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Tennis News

Monday 21st May 2018

Italian Open: Rafael Nadal beats Alexander Zverev to win Rome title for an eighth time

Rafael Nadal survived a stunning fightback from Alexander Zverev to win a record eighth Italian Open.

Nadal cruised to the first set before defending champion Zverev won nine of the next 11 games to take the second set 6-1 and lead 3-1 in the decider.

But the Spaniard turned the match around following a lengthy rain delay and closed out a 6-1 1-6 6-3 victory.

The win will see Nadal regain the world number one ranking before the French Open which starts next Sunday.

Roger Federer had regained top spot in the rankings when Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Masters last week, his only defeat on clay this season.

Nadal has now won three clay-court titles from four tournaments in the lead-up to his bid for an 11th Roland Garros title in Paris.


ATP: Men's tour likely to introduce shot clocks and reduced warm-up

Shot clocks and reduced warm-ups appear very likely to be introduced to the ATP Tour - and possibly next season.

A number of innovations were trialled at the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan last November.

First to four game sets, no advantage scoring or service lets and coaching via headsets were among the trials.

But it is a 25-second serving clock and a reduced warm-up which players can expect to face on tour in either 2019 or 2020.

The shot clock is set to be enforced at a Grand Slam for the first time during this year's US Open.

It was used in Australian Open qualifying and will also be in operation during French Open qualifying this month.

Wimbledon, which has opted not to use it this year, says it will adopt a "wait and see" approach.


Queen's 2018: Fever-Tree Championships to have its strongest line-up

The Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's is set to have its strongest line-up in its 128-year history with 17 of the world's top 30 taking part.

World number one Rafael Nadal is one of six players from the top 10 who have signed up to play.

The others are Grigor Dimitrov, Marin Cilic, Juan Martin del Potro, Kevin Anderson and David Goffin.

Britain's five-time winner Andy Murray, who is currently injured, is also due to play in the event from 18-24 June.

The 30-year-old had hip surgery after pulling out of the Australian Open in January, and has targeted a comeback for the grass-court season.

Feliciano Lopez will defend his title, while Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic,, Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are the latest names to be added to the list of competitors.


Wimbledon 2018: Serena Williams could be top seed on return

Seven-time champion Serena Williams could still be made the number one seed at Wimbledon this year, even if the American does not climb back into the world's top 32 before the tournament.

Williams, 36, has dropped to 449th in the world since giving birth last year.

She believes players returning from pregnancy should have protected seedings as well as protected rankings.

The All England Club has issued a statement clarifying that its committee had the discretion to seed a player for the Championships regardless of their ranking.

The seeding meeting is due to take place on 26 June.

Williams, who gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr in September, has played four singles matches since returning to action, reaching the last 32 in Indian Wells before losing to older sister Venus and then going out to Japan's rising star Naomi Osaka in round one at Miami.

After Indian Wells, world number one Simona Halep said she believed Serena Williams "should have been given top seed", while Miami tournament director James Blake said the seeding rules for players returning from pregnancy were "a kind of punishment".

Despite the possibility for Williams, Britain's two-time men's champion Andy Murray will not be seeded if he is not ranked in the top 32 when the Championships begin in July.

Murray, 31, has not played competitively since losing in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last year because of a hip injury.

The Scot had surgery in January and has been back training on court, but is extremely unlikely to climb back into the top 32 before Wimbledon.

It means Murray could be drawn against, for example, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal in the first round.


Queen's 2018: Kyle Edmund and Feliciano Lopez to play Fever-Tree Championships

Kyle Edmund will play at the Queen's Club Championships in June - his first appearance on home soil since taking over as British number one.

The world number 26 moved to the top of the British rankings in March, replacing Andy Murray who had held the position for 12 years.

It will be 23-year-old Edmund's fourth appearance at the Queen's Club.

Defending champion Feliciano Lopez has also been confirmed for the tournament, joining former winner Rafael Nadal.

Five-time champion Murray also intends to return for the event, which takes place in the build-up to Wimbledon.

The 30-year-old had hip surgery after pulling out of the Australian Open in January, and has targeted a comeback for the grass-court season.


Roger Federer wins sixth Australian Open and 20th Grand Slam title

Roger Federer won his sixth Australian Open and 20th Grand Slam title with a five-set victory over Marin Cilic.

The Swiss lost five games in a row as he dropped the fourth set but recovered to win 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 3-6 6-1.

Federer becomes only the fourth player after Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf to win 20 or more major singles titles.


Wimbledon 2017: Federer beats Cilic to win record eighth title

Roger Federer became the first man to win Wimbledon eight times and extended his record to 19 Grand Slam titles with victory over Croatia's Marin Cilic.

The Swiss third seed won 6-3 6-1 6-4 as seventh seed Cilic struggled with a blister on his left foot and broke down in tears during the second set.

Federer, 35, finished the contest in one hour and 41 minutes to claim his first Wimbledon title since 2012.

He becomes the oldest man in the Open Era to win at the All England Club.

Federer surpasses Pete Sampras and William Renshaw, who won their seventh titles in 2000 and 1889 respectively, with only Martina Navratilova still ahead in terms of Wimbledon singles titles on nine.

He has won two of the three Grand Slam titles so far this year, having returned from a six-month break to win the Australian Open in January.

With 19 major titles he extends his lead over Rafael Nadal in the men's game to four, and now stands joint-fourth on the all-time list with Helen Wills Moody, five behind Margaret Court on 24.


ATP Finals: Grigor Dimitrov beats David Goffin to win title in London

Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov became the first man for 19 years to win the ATP Finals on his debut appearance with victory over Belgian David Goffin.

Sixth seed Dimitrov, 26, claimed the biggest title of his career as he won 7-5 4-6 6-3 at London's O2 Arena.

The Bulgarian collected £1.9m in prize money for coming through the tournament unbeaten in five matches across the group stage, semi-finals and final.

He will end the year ranked third in the world, with Goffin up to seventh.

Injuries to Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic kept two of the sport's biggest names out of the ATP Finals, while world number one Rafael Nadal was forced to pull out injured after his opening round-robin match and Roger Federer was stunned in the semi-finals by Goffin.

But Dimitrov said it was too soon to say a new era was coming to tennis.


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