From Andy Roddick's triumph in 2010 to Roger Federer's in 2019, it's been a memorable decade at the Miami Open presented by Itau. Sit back and enjoy championship match highlights from the past 10 years at this ATP Masters 1000 tournament:
Over the past decade, Novak Djokovic led the way with five Miami trophies in a six-year span (2011-12, '14-16), defeating Rafael Nadal (twice), Andy Murray (twice) and Kei Nishikori in the title matches. He called the 2011 final, where he prevailed against Nadal over three hours and 21 minutes, "one of the best finals I ever played in in my life".
Murray also came out on top in a memorable final, saving championship point to deny Spaniard David Ferrer in 2013. Meanwhile, Federer and Nadal continued their rivalry as they clashed for the 2017 title — exactly 12 years removed from their first-ever meeting in a final. Federer, at the age of 37, celebrated another triumph in 2019 at the tournament's first edition at Hard Rock Stadium.[TTV FEDAL]
In between Federer's titles, 32-year-old American John Isner became the oldest first-time ATP Masters 1000 champion when he fought past Alexander Zverev. "To win like that in front of a crowd like that, with that atmosphere, you can't replicate moments like that," said Isner. "It was absolutely amazing."
Year Winner Runner-up Score 2010 Andy Roddick Tomas Berdych 7-5, 6-4 2011 Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) 2012 Novak Djokovic Andy Murray 6-1, 7-6(4) 2013 Andy Murray David Ferrer 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(1) 2014 Novak Djokovic Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-3 2015 Novak Djokovic Andy Murray 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-0 2016 Novak Djokovic Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3 2017 Roger Federer Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 2018 John Isner Alexander Zverev 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4 2019 Roger Federer John Isner 6-1, 6-4
Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, the 2020 Miami Open presented by Itau did not proceed as scheduled.
We return serve the most to Position C, but win the least. We return serve the least to Position A, but win the most.
When Dominic Thiem upset Novak Djokovic 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(5) at the 2019 Nitto ATP Finals, Thiem peppered Position C with 26 returns, winning 58 per cent (15). This better-than-average performance returning to this specific location was a key component of his stunning victory.
Thiem reached the final in London, losing 6-7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4) to Stefanos Tsitsipas. The Greek returned seven times out wide in the Deuce court to Position A, winning five (71%). It was the only location to which he had a winning percentage.
Where to target your return of serve is a dilemma that returners at all levels of the game wrestle with as they battle risk and reward of returning to forehands or backhands, and middle or wide. An Infosys ATP Beyond The Numbers analysis of four specific return locations - A. B, C, D - identifies hot spots in the following three areas:
•Which location attracts the most returns;
•Where the returner wins the most points;
•Where the server commits the most Serve +1 errors.
The analysis is a snapshot of 1003 returns in play from 10 recent ATP matches (see chart at bottom of story). The data set included only right-handed players for continuity.
1. Most Returns Go To Position C
More than one-third of all returns were directed back down the middle of the court to the server’s backhand wing to Position C. Forty per cent (397/1003) were hit to Position C, with the main goal of avoiding the server’s more powerful forehand wing, while also not getting too close to the doubles sideline in Position D. Overall, 67 per cent (672/1003) were hit to the Ad court, trying to make the server hit a backhand shot as their Serve +1 groundstroke.
Percentage Of Returns Hit To:
•Position C = 40% (397)
•Position D = 27% (275)
•Position B = 24% (237)
•Position A = 9% (94)
This strategy weighed heavily in Thiem’s three-set victory over Djokovic at the Nitto ATP Finals in the round-robin stage. Overall, 46.4 per cent (71/153) of returns for the match went to Position C, which was the most from any match in the data set. Thiem won an impressive 57.7 per cent (15/26) of return points he hit to Position C, while Djokovic only won 28.9 per cent (13/45). Djokovic’s hot spot was returning to Position D, where he won 80 per cent (20/25).
2.Returner Wins More In Position A
Position A has very specific roles in a rally. It’s not a place to rally to; that honor goes to Position C. But it is a place to finish. Overall, most forehand and backhand winners are directed to Position A. It’s a location to go for the “knock-out” punch after rallying to Positions C and D earlier in the rally.
Percentage Of Return Points Won When Return Hit To:
•Position A = 62% (58/94)
•Position D = 48% (132/275)
•Position B = 47% (112/237)
•Position C = 43% (171/397)
When Jan-Lennard Struff upset Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(2), 7-5 in Dubai earlier this year, he won 86 per cent (6/7) when he made a return to Position A.
3. Most Serve +1 Errors Are In Position B
The first thing to recognise is that the backswing on forehands is significantly bigger than the backswing on backhands. It takes more time to complete and get organised. Most Serve +1 errors occur in Position B, because the forehand backswing can be pressured by time. Both Positions A and B have a significantly higher percentage of Serve +1 errors than Positions C and D.
Most Serve +1 Errors
•Position B = 15.2% (36/237)
•Position A = 14.9% (14/94)
•Position C = 11.6% (46/397)
•Position D = 10.2% (28/275)
The most Serve +1 errors in B in the data set was seven between Kyle Edmund and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Acapulco earlier this year, with Edmund committing five and Auger-Aliassime committing two.
Want to play it safe? Return to Position C. Want to force a Serve +1 error? Return to Position B. Feeling aggressive? Aim at Position A. Want to mix in a surprise to keep the server off balance? You still have Position D for that as well.
10 Matches In The Data Set (1003 Returns)
Struff d. Bautista Agut 7-6(2), 7-5
Tsitsipas d. Struff 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Edmund d. Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4
Monfils d. Auger-Aliassime 6-2, 6-4
Tsitsipas d. Thiem 7(6), 6-2, 7-6(4)
Thiem d. Djokovic 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(5)
Federer d. Djokovic 6-4, 6-3
Djokovic d. Dimitrov 7-6(5), 6-4
Dimitrov d. Garin 6-2, 7-5
Medvedev d. Zverev 6-4, 6-1
Former World No. 4 Nicolas Kiefer has found a unique way to help during the coronavirus pandemic, as the company that produces his clothing label pivots to producing masks.
Kiefer has been working with Holger Gartz, a textile producer and refiner, whose company is based in Kassel, Germany. That company produces Kiefer’s own clothing label, NK #kiwifash — based on Kiefer’s nickname — which typically makes casual and tennis clothing.
But when the coronavirus began spreading, Gartz approached Kiefer and said they had to find a way to help. Gartz had the idea of producing reusable masks, an idea Kiefer fully put his support behind. Those masks are now being sold, online only, mainly in Germany, but also throughout Europe.
“I was immediately enthusiastic and told him that we can also distribute these masks through my channels to reach more people,” Kiefer told ATPTour.com. “That’s running pretty good and it’s nice to see what support we’re getting from the people, and they’re happy we’re producing them in Germany.”
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Kiefer says that there are too few masks on the market, which is why they are pushing to make these available. The reusable masks are made by hand, are washable, and can be personalised with a name.
“I couldn’t imagine something like this would happen. It’s pretty sad that the virus came and is doing so, but on the other hand it’s great to support and help the people,” Kiefer said. “Holger’s company could produce 300 to 500 masks a day. He’s looking for more and more people who could sew. It’s pretty important and pretty serious.”
Kiefer first met Gartz at a golf tournament "many, many years ago". The six-time ATP Tour champion and 2004 Olympic doubles silver medallist told Gartz about his dream to have his own fashion line and label, and they went from there, launching NK #kiwifash in October 2018.
Kiefer’s golf collection was supposed to come out last week, but he is more than happy to put that on hold to help to promote the distribution of masks. Municipalities and social services are being prioritised, but Europeans can purchase the mask through Kiefer’s online shop.
Kiefer says one thing this shift in direction is allowing for is more work for Germans, as the more people there are to sew, the quicker masks can be made.
“Because of this virus, [people in Germany] are only allowed to work part-time. The companies don’t make so much profit anymore, so they can’t afford it, and the people can’t have full-time [jobs],” Kiefer said. “They had to cut people, but in this situation he gets people from part-time work to full-time jobs. This is outstanding, I think.”
In ordinary circumstances, Kiefer is a coach at SCC Berlin, one of the biggest clubs in Germany, where he works with the junior program and plays on the men’s over-40 team, which won the German championships last year. He was supposed to be in Thailand now in his role as brand ambassador for the Robinson Club. Kiefer was scheduled to be in Turkey in a few weeks, but all the clubs have closed.
“I am particularly sorry for the children,” Kiefer said. “They are hungry [to play] and have a lot of fun and enjoy their time on court.”
Kiefer is trying to stay in shape at home using freeletics, as he was working towards participating in the “Big Six” marathons in Tokyo, Boston, London, New York and Chicago. He has already completed the Berlin marathon.
“What is really important is to stay disciplined. Especially in this time, sometimes you get lazy and it goes day by day. You need to have the discipline to wake up in the morning and have a program for the day, otherwise it’s going to go the wrong way,” Kiefer said. “Doing nothing and eating, not moving, so what is very important right now is to do any kind of sport exercises. You have to move your body.”
Kiefer is looking forward to a time when people can go outside, but for now his message is to focus on remaining healthy and listening to the government.
“They should try to stay home. If they go out, use a mask, stay healthy and try to be positive and look forward. We have to accept the situation how it is right now. It’s a big challenge, but also a big chance for the whole world. It’s a big challenge for the economy,” Kiefer said. “We have to slow down. This grounding can be good, if there can be anything good in the current situation. It’s good to reflect on everything a little bit and that we are healthy. We have to see the positive things right now.”
Your favourite players are all back at home, but they're finding plenty of ways to keep busy. From Novak Djokovic stepping up for Rafael's Nadal fundraising campaign for COVID-19 relief efforts, to Stefanos Tsitsipas brushing up on his cooking skills, find out how the biggest names in tennis are spending their days.
Djokovic is the latest player to join Nadal's #NeustraMejorVictoria campaign with six-time NBA All-Star Pau Gasol. The initiaive, which forms part of the #CruzRojaResponde (Red Cross Responds) project, aims to raise €11 million and help citizens in need during this health emergency
Tsitsipas has been working on a perfect skill for staying at home.
Master Stef 🧑🏼🍳 pic.twitter.com/h3BQlIOvw3— Stefanos Tsitsipas (@StefTsitsipas) April 2, 2020
Karen Khachanov has been experiencing weather extremes in Moscow.
Spring in Moscow ☀️❄️ pic.twitter.com/h2wfv9GSdv— Karen Khachanov (@karenkhachanov) March 30, 2020
Stan Wawrinka sent a message of encouragement to his fans
Tennys Sandgren appears to be influenced by the Netflix series Tiger King.
Maybe it’s time to try and fill the unfillable void with a tiger— Tennys Sandgren (@TennysSandgren) March 29, 2020
Vasek Pospisil is the latest player to join the fun on TikTok.
Officially succumbed to the social pressures of isolation and joined TikTok. Give me a follow. Videos coming soon 😂 username: “vasek.pospisil”— Vasek Pospisil (@VasekPospisil) April 1, 2020
Robert Farah has been spending plenty of time with his dogs.
Durante este tiempo de cuarentena juego, disfruto y aprendo de Taco y Roma. Es una excelente manera de ocupar mi mente! Tomen este tiempo para enseñarles trucos y jugar con sus mascotas. Taco se está volviendo un crack con el frisbee! #EquipoColsanitas #QuedateEnCasa pic.twitter.com/8alUADhvxV— Robert farah (@RobertFarah_) April 3, 2020
Edouard Roger-Vasselin is finding ways to keep up his volleying skills.
Brayden Schnur took time to thank medical professionals and other essential workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
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Rafael Nadal is finding creative ways for a competitive outlet while staying at home. The Spaniard and his sister, Maria Bel, shared their backyard tennis skills in a social media post on Saturday and proved that just about anything can work as a net.
The rallies featured several volley exchanges and even a tweener from the World No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. They were both in a generous mood and still kept one of the points going after he used his hand to block a backhand from Maria Bel.
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Nadal has been spending plenty of time working on the #NuestraMejorVictoria campaign he launched last month with six-time NBA All-Star Pau Gasol. The initiative, which forms part of the #CruzRojaResponde (Red Cross Responds) project, aims to raise €11 million and help citizens in need during the COVID-19 health crisis.
Novak Djokovic, Roberto Bautista Agut, Feliciano Lopez and David Ferrer are among the ATP Tour players to donate to the campaign. WTA players Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro have also contributed.
Growing up, Casper Ruud said ‘no’ to temptation and ‘yes’ to national history.
The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals qualifier earlier this year won the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires to become the first Norwegian to earn an ATP Tour title. He also ascended to No. 34 in the FedEx ATP Rankings in February, the highest standing of anyone in his country’s history. But Ruud’s journey has not come without sacrifices.
“When you turn 15, 16, your friends maybe start to party a little bit and you’re maybe tempted to try to go once or twice, but I never did it. I never touched alcohol. Those are choices normal people may think are a bit tough or hard to say no to going out or being with friends,” Ruud told ATP Uncovered presented by Peugeot. “Every weekend in Norway, it’s usual to go to your cabin or summer house or whatever the season is, but every weekend me and my father went out to the courts and played at least six, seven hours. I think those were the kind of choices that made me a step ahead of my competitors, in Norway at least, for some years.”
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It helped that Ruud had a role model to look up to in his father, Christian Ruud, who reached the second-highest FedEx ATP Ranking of any Norwegian in history: World No. 39.
“He was the guy who put Norway on the tennis map a little bit… we had a small tennis court in our garden, so he took me there to play ever since I could walk,” Ruud recalled. “I was really young and I did a bunch of other sports as well, but eventually tennis was the one I enjoyed the most. When I was 12, I put all the other sports aside and focussed only on my tennis.”
Although the elder Ruud enjoyed success on the ATP Tour, he knew that didn't guarantee the same for his son, and he made sure Casper maintained his focus.
“My father is a very nice and funny guy, but also strict whenever we’re on court, and strict with me always trying to do the right choices and being serious, even from a young age,” Ruud said. “I think it’s paying off a little bit now at least. I’ve taken a lot of choices and decisions that weren’t always as easy, but I had to do it because of my career.
“It was tough sometimes to get up on Saturday and Sunday and train for three, four hours… my father also guided me and advised me to do it, I believed in him, and it’s been paying off, and of course I’m very grateful now.”
Ruud’s home base since September 2018 has been the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar, so it’s fitting that the 21-year-old looks up to the Spaniard and how he carries himself on court.
“I think that I would be happy if people called me humble, a good fighter,” Ruud said. “I look up to Rafa a lot and people know him as very humble and a good fighter. Of course I’m not trying to be just like him, but I’m looking at the stuff that I like with Rafa, I’m looking at the stuff that I like with Federer or Djokovic and of course I’m trying to bring that into my own game.”
Ruud cracked the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time last March, and now he has put himself in strong position inside the Top 50. But he is focussed on continuing to improve, and not looking back.
“It’s the tough thing about tennis: You can be really happy one day, but then the day after is a new match, a new opportunity. You can either lose or win. If you lose, you’ll be disappointed. If you win, you’ll be even more happy,” Ruud said. “[There’s] not too much time to celebrate or take off, either."
Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi is making sure that Pakistan’s daily workers are not forgotten. Through his foundation Stop War Start Tennis, Qureshi has committed to financially supporting ration bags for 1,000 families that have been unable to work and earn their daily sustenance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Each ration bag consists of flour, rice, oil, grains, tea, milk and soap, and can feed a family of five. One ration bag costs 3,500 rupees, or approximately $45. 3.5 million rupees have been raised for the cause, with Stop War Start Tennis contributing 1.5 million rupees to make sure those in need receive their groceries.
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“I am very thankful that I am able to raise awareness and donations to this most important cause,” Qureshi said. “I thank the ATP Tour for giving me a platform to voice these important efforts and the RIZQ Foundation for being the link between the needy and those that can afford to help in these difficult times.”
Qureshi has been going door to door to Lahore’s most needy citizens delivering the ration bags. Qureshi teamed up with Pakistan’s RIZQ Foundation a, “people-powered movement united to end hunger”. Qureshi has provided updates on social media, saying that 500 ration bags have already been delivered.
“Our doctors, nurses, medical staff, army, rangers, security forces, police, media [are] working as a frontline to fight against the coronavirus pandemic and trying to keep us all safe from this virus,” Qureshi wrote on Instagram. “We as a nation all have to work together as a backline to help the needy, poor, daily wagers, and make sure nobody goes hungry during these tough times.”
Kindly donate Rs.1000 @shizahassanofficial will match every donation and #stopwarstarttennis will add Rs.1500 to this noble cause.— Aisam ul Haq Qureshi (@aisamhqureshi) March 24, 2020
Please make your donations at:
FAYSAL BANK LIMITED, LAHORE, PAKISTAN
Swift Code: FAYSPKKA
Acct no.: 0457150900225401
Acct: STOP WAR START TENNIS
Qureshi's Stop War Start Tennis has received multiple ATP ACES For Charity grants, and twice he has been honoured as Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year, sharing the recognition with Amir Hadad in 2002 and Rohan Bopanna in 2010.
- Reporting contributed by Robert Davis