ATP

Nitto ATP Finals Caps Record ATP Attendance For 2019

LONDON — The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, held for an 11th consecutive year at The O2 in London, provided a thrilling finale to the 2019 ATP Tour season, bringing attendance across the 63 ATP events throughout the year to a record 4.82 million fans, while online consumption of the season finale hit unprecedented heights.

21-year-old Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Austria’s Dominic Thiem in a memorable singles final, 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4), to complete a remarkable week of matches at The O2. It was only the third time in the history of the tournament (since 1970) that the singles championship match came down to a final set tie-break (1988, Becker d. Lendl; 2005, Nalbandian d. Federer).

Tsitsipas, who had won the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan just one year earlier, captured the biggest title of his career, as well 1,300 ATP Rankings points and US$2,656,000 in prize money. At just 21 years, 3 months, the Greek became the youngest champion since 20-year-old Hewitt in 2001, and 6th-youngest champion in tournament history.

In doubles, the French pairing of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut captured the season-ending title for the first time in their careers, defeating Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus, 6-3, 6-4.

The season finale attracted 242,883 fans to The O2 across the eight days of competition, bringing the tournament’s cumulative attendance since 2009 to 2,803,967. This year’s attendance at The O2 elevated the attendance across the ATP Tour’s 63 events in 2019 to more than 4.82 million fans, an all-time record. The previous highest attendance had been set in 2017 (4.57 million).

The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals also attracted record audiences online, as the tournament generated unprecedented levels of fan engagement across social and digital media platforms. The event received almost 400m impressions on tournament related content – a 97% increase on 2018. And with 12.4m interactions generated across ATP and Tennis TV social media platforms, the 2019 event became the best performing ATP Tour tournament on social, a 145% increase on the previous year. Tennis TV received 41.24 million video views on social media throughout the tournament, taking the platform’s total views on social media in 2019 to more than 1 billion.

Away from the match action, the ATP’s new ATP Tour app was successfully launched, while a five-year renewal of the Tour’s premier partnership with Emirates was also announced.

The ATP’s crown jewel event is to be held at The O2 in London for a 12th consecutive and final time in 2020, before moving to Turin, Italy, in 2021. Fans are able to purchase pre-sale tickets for the 2020 Nitto ATP Finals from today, by visiting: https://www.axs.com/NittoATPFinals_presale

BY THE NUMBERS:

• 399,112,369 – number of impressions across all ATP digital platforms (ATPTour.com, NittoATPFinals.com, live scoring apps, and social media platforms, and Tennis TV) throughout the event, a YOY increase of 97%.
• 69,110,871 – number of video plays on ATP digital media platforms, including ATPTour.com, NittoATPFinals.com, ATP & Tennis TV social media platforms, a year-on-year increase of 88%.
• 41,240,000 – number of Tennis TV social media video views, taking the platform’s total views on social media in 2019 to more than 1 billion.
• 12,397,163 – number or interactions (likes, comments, retweets, replies etc.) on ATP and Tennis TV social media platforms throughout the event, a year-on-year increase of 145%.
• 9,000,000 – amount of prize money (US$) on offer at the 2019 season finale.
• 6,200,000 – viewership in the UK of the BBC Breakfast programme that featured an exclusive sit-down interview with all eight singles players ahead of the season finale. The clip was also viewed on social media more than a quarter of a million times.
• 4,823,370 – number of fans that attended the 63 tournaments ATP tournaments in 2019, an all-time record.
• 2,803,964– cumulative attendance at the season-ending tournament since it moved to London in 2009.
• 2,656,000 – amount of prize money (US$) that Stefanos Tsitsipas won by capturing the title.
• 1,570,000 – number of streams on Tennis TV, the ATP’s official live streaming service, with each viewer watching an average of 475 minutes each.
• 242,880 – attendance inside The O2 arena across the eight days.
• 60,000 – number of single use plastic cups removed from the waste stream through elimination of single use cups and use of tournament take-home cups.
• 3,410 – metres of string used by Tecnifibre, Official Stringers of the Nitto ATP Finals, during the tournament.
• 1,300 – ATP Rankings points won by Stefanos Tsitsipas.
• 310 – number of racquets strung by Tecnifibre during the tournament. No plastic bags were used in the delivery of newly strung racquets to players by the official tournament stringers.
• 11 – number of years the event has been held at The O2 in London. The only city to host the season finale longer is New York, which held the season finale for 13 years from 1977-1989.
• 8 – number of different nations represented in the singles field, for the fourth consecutive year.
• 5 – number of times Nadal, Djokovic and Federer have finished the season as year-end No.1.
• 4 – number of singles players 23-and-under in the field (Tsitsipas, Zverev, Berrettini, Medvedev), the most since 2009.
• 1 – number of continents (Europe) represented in the singles field, a first in the 50-year history of the event.

Top Tennis Players to Watch in 2020

There are many tennis players that are now household names. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the tennis players you should pay attention to going into 2020.

Besides watching matches and following highlights, it’s helpful to pay attention to the types of wagers that are available for matches because this will show you which players and matches the top analysts are focusing on. And they’re likely only focusing on the best of the best, because who wants to wager on a player that’s unlikely to get far?

Here are the players you should pay attention to going into 2020:

New Comers
Dominic Thiem is an Austrian-based tennis player who reached number four in the world for the first time in 2017. He’s made it to the final at the 2018 and 2019 French Opens only to lose to Rafael Nadal both times.

Alexander Zverev, a German professional tennis player, is one of the youngest players to reach the top 10 ranking by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He has been referred to as the future number one player by some of the long-standing tennis champions.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is the youngest professional player ranked by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He is the highest-ranking Green player in history. He was also the youngest player to defeat four of the top ten opponents in a single tournament last year.

Karen Khachanov is a Russian tennis player who achieved a ranking of number nine this year. He landed in a major quarterfinal during the French Open in 2019.

Daniil Medvedev, a tennis professional from Russia, reached a singles career high ranking of number four in 2019. He stood out as a breakthrough player in 2019 and has won two Masters titles.

Roger Federer is a well-known Swiss professional tennis player that has made history for holding the most Grand Slam singles Titles at 20. The one thing Roger Federer is still after is that Olympic Gold. It’s likely that 2020 could be his year to achieve just that.

Novak Djokovic is currently ranked number two in men’s singles tennis by the Association of Tennis Professionals. This tennis professional is the first male player hailing from Serbia to win a Grand Slam Singles title. He also is considered an Olympic hopeful for 2020.

Rafael Nadal, a Spanish tennis professional, is currently ranked number one in men’s singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals. He follows Federer with 19 Grand Slam wins. Nadal has a reputation to maintain in the upcoming Olympics and his G.O.A.T. status.

Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player holding 23 major singles titles by any man or woman in the Open Era. She has been ranked number one by the Women’s Tennis Association on more than eight occasions. She also holds 14 Grand Slam doubles titles with her sister Venus. She will be defending her prior gold medal achievements during this upcoming 2020 Olympics run.
Upcoming Challengers

Felix Auger-Aliassime is a young Canadian professional tennis player that reached a career high juniors ranking of number two in 2016. He has made his way through open matches only to be defeated by high ranking professionals.
Dennis Shapovalov is an Israeli-born Canadian professional that was the youngest player to break the top 30 in the Association of Tennis Professionals rankings since 2005. In the past couple years he has risen to the top while making appearances in major finals.

Frances Tiafoe is the youngest American to be ranked in the top 50 of the Association of Tennis Professionals. His success during his youth career made him a stand out player as a professional to watch. Many believe he will be one of the next top ranking professionals for American players.

Cristian Garin is a Chilean professional tennis player who has been climbing up the ranks of the Association of Tennis Professionals. Winning a high level Association of Tennis Professionals match has earned him the ranking of the first Chilean player to reach this achievement. In 2019, he created a name for himself reaching more three finals in five tournaments.

Bianca Andreescu came to fame when she defeated favorite, Serena Williams, in both the US Open and Canadian Open. Winning her Grand Slam singles title earned her the ranking of the first Canadian tennis player to achieve this ranking.

Belinda Bencic has been playing tennis since the age of two. She has risen to high rankings in her recent achievements, winning four singles and two doubles titles in the Women’s Tennis Association. In 2019, she initially reached the top 20, finishing the season in the top 10 after her semifinal in the US Open.

While this list is composed of many newcomers in the tennis profession, there are also many well-known players reaching for important titles and achievements. As analysts watch these upcoming players, wagers will pay off on any of these professionals in 2020

Ultimate Tennis Betting Tips Guide

Thousands of enthusiastic bettors place tennis wagers every day. Bookmakers cover most competitions on the ATP and WTA tours. However, let’s not forget about Grand Slam events like the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open. Team tournaments such as the Fed and Davis Cups are also huge hits among punters.

If you’re not familiar with the sport, tennis can be extremely tricky to bet on. Unlike football, for instance, there’s no possibility of a draw. Occasionally, this can have a huge impact on the odds. Several factors need to be analyzed before you place any bets. We’ll break them down for you during this ultimate tennis betting tips guide.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned punter. Stay on this page, and we’ll share our expert knowledge with you. Don’t fall into the same old traps and waste your money on pointless wagers. It’s possible to win regularly if you set some time aside to study your bets. Here’s what we know.

Risk Versus Reward

When the top players are competing, it can be difficult to find value for money wagers. The top five players on both the men’s and women’s tours are usually heavy favourites. However, that doesn’t always mean that they always win. Evaluate risk versus reward before you make any decisions.

If one of your selections slips up, are your potential returns worth it? Try not to stake huge amounts of money on tricky games. You’d be surprised at the number of times the underdog wins. If you want to increase your odds, why not create a multiple? You could include Federer and Nadal as part of a treble, for example.

Research The Statistics

It’s incredibly important to analyze stats and results before placing a bet. Luckily, most of the top online bookmakers provide them. This allows you to study form and head-to-head results. What’s more, players can excel on different surfaces. Rafa Nadal at the French Open and Roger Federer at Wimbledon are two examples that spring to mind. Find out what your player’s strengths are and try to build your bets around them.

Furthermore, form is one of the most important metrics to consider. If a player is on a winning streak, their odds will shorten. However, if they’ve lost three out of their last five games, their odds will lengthen. Set a few minutes aside to research the statistics before you start.

Study The Markets

If you have a deep understanding of the markets, more betting opportunities will open up. For instance, if the odds on an outright win are low, you could bet on the correct score or the total number of games in a set.

Most modern online bookmakers also offer a live betting service. If you’re not sure about who’s going to win, you could wait and see which player makes the better start. However, be aware that the odds can fluctuate rapidly during a live match. If Serena Williams wins the first set, for instance, the odds will swing dramatically in her favour.

ATP Promotions Work To Connect With Pop Culture

by Sharada Rajagopalan

Both on the men’s and women’s side of the game, tennis action has been gung-ho on the professional front. The first quarter of the season featuring hard-court action have made a segue to the naturally-occurring clay, both of the red, and as seen in Charleston, of the green variety.

On-court action, however, has not been the sole determiner of discussions about the twists and turns of the circuit. Most specifically, this aspect pertains to the men’s side of the game with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) trying to slot in pop-culture references to bookmark the winding of the season on social media, especially on Twitter.

The results of this initiative remain mixed. The picture the ATP created – and used – to talk about the clay season, which borrowed from the Netflix series Stranger Things brought out tennis fandom en masse. What started off as an innocuous shout out seemed to take a cacophonous turn as Rafael Nadal’s fans objected to the marginalised depiction of their favourite in the picture. Which, thus, forced the ATP to pull it down – delete the tweet – and come up with another picture with the size of the players in the image and their positions visibly altered to soothe and placate the ones who were miffed.

On the other hand, even with this episode not having died down entirely, the ATP came up with another gimmicky creation. This time, of using Game of Thrones as a metaphor for the fight for the year-end top-spot of the men’s singles rankings. There was one picture of Novak Djokovic released as a White Walker/Night King, followed by a depiction of the current top-nine players in the ATP rankings as White Walkers, and a video of GoT’s introductory theme song feat featuring the players, each with a sigil of a House from the Thrones’ saga.

The last bit of creative adaption was undoubtedly fun. Even more so when considered the careful planning that had gone in trying to match each player with the right kind of sigil. Like it was the case for Rafael Nadal who was matched with the Dorne sigil – signifying the Dornish kingdom which was known for its desert, dryness and, sand, with its people’s mettle remaining unbent even at the peak of Aegon Targaryen’s conquest, based on inferences drawn from George RR Martin’s work.

Making use of these TV shows – particularly when it comes to GoT – as a point of correlation forms a good marketing policy not only for the sport which can be perceived as stodgy sometimes but also for the series, too. At the same time, it is not without its pitfalls.

Conceived as ideation of harmless fun, such pick-me-ups become an unnecessary point of conflict with fans taking umbrage as seen in the Stranger Things’ illustration. Removing it and reposting it with alterations, then, only accentuates the unpalatability of what went wrong instead of side-lining it. As yet, there do not seem to be any fall-outs from the ATP’s eager and feverish appropriation of Thrones but that could also be because there are many who do not watch the show – just as there were those who did not understand the hullaballoo about Stranger Things – and therefore, are outliers to the significance of this analogising. Or even if they watch the shows, do not care about them much to be affected by these trivialities.

This, then, is the biggest shortcoming of such social media engagement tactics. That they are niche even as they are fleeting in relevance, unlike the series upon which they are based. That is, while the concept has resonated among a certain section of fans, it would not make much sense even a few months down the line. For one, given the quicksilver-like change in cultural preferences among audiences. Secondly, because some of the players featured here may not even be a part of the race as the year progresses further. Thereby not only restricting the scope of such inventiveness but also giving it an unwanted frivolity.

Indian Wells Kicks Off 30th Year of ATP Masters 1000 Tennis

The 2019 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California ushers in the 30th year of the ATP Tour branding these elite events as “Masters 1000” events. Remember when they were called “The Super Nine?”
Indian Wells is one of seven of these such events that have been part of this elite status since the start of the modern-day ATP Tour in 1990, along with Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome, Canada, Cincinnati and Paris.

Both Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are vying for a record-breaking sixth Indian Wells title and Djokovic will also be looking to equal Rafael Nadal’s record of 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles. Nadal also seeks a sixth trophy overall in the desert, but he has only won three singles at Indian Wells to go with two doubles titles.

Last March in Indian Wells, Novak Djokovic lost his opener to 109th-ranked qualifier Taro Daniel of Japan. Djokovic returns in 2019 as the world No. 1 and champion of the last three major tournaments and two of the last three ATP Masters 1000 events. Djokovic has not played since winning his seventh Australian Open title on January 27.

Federer held three championship points to make it six titles in Indian Wells before losing to Juan Martin del Potro in 2018. Federer enters the event on a hot streak after winning the 100th title of his career in Dubai on March 2 defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final. Federer has defeated 50 different opponents for his 100 titles — 25 of whom are now retired. A fascinating stat regarding Federer and his chief rival Nadal – this marks the first time these two are playing at the same ATP Tour event (non Grand Slam event) for the first time since the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals. Federer is on a five-match win streak against Nadal, including a 6-2, 6-3 victory at 2017 Indian Wells. The two rivals could meet in the semi-finals on 16 March.

Chris Kermode ATP Exit Is The Latest Chaotic Move In Men’s Pro Tennis

by Rajagopalan Rohinee

At this point, men’s tennis seems to be a cacophony of chaos. To add to it, the hard-pressing matters are not only being played out both prominently but look to be raging just as intensely within the sport’s inner recesses. The problem is, however, that neither there is a way to pinpoint the origins of this problem nor there is an effective solution in sight.

The ousting of Chris Kermode as Association of Tennis Professionals’ Chief Executive Officer therefore has several connotations as it has various implications. But the one question it raises, first and foremost, is why now when the sport is said to be ostentatiously flourishing? In that respect, the whole “he said-he said-they said” turn of events that is being played out in the aftermath of the ATP Board Meeting in Indian Wells does not enumerate much beyond the offering of reasons as to why things happened the way they did.

So what purpose does the currently ongoing clamouring – of trying to pin the blame on Novak Djokovic and other members of the Player Council and/or on the Player Representatives – serve? For, despite the earnestness of everyone involved – both first-hand and as onlookers into the matter – there are no answers available even as pertinent scepticisms – read, vis-à-vis Justin Gimelstob’s controversial presence in the decision-making – have abounded.

The one aspect that needs to be peered into and pored over deeply, but which has been quieted down, is where does men’s tennis go from here? At the same time, the stakeholders – be it players or those responsible for its managerial side – need to introspect on what can only be considered as a failing of the sport despite its much-bandied-about successes. In isolation, this is bad news. But it worsens when juxtaposed with the mess the International Tennis Federation has inflicted upon itself.

The open rebellion dotting the ITF’s periphery by several national tennis boards, its members and (deprived) players following its Transition Tour muddle should have cautioned the ATP in a timely manner. Yet, even as the ITF finds it difficult to justify its recent actions, which have seen an unequal bartering of the Davis Cup to a soccer player, the returns from which – when filtered to its core – are non-existent to the tournament’s growth and continuity, the ATP did as it felt right.

But in trying to do what was right, the ATP came across as short-sighted, imposing restrictions on the entirety of the men’s game.

Beyond 2019, following the end of Kermode’s term, men’s tennis will have to start over from scratch. The Briton’s business acumen – giving men’s tennis widespread marketability and in turn, leading to enhanced profitability – would be a thing of the past. In the sport’s annals, it would not be a pause but a definite stopping point.
Then, whoever takes over from Kermode, will not only have the onus of living up to the standards set by his predecessor (while attempting to better it) but will also need to live up to the expectations of these stakeholders of the domain who had insisted on making the change, in the first place. Just as along those of whom – including Djokovic – who spoke about administrative changes being necessary will also be at the receiving end of scrutiny, with enquiries flowing about whether the so-called alterations netted positive results.

Djokovic is well-within his rights now to decline commenting on what his personal choice was in the voting to truncate Kermode’s role. But at that unspecified point in the future – if it does come to pass – if the changes were not to work, him and the others who were a part of the present-day decision-making would need to justify themselves as to whether their good intentions came through for the lowest-ranked player as much as for those in the top-tier. It may also be the questions that popped up in the Chris Kermode’s non-continuing-as-the-CEO melee are answered, one way or another.

Andy Murray Embodied Many Things To Many People

by Rajagopalan Rohinee

Andy Murray embodied many things to many people. He was the gritty warrior who never let up in his performances, despite the numerous defeats and setbacks that waylaid him. He was the deceptive athlete, who could vary his shot-making to suit himself and discomfit his opponent. He was also the rebel who took decisions which though seemed effortless for him, never seemed easy for others.

Of all these facets, it’s the last trait that not only set Murray apart from his peers but also carved a unique pride of place for him among them.

Be it raising his voice for the controversial referendum vote for Scottish independence from the United Kingdom – followed by an unapologetic stance reiterating his decision in the aftermath of the fallout – in 2014, or be it a demonstrative declaration of giving women in the profession – both past and present – their due, Murray never shied away from taking a stand regardless of how it may have been perceived.

At a time, when, on the subject of equal pay for women players, players either preferred to sit on the fence with displays of dubious diplomacy, or outright negated the need for the same, Murray’s unequivocal stance to speak up for the women set a precedent. Now, against the backdrop of the overwhelming emotions coming forth after his shock announcement about his impending retirement, reactions to the Briton’s viewpoint have been conveniently airbrushed. However, back when he had stood up for the cause – so to speak – Murray was cast as a pariah, by many in the same fold.

A similar turnaround has, then, been effectuated about his decision to appoint Amelie Mauresmo as his coach, between now and then. When Murray engaged Mauresmo as his coach in 2014, disparagements shrouded as banter greeted his move, pitting it as a step-down of sorts after Ivan Lendl. To the relentless critics, it did not matter that under the guidance of the Frenchwoman, Murray won his first Masters 1000 on clay – in Madrid in 2015 – or that he continued the established trend of being a fixture in the finals of the Majors (with two consecutive trips to the Australian Open final Sunday in 2015-16).

Cut to 2018, merely two years after Mauresmo and Murray parted ways, as Mauresmo resumed her coaching career by joining compatriot Lucas Pouille’s team, opinions veered towards cheers and acceptance as though it was no big deal in the scheme of things. While this was indeed a change for the better, it still hit harder that it was not the case the first time around when such unnecessary hue and cry was made about it.

At the same time, though, it is also fitting – at par with the theme of what Murray’s career has been, unbound and unfettered by conventions.

Murray started out as the beacon of deliverance for British tennis that had been long-parched, lacking a Major champion for years. And, in the decade-and-a-half that he unwound his way through the professional circuit, Murray not only lived up to those expectations – as stifling as they were at times – but also gave his country more reasons, beyond conventionality, to hope. Even beyond the scope of winning Wimbledon, as he transformed himself from an envisioned titlist at the Championships, to a multiple-time Major winner – coming close enough to completing the Grand Slam.

One looking to making the most of opportunities could do well to borrow a page from Murray’s 2016 manual, in which he pushed his body to the limits of its endurance in trying to attain the world no. 1 ranking for the first time in his career. Time, though will suck in the allure of that accomplishment just as it would blot the other numbers that form the stockpile of his career. However, Murray’s long-lasting legacy will be of being an inspiration, who was not only unfettered by conventions, but also impervious to time-bound limitations.

Alexander Zverev Shocks Novak Djokovic To Win ATP Finals In London

Alexander Zverev became the youngest champion ever at the year-end ATP Finals in a decade with his comprehensive upset of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

The title marked the biggest career win for the 21-year-old German, who began working with tennis legend Ivan Lendl in late August.

Zverev became the youngest player to win at the ATP’s season finale since Djokovic in 2008. He was the first German to win the title since Boris Becker in 1995.

“This is the biggest title of my career so far. This trophy means a lot, everything, to all the players. I mean, you only have so many chances of winning it. You play against the best players only,” Zverev said. “How I played today, how I won it, for me it’s just amazing.”

One year ago, Zverev made his debut at elite eight-player event in London, falling short of reaching the semifinals. The 10-time ATP tournament title champion beat six-time champion Roger Federer in straight sets on Saturday in the semifinals. It’s the first time a player has beaten both Djokovic and Federer at the same Nitto ATP Finals. Zverev’s the first player to beat the Top 2 seeds in the semifinals and final of the event since Andre Agassi in 1990.

“It’s quite astonishing, winning this title, beating two such players back-to-back, Roger and Novak, in semi-finals and final,” Zverev said. “It means so much. I’m incredibly happy and incredibly proud of this moment right now.”

ATP, Tennis Australia Officially Launch ATP Cup

The ATP and Tennis Australia have officially unveiled the ATP Cup – a new team competition to kickstart the men’s tennis season from 2020. The tournament, which was announced during the Nitto ATP Finals in London, will be played across three Australian cities over ten days in the lead up to the Australian Open and will feature teams from 24 countries.

World No. 1 and President of the ATP Player Council Novak Djokovic was among the players who joined ATP Executive Chairman & President Chris Kermode and Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia, to reveal the details of the competition, which has been shaped through extensive consultation over several years with players, tournament organisers and sponsors. The launch also revealed the ATP Cup’s new brand identity and a promotional video to bring the plans to life.

The event sees the return of an ATP team competition into the calendar for the first time since the ATP World Team Cup, which was held in Dusseldorf from 1978-2012.

The move represents the latest initiative by ATP to innovate in the sport, as well as providing increased earning opportunities for its players, and introducing new fans to the game. The tournament will ensure every season starts with an event with a truly global profile, giving players the chance to see their nation crowned the best in the world. The 2020 ATP Cup will offer US$15 million in prize money and up to 750 ATP Rankings points to the winners.

Djokovic, who finished 2018 as year-end No.1 for a fifth time, stated: “I like that it’s owned by ATP, by the players, and that we have ranking points, and it’s going to be the best way to kick start the season. Australia is a country that has a Grand Slam, that nurtures tennis tradition. More than 90 per cent of the time we’re playing as individuals and we don’t have too many team events. This is going to bring together a lot of nations and for me personally it will be a very nice and proud moment to represent my country.”

Kermode added: “This new event fits perfectly with our strategy to innovate and look towards the future. We know from our extensive discussions with the players that the ATP Cup will provide a great way for them to open their season – bringing together the world’s best for a major team event that compliments existing scheduling, provides highly-coveted ATP ranking points and clearly links to the Australian Open. The first week of the season is when the players want to play and that’s why the tournament has their strong support. By staging the event with Tennis Australia, which is renowned for its experience as an outstanding event promoter, we know that the tournament will be a great success from year one.”

Tennis Australia CEO, Craig Tiley added: “This is an amazing opportunity, in close collaboration with the players and the tour, to deliver a globally impactful event that further elevates the sport and the fan interest in it.

“We want to keep growing tennis, give the players an environment where they can perform to the best of their abilities and then ensure they are appropriately appreciated and rewarded. This event will help us all achieve that while connecting with new generations of tennis fans. It will provide a new source of inspiration for young athletes to choose our sport.”

The format of the ATP Cup will see nations split into six groups, with eight teams emerging from the round-robin stage to compete in the knockout phase until only one team is left standing. There will be up to five players in each team, with ties comprising two singles matches and one doubles match. The criteria for entry into the ATP Cup will be based off the ATP Ranking of the No. 1 singles player from each country.

Venue announcements will be made in due course.

About The ATP
The ATP is the governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuits – the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 64 tournaments in 31 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2018 ATP World Tour will battle for prestigious titles and ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non ATP events). At the end of the season only the world’s top 8 qualified singles players and doubles teams will qualify to compete for the last title of the season at the Nitto ATP Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2018 ATP World Tour No. 1. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.

About Tennis Australia
Tennis Australia is the governing body of tennis in Australia, promoting and facilitating participation in tennis at all levels, and also conducts national and international tournaments including the Australian Open. Visit tennis.com.au for more information.

Bernie Tomic Incredibly Wins Chengdu Open

In a thrilling final match on the Centre Court of the Sichuan International Tennis Centre this evening, Australian world No. 123 Bernard Tomic saved four match points en route to a 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(7) victory over Italian world No. 13 Fabio Fognini to lift his fourth career title and first title in three years at the Chengdu Open.

The former world No. 17 Tomic started the match on the back foot, having to save two break points in the very first game, but after he broke Fognini’s serve in the next game and saved another four break points in the third game, his Italian opponent cut a frustrated figure on court and hit too many shots into the net or long.

In an intensely fought second set, 31-year-old Fognini saved break point by a hair’s breadth in the third game, with electronic review confirming the line judges ‘in’ call that was challenged by Tomic, and finally got past the Aussie’s powerful serve in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead.

Even though Tomic immediately leveled matters with a break of his own in the next game, Fognini once again took the lead in the eighth game, when he rallied from 15-40 down to take four points on the trot before closing out the set on serve.

Both players struggled to hold serve in the first five games of the third set, with Tomic converting two out of five break points and Fognini also breaking his opponent twice, albeit in three opportunities. The players then held serve strongly to carry the match into a tense tiebreak finale.

Fognini scored three mini-breaks in the first nine points to Tomic’s one to go 6-3 up and have three match points on serve. Tomic saved all three match points with a combination of Fognini making mistakes (double faulting on the first match point), luck (his return hit the net and went over during the second match point) and an excellent forehand down the line on the third match point.

As light rain began to all, the drama continued when Fognini had another match point at 7-6 but hit his shot wide. Backed by a thrilled crowd, the momentum shifted to the Aussie who took the next three points on the trot and completed the victory with a powerful cross court forehand.

Tomic’s long path to victory in the Chengdu Open started in the qualifying rounds and included hard fought comeback victories Belarus’s Igor Gerasimov, American Bradley Klahn and South Africa’s Lloyd Harris. He also ousted seventh seed Joao Sousa in yesterday’s semifinal.

“I could have lost like five times this tournament. I was down in so many matches and faced match points against Harris in the second round as well. It’s been a rollercoaster week. Today I don’t know I saved how many match points. It was crazy. It was truly a really good match. For me to win here is huge. I’m so happy. He is a really talented player. I wish him the best to make the London masters,” said Tomic.

Fognini was despondent to have missed a chance to capture a record-breaking fourth title this season and become the first Italian to do so, but acknowledged that it wasn’t his day.

“This is sport. Sometimes you like it, sometimes not. It has been a great week, a great year for me. Now I am sad because I have lost a final with four match points but that’s the sport. Sometimes you win sometimes you don’t,” said the Italian.

Top seeded Croatian doubles pair Ivan Dodig and Mate Pavic saved their best for last here as they swept past the American-Indian duo of Austin Krajicek and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-2, 6-4 in 52 minutes to lift their second doubles title as a pair.

Former world No. 1 Pavic (achieved in May this year) and world No. 24 Dodig (career high of No. 4) saved all six break points they faced during the match, four of which came in a memorable rally from 0-40 down in the fourth game of the second set, while converting three of seven break opportunities and winning 78% of their 46 service points.

The duo, who are playing in their eighth Tour-level event together, recorded three super tiebreaker victories en route to the final and ousted tournament fourth seeds Santiago Gonzalez and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi on Friday to make their fourth final appearance as a tandem.

The Chengdu Open doubles crown is Pavic’s 13th career title and fifth of this year, which includes picking up his first career Grand Slam at the Australian Open with regular world tour partner Oliver Marach. Dodig takes home his eleventh career doubles trophy and second of the year.

“Yeah, I’m feeling great. This is my first time here in Chengdu and I really enjoyed the tournament. To finish the week with this trophy is a great feeling. The win is important for us. We played good matches here. We felt great at this tournament and in general in this city. We are leaving very happy,” said 33-year-old Dodig.

“We don’t play too many matches together and it’s our second title after four finals together, so I’m happy with the title. We were playing better and better, raising the level match by match. I would say we saved the best for the last. Coming back for my second time here, I would say this tournament is great, the hotel is one of the best on tour, with great facilities and great conditions for the players. They improve year after year and hopefully I am coming back next year,” added 25-year-old Pavic.

The tournament is owned by IMG and is organized by the Chinese Tennis Association and Chengdu Municipal Government, is co-organized by Chengdu Sports Bureau, Shuangliu District Government and Chengdu Culture Tourism Group and is promoted by Sichuan Investment International Tennis Centre Development Co., Ltd., CCTV IMG (Beijing) Sports Management Co. Ltd. And WME IMG China Culture Development Co. Ltd.

The Chengdu Open is also very proud to have the distinguished support from ATP World Tour’s Premier Partner Emirates, the official player hotel St. Regis, Chengdu, which fast became a favourite of the players, the official car Audi, Dunlop tennis balls, the Sichuan Tennis International Hotel which is conveniently located adjacent to the courts and providing efficient services to the tournament, the official digital media partner iQiyi, the official apparel Erke, the official stringer Yonex, the official gym equipment Life Fitness, the official tea Sichuan Mengding Tea Co. Ltd. and the official water Ice Age.

The official tournament website www.ChengduOpenTennis.com has additional information about the tournament.