Verdasco Claims Kooyong Classic Title

Fernando Verdasco has earned his first title on 2015…

Alexandr Dolgopolov retired from the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne on Friday with a right knee injury, handing the 31-year-old Spanish tennis player the title at the exhibition tournament.

Fernando Verdasco

Dolgopolov lost the opening set 7-6 (3) before calling for medical staff because of the injury, then saying he couldn’t continue on with the match.

Dolgopolov said the injury felt the same as the one he sustained in July playing in Hamburg, Germany, which required surgery and 10 weeks off the ATP Tour.

“When I was warming up and playing the first set, it was fine, and the last few games I started feeling something strange in the knee and it started to get worse,” he said. “I’m not sure I’ll be playing in the Open because it feels quite the same like I did before the surgery. My physio is saying 99 percent (the) meniscus that I injured before.”

Nadal Survives Milos Raonic to Reach the Sony Open Semifinals

Despite a disappointing first set, Rafael Nadal is still in the running at the Sony Open in Miami.

The 27-year-old Spanish tennis star advanced to the semifinals on Thursday by hitting a flurry of forehand winners in the late stretch to beat Canada’s Milos Raonic 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Rafael Nadal

The No. 1-ranked player in the world, who is 0-3 in the Key Biscayne tournament finals, needs one more win to get there again.

His opponent Friday night will be No. 7-seeded Tomas Berdych, who advanced by beating No. 22 Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-4, 7-6 (3).

Nadal has beaten Berdych 16 times in a row over the past seven years.

“This tournament is a tournament where I really feel the love of the people so much,” Nadal said, “so I’m going to try my best to keep playing well.”

Three-time champion Novak Djokovic will play in the other semifinal Friday against No. 20-seeded Kei Nishikori, who eliminated Roger Federer on Wednesday.

Nadal Signs Brazilian Pact with Ronaldo’s Sports Marketing Agency

Rafael Nadal is joining forces with a soccer legend to make his (marketing) mark in Brazil.

The 27-year-old Spanish tennis star has hired Ronaldo‘s sports marketing agency, 9ine Sports and Entertainment, to manage his advertising contracts in Brazil.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal’s “non-exclusive” agreement was reached with Goramendi Siglo XXI, which handles the tennis player’s image rights worldwide, according to the agency.

“Nadal is a lot more than just a new partner, he’s an idol that all of us learned to admire for his talent on the courts and for the kind of person that he is,” said Ronaldo in a statement.

The No. 1-ranked tennis star joins Ronaldo’s list of other top sports personalities he manages in Brazil, including Neymar, Rubens Barrichello and Anderson Silva.

Ronaldo was at the Rio Open final last week to watch Nadal, who beat the Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov to win the title.

Ferrer Reaches Fifth Straight Quarterfinals at the Mexican Open

David Ferrer has extended his quarterfinals appearance streak at the Mexican Open.

The 31-year-old Spanish tenista, the tournament’s top seed, defeated his compatriot Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (1), 6-2 on Wednesday to advance to his fifth-straight quarterfinals at the Mexican tournament.

David Ferrer

Ferrer, trying to win his fourth title on Mexican soil, will next play South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, who eliminated American Sam Querrey,7-6 (2), 6-4.

Also Wednesday, Gilles Simon (6) of France beat Donald Young of the United States 6-4, 6-3, Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov downed Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4 and Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic defeated Dudi Sela of Israel 7-6 (4), 6-2.

Nadal Defeats Alexandr Dolgopolov to Win the Rio Open Title

Rafael Nadal is back in winning form…

The 27-year-old Spanish tennis star returned from a bothersome back injury to win the Rio Open in Brazil on Sunday, taking down the Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Rafael Nadal

Nadal’s victory comes four weeks after he lost in the final at the Australian Open to underdog Stanislas Wawrinka after hurting his back during the warm up.

Nadal, who had to fend off two match points in the semifinal against Pablo Andujar, looked more comfortable in the final and improved his record on clay to 298-21, the best in the Open Era.

Dolgopolov has lost all five matches he’s played against Nadal.

It’s the 62nd career title for Nadal, and he extends his record of ATP 500 titles to 15 with the win.

Ferrer Survives Tough Match to Reach Fourth Round at Wimbledon

It wasn’t easy, but David Ferrer has advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon…

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis player, who lost to Rafael Nadal at the French Open in his first Grand Slam final, rallied back to beat the Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-7 (6), 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 in an intense third round match on Saturday at the All England Club.

David Ferrer

In a back-and-forth match on Court 1, Ferrer needed treatment for blisters on his foot but still managed to outlast the 26th-seeded Dolgopolov and reach the last 16 for the fourth year in a row.

Ferrer, who reached the quarterfinals last year, will next face Croatia’s Ivan Dodig.

Ferrer Claims the Valencia Open Title

David Ferrer is getting quite used to holding up the winner’s trophy at the Valencia Open

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis star beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 in the finals on Sunday to claim his third title at the tournament.

David Ferrer

It was Ferrer’s sixth title of the season and 17th in his career.

“I am very happy to win in front of my fans and family,” said Ferrer, who dedicated the title to his doubles partner Juan Carlos Ferrero, the former world No. 1 player who retired after the event.

Ferrer, the tournament’s top seed, took advantage of Dolgopolov’s poor first serve to build a 3-1 lead in the first set. It was the first set the 21st-ranked Ukrainian had dropped in the entire tournament.

Dolgopolov won an early break en route to winning the second set.

Ferrer recovered from two break points down at 3-3 in the third set to hold after clipping the sideline with a passing shot. He made the decisive break to clinch the title when Dolgopolov hit the ball into the net.

“It was a hard match, he made it tough for me throughout,” said Ferrer, currently ranked No. 5 in the world. “He pushed me to the limit and it was a question of focusing on each point.”

Ferrer previously won the title at the Valencia Open in 2008 and 2010. And he lost in the finals in 2005 when the tournament was played on clay

Ferrero’s Singles Career Comes to a Close at the Valencia Open

Its game, set, match for Juan Carlos Ferrero’s singles career…

The 32-year-old Spanish tennis great’s individual career came to an end with a loss at the Valencia Open to fellow countryman and friend Nicolas Almagro.

Juan Carlos Ferrero

Ferrero—who announced his retirement from professional tennis earlier this year following the Valencia Open—lost in the first round of the Spanish hard-court event to Almagro by a final score of 7-5, 6-3 on Tuesday.

But it isn’t the end of an era just yet… Ferrero is still alive in the doubles draw after he and partner David Ferrer edged Carlos Berlocq and Alexandr Dolgopolov 3-6, 6-3, 10-7 on Wednesday to move into the quaterfinals.

There’s no denying Ferrero was one of the world’s best players from 2000 to 2003. But injuries began hindering his performance starting in 2004.

He enjoyed most of his success on clay, reaching the French Open semifinals four years in a row and eventually winning the title in 2003.

He also led Spain to its first-ever Davis Cup title in 2000, winning both of his singles matches in the final – played on clay in Barcelona – and clinching the victory with a four-set win over Lleyton Hewitt.

Ferrero, however, did have considerable success on the hard courts, reaching the 2003 U.S. Open final and losing to Hewitt in the final of the 2002 Tennis Masters Cup.

The Spanish tenista won 15 singles titles during his career and briefly held the No. 1 ranking in the fall of 2003.

Following his singles loss, Andy Murray, the world No. 3 and winner of this year’s U.S. Open, congratulated Ferrero on his “incredible career,” while Novak Djokovic, the Serbian world No. 2, said that Ferrero was a great player and that tennis “will definitely miss you.”

Current world No. 1 Roger Federer, who Ferrero described as the greatest player he had ever competed against, said he had known the Spaniard since they were juniors and that he was a “great player” and that the two had faced off in some “amazing matches” during their careers.

Federer, who recently became the first player to hold the No. 1 ranking for 300 weeks, first obtained the top spot after defeating Ferrero in the semifinals of the 2004 Australian Open.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal, who is still recovering from a knee injury that has kept him out of action for months, said being in Valencia for Ferrero’s final match was bittersweet.

“Saying good-bye to one of this country’s greatest players is tough,” said Nadal. “I’m thankful for all the moments we shared together.”