic. “To come back and save seven match points at his age, I mean, he's still playing such a great [level of] tennis and proving that he deserves to be up there. He's a great fighter. Obviously, I have lots of respect for him.”

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Djokovic has continued to improve throughout his time at the year’s opening Grand Slam. The 32-year-old has won 13 consecutive sets since dropping the third set in his first-round match against Jan-Lennard Struff.

“I've been feeling well on the court… I've been building I think as the time passes by, in every match, I have more confidence, I feel better,” said Djokovic.

“This is m

Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/djokovic-australian-open-2020-day-9-reaction

Raonic Positive About Future After Melbourne Exit

Milos Raonic remained positive, but admitted his surprise at the cooler conditions on Tuesday night, when he lost to seven-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(1) in two hours and 49 minutes.

“Overall, there has been a lot of positive things for me this week,” said Raonic, who reached his fourth quarter-final (or better) at the first Grand Slam championship of the season. “I think that’s where my focus is at.

“Today was a tough match. I knew it was going to be tough. I knew I was going to have to do things well. The conditions were tough. It was one of the first times, I think really, that I've played here, definitely at this tournament, when it's this cold in the evening. So it made it a little bit slower. I knew that was going to be a challenge. But I just tried to make the best of it. He was just too good.”

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Former World No. 3 Raonic, who began the tournament at No. 35 in the FedEx ATP Rankings after a series of injuries in 2019, admitted, “I think I came in with sort of the wrong game plan. I think I needed to mix up speeds a little bit more. I think I was trying to play through him a little bit too much at the beginning.

“[With Novak and] all the other top guys, once they can get into a groove, get their balance behind them, things get more difficult. He was in a lot of my service games. I was sort of holding on. But eventually at one point he found an opening. I think I needed to execute a little bit better, maybe go in with a different approach.”

Raonic, the No. 32 seed, beat Lorenzo Giustino, Cristian Garin, No. 6 seed and last year’s semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas and 2018 finalist Marin Cilic en route to this year’s quarter-finals at Melbourne Park. He hit 48 winners, including 18 aces on Tuesday against Djokovic, but dropped to 0-10 lifetime against the Serbian star.

Having overcome back, right knee and hip injuries in 2019, the Canadian has started to train differently in the new season.

“You try to do different things [and] try to find solutions,” said Raonic. “You try to find a way to stay healthy, to be able to consistently play. Sometimes things work. Sometimes they don't… You can't really know until you go through it. I've been training a different way. Hopefully that gives me the freedom to play and I can be playing week after week, finishing tournaments heal

Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/raonic-reaction-2020-australian-open-quarterfinals

Djokovic Ends Raonic Run, Books Federer Semi-final

Novak Djokovic made it 10 wins from 10 matches against Milos Raonic on Tuesday night, beating the Canadian 6-4, 6-3, 7-6(1) to book a semi-final clash against Roger Federer at the Australian Open.

With Rod Laver watching from the stands, the second seed won 10 of 11 net points and saved both break points he faced to reach his eighth semi-final at Melbourne Park after two hours and 49 minutes. Djokovic owns a combined 14-0 record in semi-final and final matches at the year’s opening Grand Slam.

“It’s an honour to have Rod Laver here tonight,” said Djokovic. “It certainly adds pressure, watching every move. I’ve been fortunate to play at a high level for many years and this is no doubt my favourite court.”

Djokovic, who improves to 73-8 in Melbourne, is chasing a record-extending eighth Australian Open crown. If the World No. 2 lifts the trophy on Sunday, he would become only the third man to win a Grand Slam event on eight or more occasions alongside 12-time Roland Garros titlist Rafael Nadal and eight-time Wimbledon winner Federer.

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An eighth Australian Open title would represent a 17th Grand Slam victory for Djokovic. The five-time year-end No. 1 is currently third on the all-time Grand Slam titles leader board, three trophies behind Nadal (19) and four behind record-holder Federer (20).

With a place in the final on the line, Djokovic will contest his 50th ATP Head2Head meeting against Federer. The Swiss saved seven match points to outlast Tennys Sandgren in a thrilling five-set quarter-final. Djokovic leads Federer 26-23, which includes a 3-1 record in Melbourne. Each of the Serbian’s three victories against his rival at this event have come in semi-final encounters.

“I have tremendous respect for Roger and everything he has achieved in the sport," said Djokovic. "The match ups against Roger and Rafa are the reason I am the player that I am today. I am grateful I’ve had so many matches against those guys. It’s amazing what Roger did on the court today and he’s done it a number of times in his career. Let the better player win!”

With impressive returning, Djokovic piled the pressure on Raonic’s serve in the opener. The seven-time champion earned nine break points in the first set, but Raonic found his best level in crucial moments to keep pace.

The Canadian varied his serve direction on brea

Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/djokovic-raonic-australian-open-2020-day-9

QF Preview: Is Another Nadal-Thiem Grand Slam Epic In Store In Melbourne?

It’s going to be stuck in my mind forever.

The last time Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem played one another on hard court, they produced one of the most memorable Grand Slam matches of recent memory. In the 2018 US Open quarter-finals, both men ripped the cover off the ball for four hours and 49 minutes, with Nadal ultimately triumphing in a fifth-set tie-break. Thiem was left heartbroken to say the least.

The Austrian, who has split two matches against Nadal on clay since then, will try to erase those Flushing Meadows memories when he pursues an upset of the top seed on Rod Laver Arena in Wednesday’s Australian Open quarter-finals. Nadal will look to stop the big-hitting World No. 5 as he continues his chase for a 20th Grand Slam title, which would tie Roger Federer’s record.

“[I expect a] very tough match. He's playing well. I saw him play [Monday] against Gael [Monfils]. He was playing a very high level [of] tennis,” Nadal said. “We know each other well. He's a player who I like a lot, the way that he works, the way that he plays, and the way that he tries his best always. It’s a match that is going to be a tough one, but it will be interesting.”

Nadal showed he is in top form on Monday evening when he dispatched motivated Aussie Nick Kyrgios in four sets. But it won’t get any easier against Thiem, who triumphed at last year’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and reached the championship match of the Nitto ATP Finals. Both of those events are held on hard court.

Early in his career, Thiem was known to enjoy his best results on clay. But the Austrian adapted his physical game to hard courts in 2019, and has himself shown a high level at Melbourne Park ahead of what promises to be a massive showdown. Nadal expects nothing less.

“I am excited to play this quarter-final against Dominic,” Nadal said. “I know I have to be at my best to have chances. I think I am moving in the right direction. Every day I'm playing a little bit better.”

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Thiem, who will compete in his first Australian Open quarter-final, has himself improved match by match. In the second round, he was forced to rally from two sets to one down against Aussie wild card Alex Bolt. And since then, he has beaten No. 29 seed Taylor Fritz in four sets and No. 10 seed Gael Monfils in straight sets.

“Already yesterday in practice an

Read more: https://www.atptour.com/en/news/preview-nadal-thiem-2020-australian-open-qf

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