Nadal, Federer Reunite On Team Europe At Laver Cup; All You Need To Know

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer headline the third edition of the Laver Cup, to be held 20-22 September in Geneva, Switzerland. The Laver Cup field includes three other Top 10 players — Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas — who will join Nadal and Federer on Team Europe. John Isner, Milos Raonic and Nick Kyrgios lead the charge for Team World

The teams will be welcomed in Geneva on Wednesday, at a public appearance on the balcony of the Palais Eynard, Parc des Bastions, at 12:00pm.

Team Europe won the inaugural tournament in Prague, 15-9, with Federer prevailing 4-6, 7-6(6), 11-9 over Kyrgios to prevent Team World from forcing a decisive, winner-take-all doubles set. Last year in Chicago, after Isner and Jack Sock put Team World up 8-7 to start Day 3, Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev rallied for wins in their singles matches to clinch the victory for Team Europe.

Here’s what you need to know about the Laver Cup: what is the schedule, where to watch, who is playing and more.

Established: 2017

Tournament Dates: 20-22 September 2019

Who Is Playing
Team Europe: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Fabio Fognini, Roberto Bautista Agut (alternate)
Team World: John Isner, Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov, Jack Sock, Taylor Fritz, Jordan Thompson (alternate)

Schedule (View On Official Website)
Friday, September 20: 1pm Match 1 (singles) followed by Match 2 (singles)
Friday, September 20: 7pm, Match 3 (singles) followed by Match 4 (doubles)
Saturday, September 21: 1pm, Match 5 (singles) followed by Match 6 (singles)
Saturday, September 21: 7pm, Match 7 (singles) followed by Match 8 (doubles)
Sunday, September 22: 12pm, Match 9 (doubles) followed by Match 10 (singles), Match 11 (singles), Match 12 (singles). If points are even, then there will be a one-set doubles decider.

How To Watch
TV Schedule

Venue: Palexpo
Surface: Indoor Hard

Both singles and doubles are best-of-three sets with ad scoring. The third set is a 10-point Match Tie-break.

Each match win will be worth one point on Friday, two points on Saturday and three points on Sunday. If points

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Rublev Survives Ivashka Scare In St. Petersburg

Andrey Rublev was forced to work hard for his place in the St. Petersburg Open second round on Tuesday, recovering from a set down to defeat Ilya Ivashka 4-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Appearing for the first time since reaching the US Open fourth round, the fifth seed claimed three straight games from 3-4 down in the third set to improve to 23-14 at tour-level this year. After avoiding a third first-round defeat in four appearances at the ATP 250 tournament, Rublev moves on to face Ricardas Berankis for a place in the last eight.

Berankis claimed 81 per cent of first-serve points (22/27) to defeat Dudi Sela 6-3, 6-0 in 62 minutes. It will be his first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting against Rublev, who defeated Roger Federer in Cincinnati and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Flushing Meadows.

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St. Petersburg debutant Roberto Carballes Baena defeated 2012 champion Martin Klizan 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the second round. The 26-year-old became only the second player to defeat Klizan in 11 matches in St. Petersburg after 89 minutes, converting five of eight break points en route to victory. Carballes Baena will face US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Evgeny Donskoy will face top seed and fellow Russian Daniil Medvedev in the second round. The 29-year-old wild card cruised past lucky loser Matteo Viola of Italy 6-2, 6-1. Egor Gerasimov also advanced, beating fellow qualifier Lukas Rosol 7-5, 6-2 to book a meeting with seventh seed Adrian Mannarino.

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Why Medvedev's Momentum Looks Set To Continue Indoors

Daniil Medvedev’s recent run on the outdoor hard courts of North America has catapulted the 23-year-old to a career-high No. 4 in the ATP Rankings and earned the Russian a maiden spot at the Nitto ATP Finals in London.

But before claiming his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati, Medvedev’s two most recent tour-level trophies had been lifted on indoor hard courts, proving that the US Open finalist can be just as dangerous with a roof above his towering 6’6” frame.

Eleven months ago, the Moscow-born star lifted his maiden ATP 500 title indoors at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo. Medvedev dropped one set in seven matches from qualifying in the Japanese capital — defeating three Top 20 players — including two-time titlist and home favourite Kei Nishikori in the final.

The five-time tour-level titlist, who has already lifted indoor silverware this year at the Sofia Open in February, owns a Tour-leading 22 victories over the past 52 weeks on the surface according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone. The Russian will be hoping to add to that tally at the St. Petersburg Open, where he will be competing for the first time since reaching his first Grand Slam final at the US Open.

Most Indoor Victories Over Past 52 Weeks

Player Wins Win Percentage Titles Daniil Medvedev 22 0.786 2 Stefanos Tsitsipas 18 0.750 2 Kei Nishikori 16 0.696 0 Karen Khachanov 15 0.789 2 Gael Monfils 14 0.824 1

With ATP 250 indoor hard-court events in St. Petersburg and Metz this week and a further seven indoor events through the Rolex Paris Masters, the ability to earn victories indoors could prove crucial in the ATP Race To London.

In fact, the three players who own the best winning percentages indoors over the past 52 weeks (after 10 or more matches) are all in contention for a spot at the elite eight-man event at The O2 in London.

Best Indoor Win Percentage Over Past

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Gasquet Among 4 French Winners Tuesday In Metz

French men have won eight of the past 10 Moselle Open titles. And on Tuesday, home favourites made a good start towards improving that.

Former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet was under plenty of pressure from Marcel Granollers in the first round of this ATP 250 tennis tournament, but the Frenchman rallied to defeat the Spaniard 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4. The 33-year-old, who made the final in Metz in 2004 when he was 18, triumphed after two hours and 35 minutes.

Gasquet has won five of his 15 ATP Tour crowns in France. And the World No. 41 arrived to this event with momentum after making the semi-finals of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

The only break of the decider came at 3-3. Granollers stood on the baseline, aggressively trying to move Gasquet around. But the Spaniard’s approach shot allowed too much time, as Gasquet flicked a backhand passing shot down the line for a clean winner. Two service holds later, Gasquet moved through to face third seed Benoit Paire, who has lifted two of his three ATP Tour trophies this year.

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Wild card Gregoire Barrere caused the upset of the day, cruising past sixth seed and 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier Hubert Hurkacz 6-2, 6-2. The Frenchman saved all five break points he faced in his 60-minute victory.

Barrere, who is at a career-high No. 98 in the ATP Rankings, has earned all five of his tour-level wins in 2019. The 25-year-old will next face countryman Antoine Hoang, who advanced on Monday.

Another Frenchman, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, withstood 14 aces to defeat German Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(3), 6-4. Herbert struck eight aces of his own and won 81 per cent of his first-serve points to set a second-round clash against compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who rallied past Spaniard Pablo Andujar 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 after one hour and 53 minutes.

The former World No. 5, who emerged victorious in Montpellier earlier this year, blasted 10 aces and saved four of the six break points he faced. Tsonga has won this title three times, most recently in 2015.

The only player who defeated a Frenchman Tuesday was Slovenian Aljaz Bedene, who ousted 19-year-old wild card Rayane Roumane 6-4, 6-4 after one hour and 15 minutes.

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Berrettini Reflects On His Breakthrough

Earlier this month, Matteo Berrettini made his major breakthrough at the US Open, becoming just the second Italian man to reach the last four in New York after Corrado Barazzutti in 1977.

The 23-year-old’s run that was ended by eventual champion Rafael Nadal, earned Berrettini a career-high No. 13 ATP Ranking and was the latest success in an impressive 2019 campaign. The Rome-born star advanced to three ATP Tour championship matches in the opening six months of the season, lifting titles in Budapest (d. Krajinovic) and Stuttgart (d. Auger-Aliassime) alongside a runner-up finish in Munich (l. to Garin).

But the confidence to achieve those results came from a breakthrough week at last year’s J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad. Just 14 months ago, Berrettini entered the clay-court ATP 250 event aiming to reach his first tour-level quarter-final with no doubles victories on the ATP Tour to his name.

Ranked No. 84 in the ATP Rankings, Berrettini arrived without his coach, who had taken a vacation week. But that didn’t stop the Italian from producing his best tennis, defeating three consecutive seeded players to take the singles trophy, before adding the doubles title to his collection later in the day.

“[Gstaad was an] unbelievable week. I won singles and doubles there and I had never won an ATP Tour doubles match, so it was all in a rush,” said Berrettini. “I will never forget that week. I was really enjoying it. Of course, I liked the city and the crowd. A lot of Italians came to watch the matches, so it was really fun.

“I enjoyed playing there. I liked the conditions, altitude and the clay courts. It was an unbelievable week. I look back and I smile a lot.”

It took some time for Berrettini to process what he had achieved during his week at the ATP 250 event. But the Italian’s success in the south west of Switzerland proved the springboard to a stellar 2019 season on the ATP Tour. Berrettini has already compiled a 34-16 tour-level record this season, eclipsing last year’s personal-best 19-19 mark.

“It was an unbelievable feeling [to win the title]. My family were watching the match and all my friends, my coach from Italy,” said Berrettini. “I was just really enjoying the moment and then, after a few weeks, I realised what I did.

“That week I really realised that I had the level to play against the best guys

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At Nowitzki’s Charity Event, Nash Says Shapovalov & Felix ‘Have Incredible Futures’

Game. Set. Match. Children.

Superstars from all over the sports world came together in Texas this weekend for the fourth annual Dirk Nowitzki Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic, hitting aces — literally and figuratively — to raise money for the Dirk Nowitzki Foundation, which awards grants annually to organisations focusing on children’s wellbeing, health and education.

“We’re thrilled to do this event again and have the support of celebs who fly in from across the country,” Nowitzki said. “Tommy Haas actually took a redeye to be here. He landed at like 7am, so the support from everybody means the world and hopefully we can raise a lot of funds again for our project this upcoming year.”

Nowitzki, a basketball legend in his own right, played his fair share of tennis growing up in Germany. And his former Dallas Mavericks teammate and two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, Steve Nash, has taken up the sport more recently. The Canadian has taken great pride in watching #NextGenATP stars Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime blossom on the ATP Tour.

“Both Denis and Felix have big, big games. [They’re] great athletes who have a lot of shots. Both I think have incredible futures,” Nash said. “The best players are the ones that get on top of their game mentally. Those young players are showing great signs. They have all the tools, and if they just continue to develop that grit and understanding, they’re going to be Top 5, Top 10 players in the world, easy.

“Denis has got all the shots. Big, big groundstrokes. Big serve. When he’s on fire, he’s unbeatable. He’s one of those guys who’s an electric player. When he gets hot, he’s unstoppable. As he gets older I think he’s going to be one of those guys who’s so hard to beat even when he doesn’t have his best stuff.”

Haas Nash

When Nash retired, he wanted to find other activities outside of basketball. So he joined a tennis club and has gotten increasingly interested in the sport since.

“The past couple of years i’ve been trying to learn the game. It’s a beautiful sport,” Nash said. “Obviously there are tons of levels to it, so I’m just trying to hold my own and get better and better.”


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