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Corona ATP Weekly Slice: Rafa Returns In Rio

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 busiest month of the season continues with three tournaments, highlighted by the newest 500 level event in Rio de Janeiro. World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 5 David Ferrer headline an outstanding field in Rio. Overall, five of the Top 20 are in the draw. In Marseille, the top two Frenchmen Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lead the way. In Delray Beach, the first outdoor tournament in North America, features Top 20 performers Tommy Haas, John Isner and Kei Nishikori along with former World No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt.

Rio Open presented by Claro hdtv (Rio de Janeiro)
The newest 500 tournament on the ATP World Tour comes to Rio, where the Jockey Club Brasileiro, featuring eight clay courts, including a 6,200-seat stadium, is the spectacular venue. This is the second (of 11) 500 level tournament of the season. The field also includes No. 14 Fabio Fognini, No. 17 Tommy Robredo and No. 18 Nicolas Almagro.

800 Club – Nadal’s first-round match will be the 800th of his career on the ATP World Tour. Five other active players have played at least 800 singles matches: Roger Federer (1,149), Tommy Haas (859), Lleyton Hewitt (836), David Ferrer (831, playing Sunday) and Nikolay Davydenko (800).

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OPEN 13 (Marseille)
The second of five French tournaments on the ATP World Tour is led by the top Frenchmen in the Emirates ATP Rankings: No. 9 Richard Gasquet and No. 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the reigning champion. The other seeds are: No. 3 Ernests Gulbis, No. 4 Andreas Seppi, No. 5 Ivan Dodig, No. 6 Philipp Kohlschreiber, No. 7 Julien Benneteau and No. 8 Nicolas Mahut. Tsonga also won the title in 2009.

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Delray Beach Open by The Venetian Las Vegas (Delray Beach)
The first outdoor North American tournament of the season is highlighted by the top three seeds of Tommy Haas, John Isner and Kei Nishikori. Haas won the title in 2006 and Nishikori in 2008, his first ATP World Tour title. The other seeds are: No. 4 Kevin Anderson, a Delray Beach resident, No. 5 Vasek Pospisil, No. 6 Feliciano Lopez, No. 7 Marin Cilic and No. 8 Lleyton Hewitt. Anderson, who won his first ATP World Tour title two years ago, and Hewitt, who won on clay in 1999, are the other former champions in the field.

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Potential Milestones (Career match wins as of 17 February 2014)

Rio de Janeiro – Singles
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez – 198 wins

Rio de Janeiro – Doubles
Marcelo Melo – 246 wins

Delray Beach – Singles
Lleyton Hewitt – 597 wins
Kei Nishikori – 146 wins
Alejandro Falla – 95 wins

Marseille – Doubles
Paul Hanley – 448 wins
Julian Knowle – 346 wins

Emirates ATP Rankings Movers
David Ferrer 4 (+1 spot)
Tomas Berdych 6 (+1 spot)
Kei Nishikori 15 (+1 spot)
Marin Cilic 29 (+8 spots)
Lleyton Hewitt 38 (+2 spots)
Igor Sijsling 52 (+12 spots)
Ivo Karlovic 56 (+24 spots)

Birthdays
21 February - Andreas Seppi (30)
22 February - Andrey Kuznetsov (23)
23 February - Konstantin Kravchuk (29)
23 February - Lucas Pouille (20)

Player To Watch: Fabio Fognini
FogniniNo. 3 seed Fabio Fognini reached a career-high No. 14 after winning his first South American title in Vina del Mar last week. The No. 1 Italian reached the Buenos Aires final on Sunday. Since Roland Garros last year, Fognini has won 23 of 25 clay court matches.

How To Watch
Watch coverage of Rio de Janeiro (Territory restrictions apply.)
Watch Live Powered by Tennis TV | TV Schedule

WEEK IN REVIEW

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In Case You Missed It...

Rotterdam:
Tomas Berdych ends his ATP World Tour title drought on Sunday, blasting past Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-2 in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament final in Rotterdam. The World No. 7 hoists his first trophy in 16 months, having fallen in all three finals he contested in 2013.
More...

Buenos Aires
Top seed David Ferrer becomes the first player to win three straight Copa Claro titles, defeating second seed Fabio Fognini 6-4, 6-3 in the final on Sunday in Buenos Aires, snapping the Italian's 10-match winning streak.
More...

Memphis
Kei Nishikori topples Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 7-6(0) to successfully defend his U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships title on Sunday, becoming the first back-to-back winner in Memphis since Tommy Haas retained his 2006 crown.
More...

Tidbits
Rafael Nadal visits the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. “It is one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen, said Nadal. Watch
Andy Murray offers advice for Valentine’s Day (and Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga discuss their respective plans). Watch
• Austria’s Dominic Thiem, at 20 years of age, is one of the ATP Stars of Tomorrow. Read more about this young player on the verge of breaking into the Top 100 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. More...
• When was the last time Grigor Dimitrov asked for an autograph? More
• When in Memphis (like Feliciano Lopez, Ryan Harrison, Jack Sock, and the Bryan Brothers), do as the Memphians do: attend a Grizzlies game. More


 

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