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The ATP World Tour doubles stars, including Jamie Murray, didn't see it coming. Not only were the fans who participated in the fifth annual Western & Southern Open Doubles Showdown on Monday enthusiastic in their support of the craft, but they also played some decent tennis.
“They were some good players that came out and showed us up a little bit. We weren't quite expecting that,” Murray said.
The pros and the recreational players had another good time in Cincinnati, promoting doubles and practising drills and tactics on court together. Wayne Bryan led the activities, and the rec players were alongside the players for much of the two-hour showdown.
“We got to get up close and personal with them so it was very, very awesome,” said Zakiya Kelly, 28, of metro Detroit, who was one of the participants.
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The pros enjoyed themselves, too. “Some of the best players in the world showing off their skills, so a good day for doubles, and we'll be back next year,” Mike Bryan said.
Most recreational players are doubles players, Horia Tecau reminded, so it's important for the pros to reach out to them.
“It's nice for them to see us all on the same court, doing some drills, some tricks. At this tournament, there are a lot of people coming to watch the doubles matches so it's nice to give them an experience to be close to us, play some drills with us. It's nice for them to see the skills that we do on the court, then appreciate it and to come and watch us more,” Tecau said.
Justin Hoyte of FC Cincinnati and ATP World Tour doubles players Murray, Bryan, Tecau, Jean-Julien Rojer, Nikola Mektic, Oliver Marach, Mate Pavic, Artem Sitak, Rajeev Ram, Robert Farah, Bruno Soares, Lukasz Kubot, Marcelo Melo and Juan Sebastian Cabal participated.

After failing to convert three match points at 6/3 in a final-set tie-break, 2017 finalist Nick Kyrgios was faced with the prospect of a disappointing defeat on his return to the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday.
But, after missing his first serve down match point at 7/8, the Aussie produced fearless tennis to navigate his way out of danger. Kyrgios hit a 133mph second serve ace to extend the match and followed it up with a 137mph ace on the following point, before closing out a 6-7(2), 7-5, 7-6(9) win over Denis Kudla, on his sixth match point, after one hour and 58 minutes.
The Brisbane International presented by Suncorp titlist improved to 20-9 at tour-level in 2018, avoiding a defeat which would have seen him drop 590 ATP Rankings points on 20 August. Kyrgios defeated David Goffin, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer en route to his maiden ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final last year in Cincinnati.
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Despite struggling with his movement at times during the first-round encounter, Kyrgios hit 61 winners, including 39 aces, to record his seventh win in 10 matches at the Ohio-based event. The World No. 18 improved his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Kudla to 2-0, having also won their only previous encounter at the 2015 BNP Paribas Open.
Kyrgios will face Gerry Weber Open titlist Borna Coric for a place in the third round. Coric won 83 per cent of service points and saved both break points he faced to cruise past Daniil Medvedev of Russia 6-2, 6-3 in 70 minutes.
Coric and Kyrgios are tied at 1-1 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, which includes their most recent encounter in Cincinnati. Two years ago, Coric defeated Kyrgios 7-6(2), 4-6, 7-6(6) in the Round of 32.Did You Know?After reaching his maiden tour-level final on clay at the 2015 Millennium Estoril Open, each of Nick Kyrgios' six tour-level final appearances have come at hard-court events.

Hyeon Chung recorded his maiden victory at the Western & Southern Open, extending Jack Sock's disappointing run of form on Tuesday.
After losing on his debut in 2017, reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion Chung recovered from a set down to beat the American 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 in their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting after one hour and 54 minutes. The South Korean won 70 per cent of first-serve points and 20 of 29 second-serve return points to advance.
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Chung, who owns a 23-11 record at tour-level this season, handed Sock his eighth consecutive loss at tour-level. Although Sock's last tour-level singles victory came at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on 13 May (d. Ferrer), the American has still enjoyed considerable success in doubles this season, winning four tour-level crowns across three surfaces.
Chung will meet Juan Martin del Potro in the second round. The Argentine rose to a career-high No. 3 in the ATP Rankings on Monday.
Robin Haase also rallied from a set down to book his place in the second round, defeating Filip Krajinovic 4-6, 6-2, 6-3. The Rogers Cup quarter-finalist fired 11 aces and converted six of 12 break points en route to victory.Did You Know? On April 2, Chung became the first player from South Korea to break into the Top 20 of the ATP Rankings. The reigning Next Gen ATP Finals champion has reached the quarter-finals or better at eight tour-level events this season.

Last week, the spotlight shined bright on Canada on the ATP World Tour, as the world's best contributed to a memorable Rogers Cup in Toronto. But, the festival of tennis in the proud tennis nation is far from over.
This week, the action moves to Canada's west coast for the 13th edition of the Odlum Brown VanOpen. The $100,000 event on the ATP Challenger Tour is a favourite among players, who voted it as Tournament of the Year in 2017. With the Vancouver skyline providing a stunning backdrop, Hollyburn Country Club is the ideal venue for a top Challenger tournament, boasting world-class facilities and exceptional hospitality. 
Former South African star Rik de Voest runs a seamless operation as tournament director, having assumed the lead role in 2017. De Voest won the title 12 years ago and has since put down roots in the Vancouver area as a real estate advisor.
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This year, De Voest and his dedicated team welcome a stacked draw featuring former champion and local resident Vasek Pospisil as its top seed, along with fellow Canadians Felix Auger-Aliassime, Peter Polansky, Filip Peliwo, Brayden Schnur and Benjamin Sigouin. Pospisil leads the ATP Challenger Tour in win percentage in 2018, posting a 26-6 (.813) record, including titles in Rennes and Budapest. 
"It's an amazing event here," said Popsisil. "You rarely find a Challenger that's as nice as this one. For me, it's one of the nicest clubs of the year, ATP or Challenger level. It's very special and they do an amazing job throwing a great event. It could honestly be an ATP World Tour event."
Meanwhile, all eyes will be on Auger-Aliassime, who scored his second match win at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level last week in Toronto. The #NextGenATP star opens against eighth seed Ruben Bemelmans as he continues to push towards the Top 100.
"It feels good," said Auger-Aliassime. "Always a pleasure to play at home. Vancouver is a city I really enjoy. I've been here a few times for national tournaments. First time playing the VanOpen this week, so hopefully I'll have a deep run here."View Draw
One player who has already celebrated a Top 100 breakthrough is Ilya Ivashka. Seeded seventh in Vancouver, the 24-year-old reached the milestone on Monday following a third-round finish in Toronto.
The popcorn will be flowing on Tuesday with a bevy of tantalizing first-round matchups. An all-Aussie affair between last year's runner-up Jordan Thompson and Sunday's Aptos champion Thanasi Kokkinakis will take centre stage at Hollyburn. Fifth seed Gilles Muller faces an in-form Christopher Eubanks, while former Top 100 stars Ernesto Escobedo and Daniel Evans duel.  

WATCH—Stories of the Open Era - Tennis in Media:
Flushing Meadows is tennis’ largest stage, and over the last 50 years, it has been the site of some of the sport’s greatest dramas. This week, we'll count down the 10 most memorable US Open matches of the Open Era. To follow the countdown, click here.
“Anyone for tennis?” The question sounds so innocuous, like asking someone if they want to take a walk in the park. Don’t try to tell that to Jennifer Capriati, not after what happened to her at the US Open on September 5, 2003. That night, when she lost to Justine Henin in a traumatic epic in Ashe Stadium, the 27-year-old American reminded us of just how brutal this polite sport can be.
“When I came off the court, I just felt the whole world was coming down on me,” Capriati told reporters. “My heart was being ripped out.”
Those are strong words, but virtually anyone who watched the inspiring, soul-crushing, three-hour and three-minute roller coaster between Henin and Capriati could understand the loser’s feelings that night.
Capriati had wanted to win this match as badly as any she had played since turning pro 14 years earlier. In 2001 and 2002, she had returned from oblivion to win three major titles and reach No. 1, but she hadn’t been able to redeem herself at her home Grand Slam. Now she was back in the semifinals, the round where, 12 years earlier, she had hit her first career ceiling as a 15-year-old. In 1991, she had lost her first soul-crushing semifinal classic, to fellow teen Monica Seles, in a third-set tiebreaker. While Seles went on to win the tournament and dominate the sport for the next two years, a crest-fallen Capriati would steadily decline before leaving the sport in 1994. It would be eight years before reached another major semi.
Now here she was, back at the Open, with a chance to make the final again. Capriati wore a star-spangled dress for the occasion, and the crowd roared for her like it hadn’t roared for anyone not named Connors or Agassi. But like Seles in ’91, the 5’6” Henin may not have looked like much, but she was an intimidating mountain to climb. Seeded second, she had beaten Serena Williams on her way to winning the French Open that spring.
If anything, the quality and drama of Henin-Capriati surpassed that of Seles-Capriati. Where that match had been a straight-ahead slugfest, this one featured a contrast between Henin’s varied attack and Capriati’s no-frills power. No lead was safe: Henin led 4-1 in the first set, until Capriati reeled off five straight games to win it. In the second set, Capriati led 5-3 and served for the match, but it was Henin’s turn to put together a four-game streak and level the match at one-set all.
By the end of the second set, the rallies had reached ever-more-punishing lengths; Henin won one by chasing down a topspin lob of Capriati’s and sending up a lob winner of her own. That trend only grew more pronounced in the third; Capriati looked more and more exhausted, while Henin began to cramp.
“It was getting pretty overwhelming out there,” Capriati said of the fraught night-match atmosphere.
Still, Capriati built a seemingly insurmountable 5-2 lead. But Henin, even as she clutched her leg and tried to ignore the crowd’s raucous applause for her missed first serves, refused to fold. Capriati was two points from victory 11 times; after the last of them, she drop-kicked her racquet. When the two women reached 6-6, the U.S. fans forgot their hostility toward Henin for a moment and gave both women a standing ovation. In the end, it was Henin who found a way through the deciding tiebreaker 7-4. Less than 24 hours later, she somehow found her way past her countrywoman Kim Clijsters for her first US Open title.
Henin-Capriati was a prize fight in which both players were knocked cold. While Capriati was forced to describe her heart-ripping pain in her post-match interview, at least she was able to make it there. We’ll never know how Henin felt at the moment of victory; instead of talking to the press, she was receiving intravenous fluids in the trainers room.
Anyone for tennis?

This Week on Tennis Channel PLUS: ATP/WTA Cincinnati
Tennis Channel PLUS is your home for the Western & Southern Open. Watch every match live from 8 courts only on Tennis Channel PLUS.

WATCH—Stories of the Open Era - Cultural Icons: 
Flushing Meadows is tennis’ largest stage, and over the last 50 years, it has been the site of some of the sport’s greatest dramas. This week, we'll count down the 10 most memorable US Open matches of the Open Era. To follow the countdown, click here.
In September 1981, Sweden’s best player, Bjorn Borg, lost in the final of the U.S. Open. Afterward, he skipped the trophy ceremony, drove out of Flushing Meadows in an unhappy rush, and never played another Grand Slam. He was 25.
In September 1988, Sweden’s best player, Mats Wilander, won his first U.S. Open title in a classic final, ascended to No. 1 for the first time, and spent the wee hours jamming with Keith Richards in Manhattan. He never won another Grand Slam. He was 24.
Wilander’s win over Lendl was the crowning achievement of a six-year transformation effort. A born dirt-baller who won the French Open at 17, Wilander spent years patiently expanding his game. He reinforced his two-handed backhand with a one-handed slice, and learned how and when to get to the net. Few pros are able to make themselves into different players once they’ve reached the top, but then few pros are Grand Slam winners at such a young age. Mats was the rare champion who added important new elements to his core game.
The work paid off in ’88, Wilander’s annus mirabilis. He began that season by christening the Australian Open's new Flinders Park (now Melbourne Park) with a five-set final, which he won over the home favorite, Pat Cash, 8-6 in the decider. Six months later, in Paris, Wilander crushed another local hero’s dreams by trouncing Henri Leconte in the Roland Garros final.
Wilander’s chance for a calendar Grand Slam ended the next month when he lost to Miloslav Mecir in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon. But the big prize was still in sight: the U.S. Open. Much of Wilander’s work had been devoted to winning this tournament. It would mean doing something that no Swede had ever done; Borg famously lost four finals at Flushing Meadows. The National Tennis Center was also near Mats's new home, in Greenwich, Conn. (where he was neighbors with Lendl). And Wilander had been steadily getting closer to the trophy. The previous year he had reached the Open final for the first time, losing to Lendl in a marathon that became the longest title match in the tournament’s history—four hours, 47 minutes—despite only going four sets.
In ’88, the two men would do it all over again. This time Wilander and Lendl played five sets in four hours and 54 minutes, a record for an Open final that was tied in 2012 by Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Rarely has a tennis match elicited such sharply divided reviews—you either loved this one or hated it. 
On the love side was Tennis magazine’s Peter Bodo, who said that Wilander-Lendl was the best match of the Open era to that point. He was absorbed by the subtle push and pull between Mats and Ivan, as the Swede tried to find a winning formula against a man he had lost to six straight times. In the hate column was Sports Illustrated’s Curry Kirkpatrick. He advised Lendl and Wilander to take “their unbearably tedious Connecticut state championship rivalry back to Greenwich, where it belongs.” Kirkpatrick seemed to have it in for Lendl in particular. "His dour mien," he wrote of the Czech, "was enough to darken the sun."
Who was right, Bodo or Kirkpatrick? Yes, Wilander and Lendl hit a lot of rally balls, and took a lot of time between points. But it’s fascinating, in this slam-bang era, to look back and watch Wilander try to outhink the bigger-hitting Lendl, and ultimately succeed. His performance proved that net-rushing tennis, used judiciously, can be successful against even the strongest of baseliners.
Sadly, that the would be the last Wilander performance worth preserving. The effort to overcome Lendl, win the Open, and reach the top would prove to be too much for him. His win in ’88 was the flip side of Borg’s career-crushing loss on the same court in ’81. In Wilander’s case, achieving his dream would be his professional undoing.
That night, Mats called it the happiest moment of his life, but he also sounded hollowed out in his post-match presser. “I never knew what it took to be No. 1,” he said.
The last thing Wilander wanted was to do it again. After the Open, he took a vacation and essentially never returned. By January, he had lost the No. 1 ranking. By May, he was losing so often that SI ran an article entitled, “Suddenly A Door-Mats: Everybody and his brother is trampling on Mats Wilander.”
“I proved I could be No. 1,” Mats said. “What am I supposed to do, show them I can be No. 1 again?”
McEnroe said that the difference between Mats and himself was that the Swede didn’t need to show people, every time he played, that he was the best in the world. To Johnny Mac, being No. 1 was an identity. To Wilander, it was a goal, something separate from himself. It was, he discovered when he got there, just a number.

This Week on Tennis Channel PLUS: ATP/WTA Cincinnati
Tennis Channel PLUS is your home for the Western & Southern Open. Watch every match live from 8 courts only on Tennis Channel PLUS.

View FedEx ATP Head2Head for the Rogers Cup & vote for who you think will win! Goffin vs. Tsitsipas | Edmund vs. Shapovalov | Sock vs. Chung
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Seven-time former champion Roger Federer headlines action at the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday, which also includes 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Hyeon Chung, last week’s Rogers Cup finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas and last year’s Cincinnati finalist Nick Kyrgios.
Federer, who turned 37 on 8 August, contests his first match since losing to Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon semi-finals on 11 July. The Swiss superstar is looking to win his 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown and begins his campaign in a first-time meeting against German Peter Gojowczyk during the evening session on Center Court. He has lost just four times at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, where he lifted the trophy in 2005, 2007, 2009-10, 2012, 2014-15 and has a 42-8 match record.
Federer is currently in third position in the ATP Race To London for a spot at the Nitto ATP Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 11-18 November. He has a 29-4 record this year, which includes titles at the Australian Open (d Cilic), the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament (d. Dimitrov) and the MercedesCup (d Raonic).Buy Your London 2018 Tickets
Chung starts off proceedings on Center Court at 11 o’clock local time against American Jack Sock, who is bidding to break a seven-match losing streak that dates back to 2 May at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia (d. Ferrer). The 22-year-old Chung has reached back-to-back Masters 1000 quarter-finals this year at the BNP Paribas Open (l. to Federer) and Miami Open presented by Itau (l. to Isner). He has a 20-9 on hard courts in 2018 (22-11 overall).
NextGenATP Greek Tsitsipas makes his Cincinnati debut against No. 11 seed David Goffin, who has gone 2-4 since reaching the Roland Garros fourth round (l. to Cecchinato). The 20-year-old Tsitsipas, who is currently 11th in the ATP Race To London with a 30-9 record on the season, beat four Top 10 players — Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Kevin Anderson — last week before falling to Rafael Nadal in the Toronto final.
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Two of the sport’s most exciting talents, Australia’s Nick Kyrgios and Canada’s Denis Shapovalov, are both due to play on Grandstand on Tuesday. Kyrgios, who reached his first Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati last year (l. to Dimitrov), plays American qualifier Denis Kudla, who is coming off a quarter-final at the Citi Open two weeks ago, while Shapovalov faces No. 14 seed Kyle Edmund for the sixth time in the past 18 months. Both of their meetings this year — at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp and the Mutua Madrid Open — both went to three sets.
Elsewhere, 2014 and 2016 semi-finalist Milos Raonic faces Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic in the first round and Andy Murray’s conqueror, 16th seed Lucas Pouille, meets Leonardo Mayer of Argentina.

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#NextGenATP Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas went on a magical run at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, beating four Top 10 opponents en route to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final. And if you ask 20-time ATP World Tour titlist Brad Gilbert, Tsitsipas is only on the way up.
“I thought before this week, if he could finish the year in the Top 20 [of the ATP Rankings], it would be a really good effort. Well all of a sudden now he’s 11th in the [ATP] Race To London, and I’m sure he’ll play quite a bit, so it’s not out of the question, especially if he could make a deep run at the US Open,” said Gilbert of Tsitsipas possibly qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals.”
“I put the over-under at 7.5 for 2019,” Gilbert said of where he expects the #NextGenATP star's ranking to be. “It’ll be interesting." 
Tsitsipas has yet to win an ATP World Tour title, falling short in his second championship match on Sunday in Toronto. But Gilbert wouldn’t be surprised if the 20-year-old is victorious at Masters 1000 events in the future.
“Why not? He’s elevated himself to No. 2 for me right now in the 22 and unders. He beat four Top 10 players in a row. I know that [Alexander] Zverev let that one get away when he was dominating him at 6-3, 5-2 [in the quarter-finals],” Gilbert said. “But I was incredibly impressed with the [Novak] Djokovic match, when he didn’t drop serve against Djokovic. Djokovic hadn’t had any matches this year before that when he didn’t break serve.”
So how has Tsitsipas positioned himself as one of the hottest players in the sport? Gilbert examines Tsitsipas' strokes and intangibles:ForehandSo many guys have great inside-out forehands. It’s a tough shot to control when you go well outside the doubles alley and then try to bring it inside the court. But that’s the shot he beat Zverev with and he has an incredibly versatile forehand. He can go inside-out, inside-in, he hits a really good approach. There’s a lot to build on with his forehand. And I think as he gets stronger, that shot’s only going to get bigger. His ability when he hits inside-in [is also important] because most guys go inside-out. When he hits it you’re not expecting it and that’s only going to make his inside-out better. So I think the forehand is off the charts.
Juan Martin del Potro hits it harder and flatter and he also hits it better on the run. One thing Tsitsipas can improve a lot is when you make him hit it in a stationary position, he doesn’t absorb pace that well. Delpo absorbs pace really well with his forehand. If you leave anything short to him, it’s good night, Irene. He could have every bit as good of a forehand if not better, but at this point I can’t see his forehand as better than Delpo’s.
One thing that impressed me was how well on the run he could scramble. He'd hit little squash shots back, flick shots below the net and his ability on big points to play the inside-in or take a forehand and come in is impressive. He’s got a lot of confidence on that shot, which is a great sign for someone his age. Maybe he has the best forehand in the game in a few years.
Backhand
I think as he gets stronger, he’ll be able to handle the high ball more. His swing looks so familiar, like a combination of [Grigor] Dimitrov and [Roger] Federer. A lot of his shots look like a combination of those two players’ shots. Very visual on the serve, forehand and backhand, but especially on the serve and the backhand.
I want to see once in my lifetime, all the two-handers learn to play with one. I want to see one of these one-handers learn to hit a two-handed backhand return. I think that’s something that’s a possibility. But I do think that’s one shot he could improve a lot. Federer has by far the best backhand return of any of the single-handers because he has a great block return that’s almost like a backhand volley. I think that Tsitsipas can add that to his game. I think that’s the most important return for a one-hander, because you can’t blunt the power and take a full swing at it like two-handed players can.
Volleys He keeps the racquet in front of him and he has nice, good technique. He has a good understanding of how to finish points at the net. He knows how to run through floaters, and he has good instincts at the net. For his age of 20, that’s a good sign and I think he’ll only get better.
I remember watching Rafa [Nadal] win in 2005 in Canada on a fast court, and he was 19 when he beat Andre [Agassi]. The first thing that struck you besides the physicality, besides his forehand, was ‘Man, he knows how to finish points at the net’. Saying that about Rafa at a young age, that was a good sign. So the fact that Tsitsipas knows what he’s doing at the net and knows how to finish points, that’s something to really build on. You don’t see that often from young players. He’s got great feet and soft hands. That’s a lot to build on.
ServeThere’s no doubt that his second serve could improve and I’m sure it will. That’s why I think he has a lot of upside in his game to grow. I think that shot could dramatically improve and I think it will. To be a Top 2 player in the world and win Grand Slams and win a bunch of [Masters] 1000s, you have to hit that big and be more aggressive with it. I think that he has a lot of room to grow his game, which is a great thing.
I’d have to go to the practice court, but I think more than anything his toss goes a bit left, it gets a little bit spinny and it gets a little short and then the MPHs get a little bit low. Amazingly, he was winning a high percentage of second-serve points the entire tournament.
He can learn from another shot that I always talk about with Federer. A reason why he has 20 Grand Slams, he has an amazing second serve. He has a huge second serve. Pete Sampras had a beautiful serve. At Tsitsipas’ size, if you have a fearless second serve, that’s one of the greatest shots to have. It can help the potential of your game grow to a whole other level. If he could hit his second serve 105 to 110 miles per hour, and he can move it around, then things are going to happen for him.
Movement and IntangiblesHe moves outstanding. Looking at him, more than anything, he’s 6’4”, I think he can get stronger, I think he’s closer to 6’5”, I think he moves great and I think he could dramatically improve his second serve and his first serve. I think he has a lot of upside. I think his biggest goals between 20 and 22 is to just keep getting better. I think he could improve his serve and his defensive capabilities are off the charts. I think that he’s way ahead of the curve for his age is because he volleys really well.
I thought [his resilience] was off the charts last week. But I need to watch him more than a one-week sample size to say what he’s going to be in a year or two from now, playing majors and in best-of-five sets. It was a great sample size this week. The most impressive part of his tournament was after he lost that second set to Djokovic, he kept himself together unbelievably and didn’t drop his serve the whole match. I thought that was by far the most impressive thing from the tournament for me.