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Corona ATP Weekly Slice: Isner, Youzhny, Fognini Headline

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

There are three tournaments on this week’s schedule - one on hard courts in Atlanta and two on clay, in Gstaad and Umag. Atlanta is the first North American hard court tournament since Miami in March and the first of five in this summer’s Emirates Airline US Open Series. Overall, seven of the Top 25 in the Emirates ATP Rankings are in action.

BB&T Atlanta Open (Atlanta, U.S.A.)
Last year’s finalists are the top two seeds: John Isner, ranked No. 12 in the world, and Kevin Anderson, No. 17. The other seeds, in order, are Gael Monfils, Vasek Pospisil, Denis Istomin, Yen-Hsun Lu, Marinko Matosevic and Sam Querrey. The 29-year-old Isner, who defeated Anderson in three tie-breaks in last year’s final, is the only former champion in the field.

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Wimbledon Doubles Champs Reunite - The top doubles seeds are Wimbledon champions Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock, who are teaming together for the first time since their Grand Slam title victory over the World No. 1 team of Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan. Pospisil and Sock are No. 9 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings and are bidding to qualify for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London (9-16 November).

Monfils Makes Debut - Third seed Gael Monfils makes his Atlanta debut as he rebounds from a five-set loss in the Wimbledon second round to Jiri Vesely. Monfils opened the season by reaching the final in Doha (l. to Nadal) and the following month captured his fifth ATP World Tour title, in Montpellier (d. Gasquet). His best Grand Slam result of the season also came on home soil at Roland Garros, where he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Murray).

Harrison Eyes Turnaround - Wild card Ryan Harrison is looking to jump-start his summer like he did in Atlanta one year ago. In 2013, the No. 132-ranked Harrison reached the semi-finals (l. to Anderson). He made a similar run in 2011, reaching the final four ranked No. 120 (l. to eventual champion Fish). This season, Harrison is ranked No. 143 with a 4-10 FedEx ATP Win/Loss record.

Credit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad (Gstaad, Switzerland)
The tournament is led by top seed and defending champion Mikhail Youzhny, followed by the Spanish trio of No. 2 Marcel Granollers, No. 3 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and No. 4 Fernando Verdasco. The other seeds are Federico Delbonis, Gilles Simon, Robin Haase and Dominic Thiem. Youhzny is joined by former champions Thomaz Bellucci (2009, ’12), Granollers (2011) and Victor Hanescu (2008).

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Reigning Champ - This is the eighth straight year (and ninth overall) that top Russian Mikhail Youzhny is appearing in Gstaad (12-7 record). In last year’s final, Youzhny beat Dutchman Robin Haase 6-3, 6-4 for his first of two titles (Valencia) during the season. In his best showing of the current season, Youzhny reached the Stuttgart semi-finals two weeks ago.

One To Watch – Brazilian left-hander Thomaz Bellucci is making his fifth Gstaad appearance in the past six years. In his previous four visits, he has either lost in the first round or won the title. In 2009, Bellucci qualified into the main draw and captured his first ATP World Tour title (d. A. Beck). Two years ago he won the title again (d. No. 8 Tipsarevic). His first-round exits came in 2010 and '13.

Troicki Returns – Former World No. 12 Viktor Troicki is playing in his first tournament since Umag last year. The 28-year-old Serb was serving an 18-month anti-doping suspension which was reduced to one year, making him eligible to return on 15 July. He finished with a 19-19 match record and No. 74 ranking in 2013.

Vegeta Croatia Open Umag (Umag, Croatia)
The tournament features three players in the Top 25, led by top seed and World No. 15 Fabio Fognini, the 2013 runner-up. The other seeds, in order, are defending champion Tommy Robredo, Marin Cilic, Joao Sousa, Lukas Rosol, Andreas Seppi, Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Carlos Berlocq. Cilic, who two years ago became the first Croat to win the title since 1990 (Goran Prpic), is the other former tournament champion in the field.

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Defending Champion – Spanish veteran Tommy Robredo is the defending champion and last year won his first Umag title over Fognini. The last player to defend his Umag title was countryman Carlos Moya, who won three in a row from 2001-'03. Robredo, a winner of 12 ATP World Tour titles, has never defended a title.

Marin On The Move – Third seed and top Croat Marin Cilic won the title two years ago in his last appearance. Cilic was also was runner-up in 2011. The 25 year old is playing in his first tournament since a career-best quarter-final showing at Wimbledon (l. to eventual champ Djokovic in five sets). Cilic comes in with a 34-13 match record on the season that includes three straight finals in February: winning the title in Zagreb (d. Haas), reaching the Rotterdam final (l. to Berdych) and claiming the Delray Beach crown (d. Anderson).

Teenager On The Rise – German special exempt Alexander Zverev, who last week broke through to reach his first ATP World Tour semi-final in his hometown of Hamburg (l. to Ferrer), has climbed over 500 ranking positions since 30 June when he was No. 665 in the world. The 17 year old has broken into the Top 200 and now sits at No. 161 after his Hamburg success. The last 17 year old to rank in the Top 200 was Marin Cilic on 14 August 2006 at No. 197.

Emirates ATP Rankings Movers
Dominic Thiem, this week making his Gstaad debut, reached a career-high No. 47 in the Emirates ATP Rankings this week after reaching the Hamburg third round. Thiem, who turns 21 on 3 September, is the youngest player in the Top 50.

Below is a list of other players making moves this week:

David Ferrer 6 (+1 spot)
Roberto Bautista Agut 16 (+2 spots) - career-high
Tommy Robredo 18 (+2 spots)
Leonardo Mayer 27 (+19 spots) - career-high
Yen-Hsun Lu 42 (+5 spots)
Dominic Thiem 47 (+8 spots) - career-high
Mikhail Kukushkin 48 (+5 spots) - career-high
Pablo Carreno Busta 57 (+2 spots) - career-high
Dusan Lajovic 58 (+13 spots) - career-high

Potential Milestones (as of 21 July)

Atlanta - Singles
Dudi Sela - 97 wins
Donald Young - 49 wins

Atlanta - Doubles
Yen-Hsun Lu - 46 wins
Sanchai Ratiwatana - 49 wins
Sonchat Ratiwatana - 49 wins

Gstaad - Singles
Fernando Verdasco - 396 wins
Mikhail Youzhny - 448 wins

Gstaad - Doubles
Martin Emmrich - 46 wins

Birthdays
21 July - Victor Hanescu (33)
21 July - Martin Fischer (28)
22 July - Andrey Golubev (27)
22 July - Tennys Sandgren (23)
23 July - Jarkko Nieminen (33)
23 July - Donald Young (25)
24 July - Lukas Rosol (29)

Player To Watch: John IsnerIsner
Former University of Georgia standout John Isner returns to Atlanta for the fifth consecutive year and the third in a row as the top seed. The 29-year-old American has a 12-3 record in Atlanta, reaching the final in 2010-'11 (l. to Fish both times), the semi-finals in ’12 and winning the title last year (d. Anderson). This is the fourth time in 2014 that Isner is the top seed; he's bidding for a first semi-final appearance this season. This is the 13th time in Isner’s career he is the top seed at an ATP World Tour tournament (28-9 record). Three of his eight titles have come as the No. 1 seed.

How To Watch
Watch Live Powered by Tennis TV | TV Schedule

WEEK IN REVIEW

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Video of the Week
Alexander Zverev punishes a Mikhail Youzhny approach on the Hamburg clay in Wednesday's Hot Shot. Watch live matches at http://www.tennistv.com/.

In Case You Missed It...

Hamburg: World No. 46 Leonardo Mayer captured his first ATP World Tour title on Sunday, edging top seed David Ferrer 6-7(3), 6-1, 7-6(4) in the final of the bet-at-home Open.
Mayer: "I can't believe it...I was able to do it against Ferrer, who is one of the best players on [clay]." | Read: First-Time Winner Spotlight

Bogota: Wild card Bernard Tomic bested Claro Open Colombia defending champion Ivo Karlovic 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(4) for his second tour-level title.
Tomic: "This title is huge and it's one I will always remember."

Tidbits
NadalRafael Nadal took home the ESPY Award for Best Male Tennis Player, beating out fellow nominees Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. More…
Roger Federer invited American skier Lindsey Vonn to Switzerland for a trip on the Jungfrau Railway, to the ‘Top of Europe’ – 3,454 metres above sea level for a tennis exhibition match. Read More & Watch...
• Following his post-match press conference in the Bogota semi-finals, Victor Estrella Burgos took a group picture with the media and invited press officer Carolina Perez to join him for a Bachata session – a popular Dominican dance style. Watch…
Novak Djokovic married his childhood sweetheart Jelena Ristic on 10 July in the grounds of Montenegro's Aman Sveti Stefan resort. The wedding features exclusively in HELLO! magazine.More…
• Ahead of the start of the Emirates Airline US Open Series, ATPWorldTour.com looks at the best 52-week hard-court records using the FedEx ATP Reliability Index. More…

Photo Galleries: Hamburg | Bogota


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