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Corona ATP Weekly Slice: Del Potro Returns To Rotterdam

Corona ATP 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?
The ATP World Tour widens its scope with three tournaments each held on different continents, with the first ATP World Tour 500 event of the season, in Rotterdam, and ATP World Tour 250 events in Buenos Aires and Memphis. Here’s a closer look:

ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament (Rotterdam)
Defending champion Juan Martin del Potro returns as the top seed at this indoor hard court event and faces a tough first-round test in Montpellier champion Gael Monfils. The remainder of the deep field includes seven other seeds all ranked within the Top 20, beginning with 2009 champion Andy Murray and followed in order by Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Tommy Haas, 2007 champion Mikhail Youzhny and Grigor Dimitrov.

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DEL POTRO TOP SEED: Juan Martin del Potro has amassed five titles and compiled a 23-match winning streak while seeded No. 1 in his past five tournaments, including the Apia International Sydney last month. The Argentine also claimed titles in Auckland (2009) and Oeiras (2012) as the No. 1 seed. Overall, the 25 year old has won seven titles in the nine events he has been seeded No. 1. Here are the titles he earned during the streak:

Tournament Result
2014 Sydney d. Tomic in Final
2013 Basel d. Federer in Final
2013 Tokyo d. Raonic in Final
2013 Washington d. Isner in Final
2012 Vienna d. Zemlja in Final

Copa Claro (Buenos Aires)
Two-time champion and World No. 5 David Ferrer headlines the second Latin American clay court tournament of the season. Italian Fabio Fognini, fresh off his title win in Vina del Mar (d. Mayer) this week, is the second seed, followed by 2009 champion Tommy Robredo, and 2011 champion Nicolas Almagro. Marcel Granollers, Robin Haase, 2007 champion Juan Monaco, and Jeremy Chardy round out the top eight players in the draw.

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FABIO'S BACK: No. 2 seed Fabio Fognini lifted his country to a 3-1 first round Davis Cup win over Argentina in Mar del Plata two weekends ago, accounting for all three points (two singles, one doubles). The No. 1 Italian returns to Buenos Aires for the seventh time (Best Result: 2013 QFs). The 26 year old earned his third title on the clay of Vina del Mar on Sunday.

U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships (Memphis)
The first North American tournament of the season is led by reigning champion Kei Nishikori, the top seed of an ATP World Tour tournament for the first time. This year marks the 40th consecutive year Memphis has hosted a tour level tournament (39 straight at Racquet Club of Memphis). Feliciano Lopez, last year’s runner-up, is the No. 2 seed, followed by Lleyton Hewitt, Yen-Hsun Lu, Marinko Matosevic, 2010 champion Sam Querrey, Michal Przysiezny and Mikhail Kukushkin.

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YOUNG STARS TO WATCH: A trio of young players are in the Memphis draw:
- Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios, 18, who is the youngest player in the Top 200 Emirates ATP Rankings at a career-high No. 157, makes his second U.S. tournament appearance (’13 US Open). Last month Kyrgios won his first Grand Slam match at the Australian Open (d. Becker) before losing in five-sets to Benoit Paire in the second round.
- Jack Sock, 21, who defeated No. 14 Milos Raonic en route to a 2013 quarter-final finish in Memphis, finished runner-up in doubles (w/Blake). Sock is ranked No. 88 and is the youngest American in the Top 100.
- Czech Jiri Vesely, 20, who was named last year's ATP Star of Tomorrow presented by Emirates for being youngest player in Top 100 (No. 84), makes his Memphis debut.

Hewitt
In Memphis, former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt has a chance to become the third active player to win 600 matches. Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images.

LLEYTON EYES 600 WINS Memphis No. 3 seed Lleyton Hewitt, who opened the season with his 29th title in Brisbane (d. Federer), makes his fourth visit to Memphis. The best result of his 6-3 win-loss record at the tournament was a semi-final appearance in 2009 (l. to Roddick). The 32-year-old Australian comes into Memphis with 596 career match wins. Within reach is becoming the third active player to win 600 matches, joining Roger Federer (932) and Rafael Nadal (669). Hewitt has the most match wins among Australians in the Open Era.

Rankings Movers
Gael Monfils 23 (+7 spots)
Santiago Giraldo 57 (+14 spots)
Leonardo Mayer 58 (+33 spots)
Bradley Klahn 67 (+13 spots)

Birthdays
9 February – James Ward (27)
10 February – Viktor Troicki (28)
12 February – Jeremy Chardy (27)
13 February – Somdev Devvarman (29)
15 February – Aleksandr Nedovyesov (27)

Potential Milestones (Career match wins as of 9 February 2014)
Rotterdam – Singles
Philipp Kohlschreiber – 295 wins (295-237)

Rotterdam – Doubles
Julian Knowle – 345 wins (345-300)
Marcelo Melo – 246 wins (246-178)

Memphis – Singles
Lleyton Hewitt – 596 wins (593-238)

Buenos Aires – Singles
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez – 198 wins (228-228)

Player To Watch: Grigor Dimitrov
DimitrovGrigor Dimitrov is making his fourth appearance at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Last year the Bulgarian lost in the semi-finals to eventual champion del Potro. At 17 years old in 2009, the 478th-ranked Dimitrov posted his first ATP World Tour win over No. 23 Tomas Berdych. In the second round, he pushed No. 1 Rafael Nadal to three sets.

Rotterdam will be Dimitrov’s first tournament since reaching his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the Australian Open (l. to Nadal). The 22 year old is currently the youngest player in the Top 20 of the Emirates ATP Rankings (No. 19).

How To Watch
Watch coverage of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament and the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships beginning 10 February 2014. (Territory restrictions apply.)
Watch Live Powered by Tennis TV | TV Schedule


WEEK IN REVIEW

Twitter Top Tweets

@MardyFish (Mardy Fish)
So blessed to welcome our first child into this world. Beckett Gardner Fish born yesterday at 3:45pm. Baby and mommy happy and healthy!

@rogerfederer (Roger Federer)
Joining my friends, captain Seve and STAN against KazakhSTAN in April! #atmosphere #loud #fans #cowbells #switzerland #loveit

@DjokerNole (Novak Djokovic)
Back to MC for work. One of the most beautiful tennis clubs in the world. Great to spend some time in Serbia pic.twitter.com/rFnIl9SIbA

@andy_murray (Andy Murray)
How long before Sharapova makes an appearance in opening ceremony? I'm taking 12 minutes

@tomasberdych (Tomas Berdych)
Let's go and good luck to all czech athletes in #sochi2014 #Olympics2014 pic.twitter.com/JJxSCytXdm

@TursunovTales (Dmitry Tursunov)
This is what happens when you put Rafa and Tsonga in the blender... No?! http://instagram.com/p/j-QJE-nJaE/

Most Popular Facebook Post on Facebook.com/ATPWorldTour

Monfils 

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Video Of The Week
Grigor Dimitrov, an ATP World Tour “Young Gun,” looks to make his mark in 2014 under the guidance of his coach, Roger Rasheed.

In Case You Missed It...

Montpellier:
Gael Monfils captures his fifth ATP World Tour title in his 21st final on Sunday after defeating defending champion Richard Gasquet, 6-4, 6-4 at the Open Sud de France. Monfils has lifted the Montpellier trophy on two occasions.
Monfils: "I am extremely proud of the way I played today.”

Zagreb:
Fifth seed Marin Cilic clinches the PBZ Zagreb Indoors title for a fourth time with an upset of top seed Tommy Haas 6-3, 6-4 in the final. The World No. 37 owns an event-best 22-4 win-loss record, including wins in 20 of his past 21 matches. Haas reaches an ATP World Tour milestone during the event, recording his 550th match win in the semifinals (d. Evans).
Cilic: “The week... is going to help my confidence and my game.”

Vina del Mar:
Top seed Fabio Fognini Fabio caps off another successful clay campaign, cruising past Leonardo Mayer 6-2, 6-4 in the Royal Guard Open Chile final. The World No. 15 extends his dominant run on clay to 19-1 since Roland Garros 2013. Santiago Giraldo reaches a milestone in the quarter-finals with his 100th win (d. Garcia-Lopez).
Fognini: "I couldn’t ask for a better start of the season."

Tidbits
DjokovicNovak Djokovic has hinted that his wedding to fiancée and long-term girlfriend Jelena Ristic is not too far away. More...
Rafael Nadal receives the 2013 sporting excellence award at the 66th Mundo Deportivo Gala in Barcelona. More...
Andy Murray and agent Simon Fuller are among those named to GQ’s inaugural list of UK 100 Most Connected men. More...
Fabio Fognini and Nicolas Almagro show off their creative side by helping paint a mural in Chile. More...
• Germany’s Bjorn Phau reveals his favourite sport outside of tennis, his strangest match played, and others in this Biofile. Read...
• Retired Chilean players Nicolas Massu and Fernando Gonzalez were honoured for their career achievements and contribution to Chilean tennis in a special ceremony at the Royal Guard Open Chile. More...
• When was the last time Gael Monfils cooked a meal? Monfils Q&A...
• The 21-year-old Japanese player Taro Daniel talks about his love of the ‘70s era, clay courts, and much more. More...

Photo Gallery: Montpellier | Vina del Mar | Zagreb


 

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