Conchita Martinez Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame

Conchita Martinezhas earned her placed among tennis’ greats…

The 47-year-old Spanish former professional tennis player has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Conchita Martinez



The Class of 2020 was announced Tuesday at the Australian Open, where Martinez and fellow honoree Goran Ivanisevic are coaching players who reached the quarterfinals.

Martinez, a baseliner, was the first Spanish player to win the women’s singles title at Wimbledon, where she beat Martina Navratilovain the 1994 final. 

Martínez was also the singles runner-up at the 1998 Australian Open and the 2000 French Open. She reached a highest world ranking of No. 2 in October 1995 and finished the season in the Top 10 for nine years. Martínez won 33 singles and 13 doubles titles during her 18-year career, as well as three Olympic medals.

The induction ceremony will be July 18 in Newport, Rhode Island, where the Hall is located.

Ivanisevic helps coach Novak Djokovic, while Martinez works with Garbine Muguruza.

Rafael Nadal Pledges AUD $250,000 for Australia Bushfire Relief Efforts During Rally for Relief

Rafael Nadal is swinging for a cause…

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star was among some of tennis’ biggest names gathered in Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday to raise funds for Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis.

Rafael Nadal Rally for Relief

Raising nearly 5 million Australian dollars ($3.5 million), Nadal, Serena WilliamsNovak DjokovicRoger FedererCaroline Wozniacki and a number of up-and-coming stars at the Rally for Relief gave the capacity crowd of more than 15,000 fans the opportunity to see the lighter side of the competitive sport.

Nadal and the gang volunteered their time for the cause. On several occasions, volunteer fire personnel took to the court to play against the tennis stars.

Australian’s Nick Kyrgiosplayed a role in kick-starting the wave of relief. His Twitterpledge of $200 per ace throughout the Australian summer inspired colleagues into action, prompting Tennis Australiato announce the Rally for Relief evening.

During the event, Federerand Nadal announced they’d contribute 250,000 Australian dollars to the cause.

Kyrgios said he “got goose bumps” when the figure was announced after his one-set match with Federer on the night.

“It’s been an emotional couple of weeks. I just wanted to send a message. … I was eating dinner and wrote a tweet … and it kind of exploded,” he said on court after the event. “When I was back home in Canberra, I couldn’t even go outside [due to the smoke].”

Federer said he and other players were only too happy to help out a nation in which he spends nearly one month of the year.

“It’s been hard to watch,” Federer said. “As you get it through the news, you don’t know how bad it is, but then you get here and speak to the people affected, it’s difficult. I’m always happy to help and lend my money and do my fair share.”

Rafael Nadal Outlasts Stefanos Tsitsipas to Win Record Fifth Title at Mubadala World Tennis Championship

Rafael Nadal is ending the year with a bang…

The 33-year-Spanish tennis star and current World No. 1 capped off 2019 by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in a marathon final at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Rafael Nadal

In the process, Nadal became the first player to win the championship five times as he overcame Tsitsipas 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 7-6 (7-3) in a dramatic final.

Having beat Novak Djokovicon Friday, ATP Finalschampion Tsitsipas looked well on his way to capping off a brilliant 2019 with a maiden triumph in the exhibition event in Abu Dhabi when he came from a break down to win the first set.

But it was Nadal who rallied to claim the title on a tie-break at the culmination of a thrilling encounter which lasted over three hours.

Nadal saved two break points in each of his first two service games and another three to thwart the Greek and level at 3-3.

It was Nadal who claimed the elusive first break to go 5-4 up, but he failed to serve out the set, making a string of errors as Tsitsipas got back on serve.

The momentum was with the world number six, who charged into a 5-2 lead in the tie-break and took the set when Nadal netted a forehand, having been disgruntled when he was forced to replay a point he had on his racket when Tsitsipas challenged.

Nadal started the second set with a hold to love and the two served up high-quality rallies, but break-point opportunities were not forthcoming until Tsitsipas had two chances to go 5-4 up.

A battling Nadal stood firm with a defiant hold, before capitalising on his first break point to level proceedings.

Tsitsipas passed up another two chances to break at the start of the decider and Nadal made him pay, breaking to go 4-2 up, only for the youngster to immediately break back.

Yet Tsitsipas’ efforts ultimately proved fruitless, with Nadal, who took a 4-1 lead in the tie-break before losing successive points, holding his nerve to secure victory on his first match point.

Rafael Nadal’s ATP Cup Mural Unveiled in Perth

Rafael Nadal’s face has found a special home Down Under

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, is one of the players being honored with a special mural in Perth, Australia.

Rafael Nadal Mural

The inaugural ATP Cupis set to take place between January 3-12 in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, bringing together some of the world’s leading players in both singles and doubles from 24 countries. 

Weeks before the start of the action, Nodal got his mural in Perth together with Kei Nishikori and other stars, with the organizers welcoming the 19-time Grand Slam champion.

Nadal is among those who’ll fight for the crown together with his teammates, fresh after conquering the first edition of the Davis Cup Finalsin Madrid.

Spain is the favorite to reach the quarters from Group B, battling against Japan, Uruguay and Georgia at RAC Arena in Perth and hoping to continue the competition in Sydney where eight strongest teams continue the quest for the title in the second stage of the event.

Backed by Roberto Bautista AugtPablo Carreno BustaAlbert Ramos-Vinolas and Feliciano Lopez, Nadal is eager to lead Spain towards another team competition crown, shining in front of the home fans in Madrid with eight victories from as many rubbers and delivering the sixth Davis Cup title for Spain.

In what was a wild race towards the finish line, Nadal and Djokovic fought for the year-end no. 1 spot for almost the entire season, with the Spaniard making the deciding move in Montreal and the US Open and keeping the lead in the ATP Raceuntil the ATP Finalswhere they both lost in the round-robin stage.

Rafa and Novak will continue their rivalry at the ATP Cup, joined by Gael MonfilsKei NishikoriDavid GoffinAndy Murray, Grigor DimitrovAlexander ZverevDenis ShapovalovFelix Auger-AliassimeNick KyrgiosAlex de MinaurDaniil MedvedevKaren KhachanovJohn IsnerMatteo BerrettiniFabio FogniniDominic Thiem, Diego Schwartzmanand others.

Rafael Nadal to Compete at the ATP Cup in January

Rafael Nadalwill be spending the New Year Down Under

The ATP says all top 10 ranked players, including the 33-year-old Spanish tennis star and recent US Open championNovak Djokovic and Roger Federer, have committed to play in the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia in January.

Rafael Nadal

The organization said the top 18 ranked countries and Australia, as the host-country wild card, will be among the qualifiers for the tournament to be held in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney from January 3-12. Serbia leads the current rankings, with Spain second, Switzerland third and Russia fourth.

The ATP said the top two players for each country have committed to play, subject to change based on the ATP Rankings at the second entry deadline on November 13, when remaining team members — up to an additional three players — will qualify.

Five additional countries also will qualify to compete at the 24-country tournament based on the ranking of their No. 1 singles player.

Countries will be drawn into one of six groups Monday when the official draw is held at the Sydney Opera House.

The group stages of the ATP Cup will be hosted in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney over six days. Eight countries will then play at the ATP Cup Final Eightin Sydney that will feature quarterfinals over two days, semifinals and a final. Each match will be two singles and one doubles.

Rafael Nadal Outlasts Daniil Medvedev to Win U.S. Open & Claim 19th Grand Slam Title

Rafael Nadalis back in the winner’s circle at the US Open

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star survived a late surge from Daniil Medvedev to win the men’s title at Flushing Meadows and earn his 19th Grand Slam trophy.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal’s latest Grand Slam went from inevitable to suddenly in doubt in a thrill-a-minute final.

What had all the makings of a crowning morphed into a real contest Sunday thanks to Medvedev, a man a decade younger and appearing in his first major title match. Down by two sets and a break, Medvedev shifted styles, upped his level against a rattled Nadal — and even received an unexpected boost from Arthur Ashe Stadium spectators.

Truly tested for the only time in the tournament, the No. 2-seeded Nadal managed to stop Medvedev’s surge and hold off his historic comeback bid, pulling out a 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4 victory in 4 hours, 50 minutes of highlight-worthy action and Broadway-worthy drama to collect his fourth championship at Flushing Meadows.

“An amazing final. Seems that I had, more or less, the match under control,” said Nadal, who covered his face with his hands while crying when arena video boards showed clips from each of his Slam triumphs. “One of the most emotional nights of my tennis career.”

Now at 19 majors — a total Medvedev called “outrageous” — Nadal is merely one away from rival Roger Federer‘s record for a man.

Add the Spaniard’s haul in New York to his 12 titles at the French Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open, and the 20-19 gap between Federer and Nadal is the closest it’s been in 15 years. Federer led 1-0 after his breakthrough triumph at the All England Clubin 2004, and he had four by the time Nadal got his first, at Roland Garrosin 2005.

Federer, who lost in the quarterfinals at the US Open, is 38, while Nadal is 33 — making him the oldest male champion at Flushing Meadows since 1970. He’s also the first man to win five majors after turning 30.

Nadal says he wants to finish his career at No. 1 in the Grand Slam standings — ahead of Federer and Novak Djokovic, in third place currently with 16 — but also insists he won’t base his happiness on how it all shakes out in the end.

This particular match ended the way he wanted it to. The journey just took more detours 

Rafael Nadal Claims 5th Rogers Cup Title

Rafael Nadal’s Cup runneth over…

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star claimed his fifth Rogers Cup title after beating Russia’s Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 6-0 on in just 70 minutes Sunday at breezy IGA Stadium.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal won the event for the third time in Montreal. The first came in 2005 at age 19 over Andre Agassi, and the second in 2013. Nadal won in Toronto in 2008 and 2018.

“I played a solid match, my best match of the week so far without a doubt,” Nadal said. “I did a lot of things well — changing directions, changing rhythms.”

The second-rankedtenistawon his 83rd singles title and third of the year, following clay victories in Rome and at the French Open. He extended his tour record for Masters 1000titles to 35, two more than top-ranked Novak Djokovic.

“He was playing very well during the whole week. So for me, it was important in the beginning that he doesn’t take advantage, because finals are always a little bit more difficult for everyone,” Nadal said. “I’ve played a lot of these. I know beginnings can be tricky, especially against a great player like him, but especially when a player like him is playing with a lot of confidence like he was playing during the whole week.”

Medvedev, from Russia, was seeded eighth. The match was his first against Nadal.

“I knew how it’s going to be,” Medvedev said. “I was kind of ready for it. Then didn’t manage to probably show my best tennis, but at the same time, Rafa was incredible today. I need to see the match on the TV to say for sure, but congrats to him. I need to do better next time.”

Nadal had a walkover in the semifinals Saturday when Gael Monfilswithdrew because of an ankle injury.

Rafael Nadal Joins the ATP Player Council

Rafael Nadal is heading to the board room…

The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star is joining Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on the ATP Player Council, bringing the Big Three together to reshape a board that has been roiled by conflict.

Rafael Nadal

The governing body of men’s tennis announced Thursday that Federer and Nadal were elected along with doubles specialist Jurgen Melzer. They will fill spots vacated after Robin HaaseJamie Murray and Sergiy Stakhovsky resigned from the board before Wimbledon.

Djokovic addressed his frustration with the player council in pre-tournament comments at Wimbledon. He said the ATP‘s governance structure prevented players from making “significant changes.” Stan Wawrinka has also criticized the ATP’s leadership, saying in a published letter that it was plagued by “political chaos” and “numerous conflicts of interest.”

The power struggle on the council included its decision in March not to renew the contract of ATP CEO Chris Kermode, who has clashed with Djokovic. Board member Justin Gimelstob resigned after he was sentenced to probation in April for attacking a former friend in Los Angeles.

Former ATP executive Weller Evansfilled Gimelstob’s seat. The position of coaches’ representative on the council remains open.

Roberto Bautista Agut Defeats Guido Pella at Wimbledon to Earn a Spot in His First Grand Slam Semifinal

It’s a special first for Roberto Bautista Agut… 

The 31-year-old Spanish tennis player recovered from a third-set lapse at Wimbledon on Wednesday to book a place in his first Grand Slam championship semifinal.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Bautista Agut, the No. 23 seed, lost his first set, but won 7-5, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 over Guido Pella, the No. 26 seed, in three hours and eight minutes on No. 1 Courtat the All England Club.

“I think I played a great tournament,” said Bautista Agut. “I was playing very good in the first week of the tournament. And today, it was a very difficult match. Guido Pella is a good opponent, has won really good matches this week [and] he was really tough to beat… I’m very happy.”

Bautista Agut is the sixth Spanish man to reach the semifinals at The Championships, following in the footsteps of Manuel Alonso-Areyzaga (1921), Manuel Santana (1963, 1966), Andres Gimeno (1970), Manuel Orantes (1972) and Rafael Nadal (2006-08, 2010-11, 2018).

Bautista Agut will now prepare to meet ATPWorld No. 1 and four-time champion Novak Djokovic on Friday for a place in the Wimbledon final. 

By improving to a 28-11 match record in 2019 with a place in the Wimbledon semi-finals, Bautista Agut moves up to seventh position in the ATP Race To London for one of eight spots at the prestigious ATP Finals, to be held at The O2in London from 10-17 November. 

Roberto Bautista Agut Defeats Novak Djokovic to Reach Miami Open Quarterfinals

Roberto Bautista Agut has pulled off a major upset…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis player outlasted World No. 1 Novak Djokovic1-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Miami Open.

Roberto Bautista Agut

“I played more aggressive. I tried to miss fewer balls, to be really concentrated on the beginning of the point with my serve, with my return. At the end, it worked well,” Bautista Agut said.

Djokovic held for 5-5 in the second set following a rain delay that lasted about 40 minutes and earned a break point in the next game, which if converted would’ve allowed him to serve for a straight-sets victory. But Bautista Aguthit a short slice that Djokovic missed into the net with his forehand. 

From there, Bautista Agut raised his level and aggression to triumph after two hours and 29 minutes.

“He’s a solid player. Congratulations to him definitely for a great comeback,” Djokovic said. “But this kind of match I should not have lost. So many opportunities. Just way too many wasted opportunities. This is what happens when you don’t capitalise on time.”

It’s Bautista Agut’s second three-sets victory against Djokovic this season, having also defeated Djokovic in Doha to start the year en route to lifting the trophy. 

“It helped me at the end of the match, no? I had confidence to play at a really high level at the end of the match, and I could close the match well with my serve,” Bautista Agut said.

He’ll next face defending champion John Isner, whom he hasn’t played since 2016, in the quarterfinals

Isner leads the ATP Head2Head series 2-1.