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Corona ATP Weekly Slice: Frantic February Begins

Corona ATP Weekly Slice

Tap into the essentials of the week ahead and re-live the highlights of the past week with Corona ATP Weekly Slice, as we serve up an executive summary of what every fan should know, along with a look at the best in social media.

LOOKING AHEAD

Who’s Playing This Week?
ATP World Tour action resumes in earnest with two indoor hard court tournaments in Montpellier and Zagreb and the first clay court event of the year in Vina del Mar. A hectic February features 12 tournaments in four weeks.

Open Sud de France: A Frenchman has reached the final in Montpellier the previous eight years. Defending champion and 2006 titlist Richard Gasquet is the top seed and is joined by 2010 champ Gael Monfils and No. 2 seed Gilles Simon. Third-seed Jerzy Janowicz is making his tournament debut and finds himself in Gasquet's half of the draw.
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AUSSIE OPEN CHAMP: Australian Open doubles champion Lukasz Kubot is making his debut in Montpellier. Kubot teamed with Swede Robert Lindstedt to capture his first career Grand Slam title in Melbourne and to become the first Polish man to win a Slam title since Wojtek Fibak at the Australian Open in 1978 (w/ Warwick).

PBZ Zagreb Indoors: Three-time champion Marin Cilic (15-1 since 2009) returns in his quest for a fourth Zagreb title and is accompanied by fellow Croat and No. 4 seed Ivan Dodig. Dodig hoisted his hometown trophy in 2011. Top seed Tommy Haas is seeking his 16th tour-level crown, while 2012 champ and second-seed Mikhail Youzhny is eyeing his 11th. 2013 US Open boys champion Borna Coric, age 17, is making his ATP World Tour debut.
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TOMMY TOP SEED: Top seed Tommy Haas, who finished last season No. 12, his highest year-end Emirates ATP Ranking since 2007, is the oldest player in the Top 100. The 35-year-old German earned two titles in three finals and won 47 matches. His best result as the top seed in an ATP World Tour tournament are the semi-finals in Long Island in 2002 and Los Angeles in ’09.

Royal Guard OpenHoracio Zeballos looks to defend his Vina del Mar crown a year after registering the biggest win of his career against Rafael Nadal. While Nadal is slated to make his Latin American Golden Swing return in Buenos Aires next week, a trio of Spaniards headline the first clay court tournament of the year. 2011 champion Tommy Robredo is the No. 2 seed and is joined by countrymen Nicolas Almagro and Marcel Granollers. Italian and World No. 15 Fabio Fognini is the top seed.
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KING OF GOLDEN SWING: No. 3 seed Nicolas Almagro has earned the most titles (six) from the Golden Swing, accounting for half of his 12 trophies. He has won titles in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico but he’s looking to win his first title in Chile. Here is a look at his Golden Swing titles:

BRAZIL: Costa do Sauipe (2008), Sao Paulo (2011-12)
MEXICO: Acapulco (2008-09)
ARGENTINA: Buenos Aires (2011)

TEENAGER ON THE RISE: Chilean wild card Christian Garin won his first career ATP World Tour match last year over Dusan Lajovic before losing to No. 26 Jeremy Chardy in three sets in the 2R. The 17-year-old Garin was ranked No. 920 one year ago and this week is at a career-high No. 380.

Zagreb
2006 Zagreb champion Ivan Ljubicic lent a hand during the draw ceremony on Saturday. Ljubicic was joined by two-time titlist Goran Ivanisevic and rising youngster Borna Coric (far right). Photo credit: PBZ Zagreb Indoors.

Rankings Movers
Kei Nishikori 17 (+1 spot)
Robin Haase 41 (+5 spots)
Radek Stepanek 48 (+2 spots)
Sam Querrey 55 (-6 spots)
Mikhail Kukushkin 59 (+8 spots)
Alejandro Falla 70 (+4 spots)

Birthdays
3 February – Carlos Berlocq (31)
3 February – Rogerio Dutra Silva (30)
5 February – Alex Kuznetsov (27)
5 February – Andreas Beck (28)
7 February – Alejandro Gonzalez (25)
8 February – Jimmy Wang (29)

Potential Milestones (Career match wins as of 2 February 2014)
Montpellier - Singles
Jerzy Janowicz - 49 wins
Tobias Kamke - 46 wins

Montpellier - Doubles
Paul Hanley - 447 wins
Nicolas Mahut - 148 wins

Vina del Mar - Singles
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez - 196 wins
Santiago Giraldo - 97 wins

Zagreb - Singles
Radek Stepanek - 349 wins

Zagreb - Doubles
Benjamin Becker - 47 wins
Marcelo Melo - 246 wins

Player To Watch: Gael Monfils
MonfilsGael Monfils has played well in Montpellier, winning eight of 10 matches in his previous three appearances. He won the title in 2010 (d. Ljubicic), reached the final in 2012 (l. to Berdych) and the second round last year (l. to eventual winner Gasquet). In the first month of play, he reached the final in Doha and 3R at the Australian Open, losing to No. 1 Nadal in both tournaments.

How To Watch
Watch coverage of the Open Sud de France beginning 7 February 2014.
Watch Live Powered by Tennis TV | TV Schedule


WEEK IN REVIEW

Twitter Top Tweets

@stanwawrinka (Stanislas Wawrinka)
THANK YOU @AustralianOpen!!! And BIG thanks to all the fans for the amazing support!!!!! #Dream pic.twitter.com/1jwC7oIVMY

@mchiudinelli33 (Marco Chiudinelli)
@rogerfederer @stanwawrinka @lammer82 @mchiudinelli33 a big thank u 2 all the swiss supporters in novisad#hoppschwiz pic.twitter.com/dNlpkTHXDT

@Kohlscribbler (Philipp Kohlschreiber)
Germany wins!!!! Great doubles with @TommyHaas13 ....@DavisCup #DavisCup #brandy pic.twitter.com/clrM8NOWOK

@DjokerNole (Novak Djokovic)
Memories...Wall where i hit my first tennis balls w/ Jelena Gencic. Destroyed by bombs but still there #grateful pic.twitter.com/LJklCkgSgc

@knowlzee10s (Mark Knowles)
Amazing to have the great Rod Laver do the coin toss at the opening match. #trueclass pic.twitter.com/oPMR2g3Gbz

@jojomelzer (Jurgen Melzer)
Happy birthday to the loveliest person in my life!!! thank u sooooo much for being the way you are @IvetaBenesova! #luckyhusband

Most Popular Facebook Post on Facebook.com/ATPWorldTour

Wawrinka Facebook 

Likes: 71,877
Comments: 1,426
Shares: 1,448

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Video Of The Week
Roger Federer talks about his plans to remain at the top of the game in his 30s.

In Case You Missed It...

Davis Cup:
The World Group first-round ties were played out this weekend, headlined by two-time defending champion Czech Republic hosting The Netherlands in Ostrava. Tomas Berdych won all three of his matches - two singles and doubles with Radek Stepanek - which overshadowed Dutchman Robin Haase's upset of Stepanek in the first rubber.

Roger Federer, a late addition to the Swiss Davis Cup team, joined Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka for a 3-0 sweep against Serbia.

Kei Nishikori's performance against Canada propelled Japan into the quarter-finals against the Czech Republic after spending a year in Asia/Oceania Zone Group 1. In Kazakhstan, Andrey Golubev secured the fifth rubber against Belgium, allowing the Asian nation to face Switzerland in the quarter-finals.

Germany showed off the depth and strength of its Davis Cup team with a 4-1 win against Spain, which included Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber teaming up to beat 2013 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals champions Fernando Verdasco and David Marrero in doubles. Germany has its hands full in the quarter-finals against France, who used its Top 10 players Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a 5-0 sweep of Australia.

Andy Murray and James Ward gave Great Britain a win against the U.S.A. for the first time since 1935. They advance to face Italy in the quarter-finals.

Tidbits
Lindstedt & KubotRoger Federer celebrates his 10-year anniversary of ascending to the No. 1 position in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He first claimed the top spot on 2 February 2004. See the stats...
• Stanislas Wawrinka's post-Australian Open rankings rise was biggest within the Top 10 in 10 years. More...
• The newly crowned Melbourne champion was mobbed at the airport when he returned to his home country of Switzerland after the win. Watch video...
• India hosts a series of ATP Challenger Tour tournaments in the coming three weeks. More...
• World No. 12 German Tommy Haas brings on Alexander Waske as coach. More...
Alexandr Dolgopolov and Pablo Carreno Busta enjoy a bike ride in Vina del Mar ahead of playing in the Royal Guard Open Chile. See the photos...

Photo Gallery: Davis Cup


 

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