Thứ Sáu, 6 tháng 11, 2015

John Isner, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic among Paris winners

PARIS -- Roger Federer finally cracked under the unrelenting serve of John Isner, losing 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-6 (5) to the 13th-seeded American in the third round of the Paris Masters on Thursday.
Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, looked as though he might grind out a win, saving all six break points and fighting back from 6-2 down in the decisive tiebreaker. But the Swiss star's resistance ended when Isner -- who had 27 aces -- hit a looping serve to his backhand.
"It's tough going out of a tournament without losing your serve," the third-seeded Federer said.
Fourteen-time major winner Rafael Nadal, seeded seventh, almost followed him through the exit door, saving a match point in a 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2 win against 11th-seeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
"Very tough match -- he served amazing. I feel very lucky to be through," Nadal said. "This type of match a couple of months ago I would not have had chances to win. In terms of mentality I [am] more calm."
Top-ranked Novak Djokovic was not at his best, either, advancing to the quarterfinals by beating 14th-seeded Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5.
But Federer's defeat came as a genuine surprise.
Having won his sixth title of the season and 88th of his career at the Swiss Indoors on Sunday, and after racing past Italian Andreas Seppi in just 47 minutes on Wednesday, he was full of confidence.
Federer held a 5-1 record with Isner, beating him in the US Open fourth round this year.
"I thought he did very well today when he needed it," Federer said. "I thought he served great."
Federer briefly needed treatment at the start of the second set because of a sore arm but quickly recovered, insisting "it didn't affect me in the third set and it's not serious."
Isner called it one of the "top five" wins of his career.
"He's an incredible player, obviously. My favorite player and the greatest of all time," Isner said. "It was a huge win for me. I'm very proud."
Isner saved a break point in the fifth game of the third set with a deft backhand volley.
"That arguably saved the match for me," said the 30-year-old, who next faces No. 8 David Ferrer of Spain after he rallied to beat Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-4.
On Wednesday night, Anderson finished his second-round, three-set match against Austrian Dominic Thiem at 12:26 a.m. after spending 2 hours, 45 minutes on court.
This time he finished just as the clock struck midnight after 2 hours, 27 minutes on court.
But it could have been over quicker.
At 6-5 up in the tiebreak, and with Nadal on second serve, Anderson failed to finish a long rally concluded by Nadal's risky yet brilliant forehand winner into the top left corner.
The Spaniard celebrated with a yell and a fist pump, clinched the set when a rattled Anderson sent a forehand into the net and immediately broke Anderson in the third set before holding for 2-0.
Anderson fought back, however, and Nadal needed to save six break points in a grueling fourth game lasting 12 minutes.
That proved to be the end of Anderson's resistance.
After Nadal broke him again for 5-2 and clinched victory with a crisp forehand winner, the relief was evident as he tilted his head back in relief before shaking hands with the South African.
Nadal next faces No. 4 Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland, who beat Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-4, 7-5.
Earlier, Djokovic extended his winning streak to 19 matches despite dropping his serve five times.
"In sport there are days when you just lose your rhythm. You're trying a bit too much and you lose a bit of confidence," Djokovic said. "It was frustrating. ... It hasn't happened to me for a long time."
The 10-time Grand Slam champion now plays No. 5 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who beat No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-3, 6-4.
No. 2 Andy Murray had the easiest path to the final eight, routing David Goffin 6-1, 6-0 in a prelude to the Davis Cup final later this month.
Murray, who lost only eight points on his serve and broke the 16th-seeded Belgian five times, opens Friday's quarterfinals against No. 10 Richard Gasquet.
The Frenchman advanced when Kei Nishikori of Japan retired while trailing 7-6 (3), 4-1.

Will Extra Rest Help Roger Federer Dethrone Novak Djokovic at World Tour Finals?

Will Extra Rest Help Roger Federer Dethrone Novak Djokovic at World Tour Finals?
The sluggish courts at Bercy’s Paris Masters are never easy on Roger Federer. For 10 years running, the Swiss arrives behind his luggage after picking up one of the trophies at Basel. No sooner does he rub away the emotional highs of his hometown tournament romp, he must steer through an early French match on adrenaline and take anti-inflammatories for his right arm.
Someone is always to waiting to ambush him, and this time it is bullet-serving John Isner, who took two tiebreakers and the third-round contest.
It's just another loss at Bercy for Federer, but once again the media narrative calls for Federer rest and healing as he sets his sights on London’s bigger WTF finals. “I'm very eager to go to London and get prepared as well as I can, Federer said in ATP World Tour. “I'm in good shape. I'm healthy, so I want that tournament to start.”
Granted, but will that extra rest be enough to knock off King Novak Djokovic for the year’s biggest non-major tournament?

Sequel or Rerun?
Suppose Federer’s 2015 tennis year is an epic film. The legendary hero returns in better shape, has sharper strategies and wields his racket like he can retake Camelot. He runs through battle lines with new angles, and he dismantles his opponents with remarkable efficiency.
Well, almost all of his opponents. The hero cannot get near the castle. There’s this monster that guards the gates, a beast so indestructible that to strike at it only makes it stronger. The more the hero swings, the faster and smarter the monster gets. The monster not only rules Camelot, but all of Europe, the Americas and Asia too.
If the theme is all too familiar, it’s because it couldn’t pass as a sequel to 2014. It’s a restoration and little more. It’s got a sleek trailer, added scenes, necessary cuts and awesome surround sound. The director has taken great pains to brush up the color or improve the digital effects.
No doubt we’ve all seen this movie at three major finals. It’s Federer falling to King Novak at 2014 Wimbledon, 2015 Wimbledon and the 2015 U.S. Open. It’s losing about 1,000 masters battles (OK, exaggeration alert here) outside the haven of Cincinnati, Ohio.
No matter the hype, and no matter how easily Federer rips through the rest of the field, King Novak is there to take the treasured hardware.
Is there anything left?

London Calling
The year-end WTF finals might be more important for Federer than the other seven qualifiers. This is where the Swiss Maestro can steal one great crown from King Novak. This is where he can sound the alarm for 2016 and finally complete that bid for major No. 18, possibly as early as February in Melbourne. If anyone can stop Djokovic from a fourth consecutive year-end championship it’s the legendary Swiss with the breathless waltz for indoor tennis. Right?
Not so fast.
For all of the rest that Federer gets over the next week-and-a-half, he will need a lot more than energetic legs, renewed ambition and spirited vengeance.
He must first hope that Djokovic gets worn down, at least somewhat, by the Bercy final. There has to be a limit to King Novak’s physical and mental reserves, at least in theory. Somebody has to cut him down a notch or two, right?
Well, wasn’t that supposed to happen after King Novak lost at Montreal and Cincinnati during the U.S. Open series? Instead, Djokovic took on New York with a level of battle-hardened toughness that is still astonishing (if you are a tennis fan) and very disconcerting (if you are an ATP pro).
Rest or no rest, Federer must be lights-out. He must not only survive a close match or two at London, but he must peak with his entire game. For all of the nonsense about Federer’s sneak attacks on a server, and for all of the applause that recognizes his versatile greatness, it will still be imperative that Federer finds his best mid-30s tennis zone.
It begins and ends with strong and savvy serving. This will take relentless efficiency, because King Novak is a return master with an offensive edge that might rival the best we’ve ever seen. Federer will need supreme quick-strikes to penetrate Djokovic’s defensive acumen.
That’s just the beginning if he is to trump Djokovic’s laser groundstrokes and supreme intelligence. Federer must play the game as if he’s holding the fast-forward button, because Djokovic sees every tennis detail a few seconds ahead of real time. Federer will have to outthink Djokovic, just to have a chance to counter and find a few lapses in Djokovic’s game—repeat, that’s just the beginning.
Getting extra rest for Federer is nothing but media spin right now, and it’s an optimistic plug for his fans. The reality will be very different two weeks from now, when rest will be the least of his challenges.
King Novak will be ready.

Thứ Bảy, 12 tháng 9, 2015

Tennis-U.S. Open finalist Novak Djokovic

Sept 12 (Reuters) - Factbox on Serbia's Novak Djokovic, who
will meet Swiss Roger Federer in the U.S. Open men's final on
GRAND SLAM TITLES (Nine): Australian Open: 2008, 2011, 2012,
2013, 2015; Wimbledon: 2011, 2014, 2015; U.S. Open: 2011
* Born: Belgrade, May 22, 1987
* Began playing tennis aged four.
* His father was a professional skier and wanted his son to
be a skier or professional soccer player but changed his mind
when Djokovic excelled at tennis from an early age.
* First full year on tour in 2005: Made grand slam debut as
a qualifier at the Australian Open, losing to Russian Marat
Safin in the first round. Finished as the youngest player (18
years, five months) inside the top 100.
* In 2006, he won his first ATP tour title at Amersfoort.
* He retired in the 2006 French Open quarter-finals against
Spaniard Rafael Nadal when trailing by two sets, and again a
year later due to blisters in the Wimbledon semi-final against
the same opponent.
*In 2007, he won five titles (Adelaide, Miami, Estoril,
Montreal and Vienna) and reached his first grand slam final at
the U.S. Open, losing to Federer 7-6 7-6 6-4.
* Beat Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in four sets to win his
maiden grand slam title at the 2008 Australian Open.
* Failed to successfully defend his title in Melbourne the
following year after controversially pulling out of his
quarter-final against American Andy Roddick citing heat
exhaustion on a sweltering day.
* Led Serbia to their first Davis Cup title with victory
over France in Belgrade in December 2010.
* Began 2011 by winning the Australian Open, beating Briton
Andy Murray in the final, to end his three-year wait for a
second grand slam title.
* Won his next six tournaments in Dubai, Indian Wells,
Miami, Belgrade, Madrid and Rome. Did not lose again until June
3 when Federer ended his 41-match winning streak in the French
Open semi-finals.
* Secured the number one spot on July 4 by beating Tsonga in
the Wimbledon semi-finals, then beat Nadal to clinch his first
Wimbledon crown, his first title on grass.
* Saved two match points to beat Federer in the semi-finals
of the U.S. Open then defeated Nadal in the final to become the
seventh man to win three grand slam titles in a year since
tennis turned professional in 1968.
* Won his third Australian Open title in 2012 by beating
Nadal in five hours and 53 minutes.
* Defeated by Nadal in the 2012 French Open final.
* Began 2013 by beating Murray to become the first man in
the professional era to win three successive Australian Open
* Loses to Nadal in the 2014 French Open final before
beating Federer in a five-set Wimbledon final.
* Reached all four grand slam finals in 2015. Began the year
by capturing a fifth Australian Open title, then missed out on
the French Open again after falling to Stan Wawrinka in the
final. Five weeks later draws level with his coach Boris
Becker's Wimbledon haul of three titles by defeating Federer in
the All England Club final. The U.S. Open final will mark his
42nd career meeting with Federer, who holds a 21-20 edge.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)

US Open 2015: Roger Federer & Novak Djokovic set for final

Roger Federer will try to cap a superb run of form with his first major title in three years when he plays Novak Djokovic in Sunday's US Open final.
The Swiss, 34, has not dropped a set since he lost to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final in July and has swept through the draw in New York.
But Djokovic, 28, is on course to win a third Grand Slam of 2015, having only missed out in the French Open final.
The final is scheduled to begin at 21:00 BST, though rain is forecast.

Djokovic expects 'aggressive' Federer

Roger Federer hits a volley
Roger Federer hit 29 winners against Stan Wawrinka
Serena Williams and her pursuit of the calendar Slam dominated the first 12 days of the tournament, but Djokovic is on the verge of bettering her year at the majors.
For the second time in his career, the Serb is within sight of winning three of the four Slams, and for the first time has has reached all four finals.
"Win or lose on Sunday, it still has been so far a great year, my best year alongside 2011," said Djokovic.
"But obviously I'm only thinking about winning that US Open trophy."
Djokovic, who thrashed the defending champion Marin Cilic in the semi-finals, will be up against a man in rare attacking form in Federer.
"I know that he's lately being very aggressive coming to the net, mixing up, and trying to shorten out the points," said Djokovic.
"I think also he improved his speed. His defensive game is better than it was."

Match stats

Djokovic won the US Open in 2011 but has lost four other finals
Victory would give him 10 major titles, one behind Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver
Federer leads their head-to-head 21-20, and 3-2 at the US Open
His last Grand Slam title came at Wimbledon 2012 against Andy Murray

Federer ready for 'shoot-out'

Federer will almost certainly have the backing of most of the 23,000 spectators as he attempts to win his first US Open in seven years, and his first major anywhere in three years.
"I definitely think if there would be more on my side that will give me a lift and extra energy and momentum possibly," said the Swiss, looking for his 18th major title.
Since losing to Djokovic in the Wimbledon final in July, Federer has won the Cincinnati title and reached the final in New York without dropping a set.
He beat Djokovic in the Cincinnati final but has not overcome the Serb at a Grand Slam in three years, despite still edging their head-to-head record 21-20.
"I think it's just a straight shoot-out, and I think that's the cool thing about our rivalry," he said.
"It's very athletic. We can both handle whatever we present to one another, it's very even."

Sneak Attack will be back

Boris Becker
Boris Becker is not a fan of Roger Federer's new return tactic
"No, it's not disrespectful. Pretty simple."
Federer wasted few words in dismissing the suggestion from Boris Becker, Djokovic's coach, that his new tactic of taking service returns unusually early disrespects opponents.
The Swiss began employing the SABR ('Sneak Attack By Roger'), where he moves in while the server tosses the ball and hits his returns almost from the service line, during the American summer.
Djokovic fell victim to it in Cincinnati, and was not keen to discuss the issue after his semi-final win in New York.
"It worked a couple of times," said the Serb. "It's an exciting shot for him. For the player opposite side of the net, not so much. So I have nothing else to say about that."
So will Federer be deploying the SABR on Sunday?
"I will do it some more. No problem."

Thứ Hai, 17 tháng 8, 2015

Sport picture of the day: Novak Djokovic screams in frustration

Novak Djokovic reacts after losing a point against Andy Murray during their match in the Rogers Cup at Uniprix Stadium, Montreal, Canada.

Andy Murray has ended his drought against the world No1, <a href="">Novak Djokovic</a>, by winning the Rogers Cup in Montreal. The British No1 needed five championship points and three hours to see off the Serbian 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a tense final, snapping an eight-match losing streak against Djokovic in the process as he scooped his 35th career title.

Andy Murray has ended his drought against the world No1, Novak Djokovic, by winning the Rogers Cup in Montreal. The British No1 needed five championship points and three hours to see off the Serbian 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in a tense final, snapping an eight-match losing streak against Djokovic in the process as he scooped his 35th career title. 

Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic at Rogers Cup in Montreal

Andy Murray ended an eight-match losing run against Novak Djokovic, beating the world number one for the first time in two years to win the Rogers Cup.
The British number one's 6-4 4-6 6-3 victory in three hours in Montreal earned him a fourth title of the year.
A first win over the Serb since the 2013 Wimbledon final will be a huge boost for Murray before the US Open in New York starts on 31 August.
The Scot dominated from the baseline as he claimed an 11th Masters title.
Murray is now set to overtake Roger Federer in Monday's new ATP rankings to return to number two for the first time since 2013.
The 28-year-old broke in the second game of the deciding set and held to establish a 3-0 lead before saving seven break points in a pivotal 18-minute fifth game to maintain his break advantage at 4-1.
Djokovic, chasing a 25th Masters title, saw off three championship points at 5-2 before Murray served out for the match.
He dedicated the victory to his coach Amelie Mauresmo, who gave birth to a baby boy on Sunday.
"I'm not sure she will have stayed up to watch this one but, Amelie, this one's for you," said Murray, who won his 35th career title.
Novak Djokovic
It was the first time Murray had beaten Djokovic over the full distance in a three-set Masters match, and it was his first win on a hard court over the Wimbledon champion since the US Open final in 2012.In an absorbing, high-quality match, both players produced exquisite shots but it was Murray who dictated play, forcing a total of 19 break points on the Djokovic serve.
"Things can better very quickly and they can get worse very quickly in sport," Murray told Sky Sports.
"It's important for me to analyse this week and work on areas to improve on before the US Open starts.
"I need to make sure I recover well from this and get ready and hopefully play a good tournament in Cincinnati. This match will be good physically and mentally for the build up for sure."

Chủ Nhật, 2 tháng 8, 2015

Novak Djokovic's Wimbledon Win Over Roger Federer Puts Him On Odd Spot In Tennis History

Novak Djokovic's win over Roger Federer in the recently concluded Wimbledon has finally cemented his place in the Tennis history, but the bigger question was, where?

Day Thirteen: The Championships - Wimbledon 2015

Without a shed of doubt, Roger Federer was the complete package of a tennis player, his accomplishmentsis by far, the best amongst the all-time Tennis greats. On the other hand, Rafael Nadal is non-negotiable the best clay player to ever grace the face of the tennis world. Well, the only link that the three has is that Djokovic has been beating the former world number 1 for the past years.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Djokovic doesn't have the internal construction of Federer and Nadal and he will never will, but whenever he faced either of them inside the lawn, Djokovic turns into something bigger than Federer or Nadal and he had proved it time and time again. So far, Nole has a total of nine major titles and has a 48 to 3 record for this year. Against Federer, all throughout in his career, he is 20 wins and 20 losses, which includes his 2 Wimbledon trophies while he is 21 of 23 against Nadal.
At this point in time in of career, it is safe to assume that he cannot match Federer's 17 major titles and is nowhere near on the times Nadal won inside the clay, but the claim to fame of the now world number one defeats all records and titles-- he had defeated Nadal and Federer on their primes and in their best shapes. That argument clearly places Djokovic in an odd situation in the history of Tennis.
In related news, Djokovic has matched Nadal's record to stay on top for 56 consecutive weeks and according to Sports NDTV, Nole's next assignment is to equal a legend's record, John McEnroe's 58 consecutive weeks as the top tennis player in the world. Currently, if the standing will not move in the next couple of weeks, Djokovic will stay on top followed by Federer while Andy Murray trails on third. Nadal on the other hand, stays in 10th, his lowest ranking since turning professional decades ago.

The dominance of tennis dads

Serena Williams won't be the only player who will have a calendar-year Grand Slam on the line in New York this summer. Collectively, a group of men will be attempting at the US Open to complete an unprecedented feat: The Daddy Slam.
All three of the men's singles champions at the majors this year -- Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open, Stan Wawrinka at Roland Garros and Djokovic at Wimbledon -- are fathers. Just to illustrate this golden generation is also a generation of breeders, the past two Grand Slam finals have been all-fathers contests, with Djokovic the runner-up in Paris and Roger Federer appearing on the second Sunday in London. The only man to have played in a Grand Slam final this year who isn't a father is the runner-up at the Australian Open, Andy Murray.
Such is the dominance of the dads. At Wimbledon, Djokovic joked that he advised other players to start a family if they wanted to keep up their tennis game, a quip that is almost starting to look like serious advice.
This isn't the first time fathers have won Grand Slams, with Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker and Andre Agassi among the small group of men to have been a Grand Slam champion as a dad. But never before has there been so many Grand Slam-winning fathers all on the scene at the same time, and certainly not putting together a run of titles, as the dads of 2015 have done.
There was a time when some players -- Ivan Lendl among them -- openly wondered whether it was even possible to be a father and a champion tennis player. That wondering has now stopped. Fatherhood certainly hasn't impeded this group. Both of Wawrinka's majors have come after becoming a father, while two of Federer's 17 majors -- the 2010 Australian Open and the 2012 Wimbledon Championships -- were won after the first set of twins was born in the summer of 2009 (the second set arrived last year). Djokovic now has a couple of majors as a father.
One factor behind this could be that the trend in tennis now is for players to have success when they are older, and therefore at a stage in their lives when it is more likely they have become fathers. But this is hugely individual. Who can predict how fatherhood can change the aspirations and demands in the itinerant world of professional tennis players?
Last year, Pete Sampras, who won all 14 of his Grand Slams before his children were born, told ESPN Djokovic would first need to "settle into fatherhood" before he could become truly competitive again. The reality is Djokovic has hardly lost a match since his son, Stefan, was born. This year, Djokovic has lost just three matches, and all three of those have come against tennis fathers, with losses to Ivo Karlovic in the quarterfinal of a tournament in Doha, Federer in the Dubai final and Wawrinka in the French final.
Fatherhood hasn't taken anything away from Djokovic's tennis.
"Life has changed and has changed for the better," Djokovic told "But my career, and my professional approach has stayed as it was before I became a father. Thankfully, I have a wife who supports me and understands me, and I have people around me who live the dream with me, who sacrifice a lot for me to be where I am, and I'm grateful for that. We're a great team."
Before becoming a father, Djokovic sought the advice of Federer, who travels the world with his family (and who has earned Sampras' admiration for the way he has done that and remained so focused). And Djokovic has no doubt also spoken to his coach, Boris Becker, who won one of his six majors as a father. Djokovic's wife and child typically accompany the world No. 1 at the biggest events.
Being a parent of a young child can be exhausting. For Djokovic, though, it appears to be quite the opposite, saying fatherhood gives him energy.
"Knowing that you're giving your love and your time to your baby, your child, that gives you a freshness in the mind. Being a father actually gives me more energy than it takes away."

Serena Williams Promotes Boyfriend Patrick Mouratoglou Tennis Academy On Instagram Before US Open 2015

serena williams
Serena Williams is willing to use her star power to promote her boyfriend Patrick Mouratoglou’s new tennis academy on her Instagram. Seeing how he helped her rack up Grand Slam titles, she is indeed indebted to her boyfriend’s coaching!
She posted a picture of Patrick Mouratoglou’s tennis academy on Instagram and wrote: “It's ready. Future Champs are you? #Repost @patrickmouratoglou with @repostapp. @mouratoglou_tennis_academy in #Nice #frenchriviera : the best place in the world to practice and improve your game.”
Recently Serena Williams professed her love possibly for her boyfriend Patrick Mouratoglou on Instagram. With US Open 2015 right around the corner, Serena Williams and Patrick Mouratoglou are aiming for Grand Slam this year!
She uploaded a picture of two lovebirds on her Instagram, bolstering the rumors about her coach.
Serena Williams, the 2015 Wimbledon champion, may be juggling multiple men! Not only is her coach-boyfriend Patrick Mouratoglou still around, the world number 1 was also seen kissing Drake and dancing up a storm with Novak Djokovic.
The tennis world flipped out when, according to Times’ Live, “The 28-year-old singer and 33-year-old tennis champion were spotted kissing in the clubhouse after her victory against Victoria Azarenka in the Wimbledon quarter final.”
Is Drake replacing her boyfriend Patrick Mouratoglou?
The world number 1 has benefited a lot from her relationship with Patrick Mouratoglou. Seeing how she and her coach have worked hard together to build the career, they have finally decided to make their relationship public.
According to CNN, “Their trophy tally since teaming up includes a Wimbledon title, an Olympic gold medal, three U.S. Open titles, a Roland Garros title and an Australian crown, lifting her back up to the pinnacle of the women's game.”
But with Drake and Novak Djokovic around, he better watch out that his competition doesn’t double.
But seeing how the world number 1 and her boyfriend slash coach have created this special partnership, it looks like Serena Williams won’t have to fumble through Wimbledon 2015!
The world number 1 hid her relationship with her coach for the longest time, denying every rumor and speculations. But before kicking off her Australian Open 2015, she became more public about her relationship with Patrick Mouratoglou.
Do you think Serena Williams complete the Grand Slam in 2015? Let me know in the comments below!

Chủ Nhật, 26 tháng 7, 2015

International Premier Tennis League: Novak Djokovic to Serve For Singapore Slammers in Season 2

The International Premier Tennis League has now expanded to five teams. Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic will play for Singapore Slammers in the December 2-20 tournament.

Novak Djokovic to serve for Singapore Slammers in IPTL season 2


Newly-crowned Wimbledon champion and current world number one, Novak Djokovic, will be leading the Singapore Slammers in the second season of the 2015 International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) from December 2-20, 2015. (Djokovic Pace US Open Direct Entry List)
Djokovic's teammates in the new-look Singapore Slammers franchise will feature former world number one Carlos Moya of Spain, Swiss teen sensation Belinda Bencic, current world number 12 Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic, Brazilian doubles specialist Marcelo Melo and rising Australian star Nick Kyrgios, who is the sole survivor of last year's line-up. (Last Man Standing For Novak Djokovic)
The team-based, multi-nation tennis league has expanded to five teams for its second edition with the Japan Warriors joining last season's champions, the Indian Aces. The UAE Royals, the Philippine Mavericks and the Singapore Slammers complete the line-up. The tournament starts in Japan and ends at Singapore's Indoor Stadium.
Top players from both the ATP and WTA tours have confirmed their participation for IPTL 2015. They include the only Asian to play in a Grand Slam final Kei Nishikori (Japan Warriors) along with Rafael Nadal (Indian Aces), Roger Federer (UAE Royals) and Serena Williams (Philippine Mavericks).

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal put out of business by ATO's unforced error

Done it: Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the Wimbledon title against Roger Federer.
Done it: Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the Wimbledon title against Roger Federer. Photo: Jonathan Brady

Tennis champions Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal along with thousands of other sole traders and small business have fallen victim to an overzealous push by the Tax Office to clean up its registers.
The two tennis stars were stripped of their Australian business numbers, Tax Office insiders say, as the ATO moved to rid its registers of what it believed were more than 1 million unused ABNs.
Rafael Nadal and more than 24,000 other ABN holders were still using their registrations, or intended to use them again, when they were booted off the register.
Rafael Nadal and more than 24,000 other ABN holders were still using their registrations, or intended to use them again, when they were booted off the register. Photo: AP
But Rafa, Novak and more than 24,000 other ABN holders were still using their registrations, or intended to use them again, when they were booted off the register.
The ATO says the cancellations were the result of systems functioning "normally" but insiders say the process was botched with the Tax Office, beset by deep cuts to its workforce, moving too quickly to replace discarded public servants with automated systems.
Sources close to the office say a massive backlog has developed of individuals and businesses waiting to be issued with ABNs with the Tax Office conceding there are more than 17,000 applications currently outstanding.

The two tennis champs were among a number of high profile sports people, who compete periodically in Australia, to be affected by the mix-up, tax insiders say.
But the ATO, which has also been under fire after its online tax return system failed to cope with the recent end-of-financial-year rush, says it is meeting its targets for issuing ABNs and ABRs with 93 per cent processed on time.
"This has come about because the organisation is trying, poorly, to automate processes due to
budget and staff cuts," one source told Fairfax Media.
"Someone didn't figure that there are non-resident clients who only lodge business activity statements statements every now and then.
"The sports people along with plenty of others were picked up with the sweep.
"ABR processing is a big mess."
An ATO spokesman said the ATO's systems did not specifically identify a taxpayer as an international sports star and would not confirm that Djokovic and Nadal had been booted off the register.
"We do not specifically identify high profile sportspersons so are not able to comment on that group in particular,"  he said.
But the spokesman confirmed the office of the business registrar, which operates out of the ATO, did undertake periodic sweeps to remove unused numbers and registrations "to ensure the integrity of the register".
"This program identifies registrants that have not shown any signs of business activity in the last four years, such as not declaring any business income," he said.
"These registrations are normally cancelled.
"These registrations may be cancelled automatically on the basis of information available to the registrar.
"In 2014-2015 this program of work cancelled 1.2 million redundant registrations.
"To date approximately two  per cent of these have been reinstated on the spot at the request of the ABN holder."
The spokesman defended the office's record of handling applications for ABNs.
"The ATO is meeting the service standard of 93 per cent of ABN registrations processed within 20 business days," he said.
"We registered more than 700,000 ABNs in 2014-2015.
"Currently there are 17,644 ABN applications in the system."
The two players' managers did not respond to requests for comment.

Thứ Năm, 16 tháng 7, 2015

Novak Djokovic Has History in His Sights After Wimbledon Triumph

By claiming his third title in SW19, Novak Djokovic showed he is ready to dominate the sport as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have done.

Novak Djokovic Wimbledon champ
Novak Djokovic - the Wimbledon 2015 champion!


Victory over Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final brought Novak Djokovic level with his opponent in career meetings at 20 wins apiece. After a triumph that earned the Serb a third title at the All England Club and a ninth major in all, that may seem merely a statistical footnote. But for Djokovic, it gestures towards the wider truth that he is finally beginning to make up ground on Federer, if not in the affections of the public then certainly in the grand sweep of sporting history. (Djokovic Wins Third Wimbledon TitleLove and Marriage Key to Djokovic's Success)
Defeat to the Swiss maestro, which looked an even-money bet when an inspired Federer sent the Centre Court crowd into delirium by staving off six set points to win the second-set tie-break, would have reinforced the impression of Djokovic as a man playing third fiddle in a symphony of unprecedented excellence. But while he remains short of both Federer and Rafael Nadal in terms of majors won - his two biggest rivals have 17 and 14 respectively - he is now in a class of his own on nine. (Steel-Plated Djokovic a Step too Far for Federer)
"He's marching through history right now and we're watching it," said the former world No1 Andy Roddick after a win that lifted Djokovic one slam clear of Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Ken Rosewall and Fred Perry. (Third Title Feels as Sweet as First: Djokovic)
Novak Djokovic skywards
How different that picture might have looked had Djokovic foundered, as he had done in six of his previous nine major finals heading into the match. Then the talk would have turned to a man suffering a crisis of confidence after his recent defeat to Stan Wawrinka in the final of the French Open, the only grand slam Djokovic has yet to win. The Serb would have faced accusations not only of a failure of nerve on the game's biggest stages but also of complacency, following his decision not to play a warm-up event on grass for the second year running. (Federer Magnanimous After Defeat by Djokovic)
Instead, Djokovic confirmed that this is his time. This year has seen him at his most dominant since 2011, when he marked his emergence as a genuine rival to Federer and Nadal by winning in Melbourne, London and New York. Until now, he has struggled to match that high-water mark, failing to win more than one major a year. But victory in SW19 suggests that - like Federer and Nadal, who marked their best years by claiming at least two slams a season - Djokovic is ready to dominate the sport in earnest.
Certainly his comments to the press after his 7-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 victory spoke of a man with history on his mind. "I'm very proud with all the success that I've had so far in my career," said Djokovic. "If you had said to me as a 14-year-old back in Serbia, trying to find my way, that this was how I was going to end up at 28, of course I would have signed the deal and taken it right away.
"There were a couple of grand slam finals that I think I could have won, but having said that everything happens for a reason. I try to learn from every experience, especially the ones that don't end up victorious for me. I'm going to keep going. I'm 28, I feel good, I don't feel old, I have hopefully many more years in front of me. I'm going to try to push my own limits and see how far I can go."
Whether it will be enough to take him beyond his two great rivals remains to be seen. Federer may have thrown down the gauntlet for good with his seventh Wimbledon title three years ago, but Nadal will surely come again after a season spent labouring unsuccessfully to rediscover his best form. For now, though, Djokovic will train his sights on the US Open, where victory would draw him level with Bill Tilden, the great American champion of the 1920s, on 10 majors. Only a fool would bet against him.