17.11.2019 - 23:00 Uhr
atptour.com
After squandering a championship point in last year’s Nitto ATP Finals, the pure joy on the faces of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut was palpable as they walked off centre court at The O2 as champions in London.Friends and family gathered in the locker room and waited for the Frenchmen to arrive. The vast entourage surpassed the numbers of champagne glasses available for everyone. When Herbert and Mahut entered, the group cheered in unison as the champions raised their fists in triumph.Mahut lept into the arms of his coach and Herbert kissed his fiancée, Julia. The champagne flowed freely as they gave toasts thanking their loved one for supporting them throughout the year, with each speech earning a rousing reception. Having suffered painful defeats in each of their past three appearances at The O2, they were eager to make the most of their celebration.“We’ve been through a lot of emotions on this court. The first three years were catastrophic,” said Herbert. “Last year, one point was missing. Now we’ve managed to win it, so it’s just amazing.”Prevailing at the season finale was particularly meaningful because it wasn’t a guarantee that the Frenchmen would be back. After winning the Australian Open in January (d. Kontinen/Peers) and becoming the eighth men’s doubles team to complete the career Grand Slam, Herbert shifted his focus to singles. They only teamed up five more times leading into the Rolex Paris Masters in October, posting a 4-5 record.But after Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies clinched their spot in the season-ending championships, Herbert and Mahut qualified in accordance to the Grand Slam rule. Buoyed by earning their fifth successive appearance at The O2, the Frenchman found their groove and took the title in Paris without dropping a set (d. Khachanov/Rublev). They matched that effort in London by winning another five matches without dropping a set, becoming the first team to achieve the feat since Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau in 2015.“It’s an amazing feeling. Last year was a little bit painful,” Mahut admitted. “The first goal was to qualify and the second goal was to go through to the end. We played an amazing week and the final was our best match.”It’s a privilege. We had a tough year, but we came back stronger, so it’s a nice way to finish the season.”Herbert vowed that their end-of-season reunion wasn’t a mere nostalgia moment. The Frenchmen will team up again next season and already have an eye on defending their title at The O2.“We’re going to play, for sure!” Herbert said. “We’re going to try to be as competitive as we were this week. That’s the goal.”
  

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Mahut, Nicolas

15.12.2019 - 18:46 Uhr
atptour.com

Federer’s 100 Titles & 1,200th Match WinRoger Federer became the second man in the Open Era to capture 100 singles title on 2 March with victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships final. “It’s been a long, wonderful journey… I have loved every minute,” Federer said on court after his victory. “It’s been tough, but the sacrifice has been very, very worthwhile and we’ll see how much more I’ve got left in the tank. Reaching 100 is an absolute dream come true for me.”Two months later, on 9 May, the Swiss superstar recorded his 1,200th match win over Gael Monfils in the Mutua Madrid Open third round and immediately set his sights on the 1,274 match wins record of American Jimmy Connors, who is also the all-time titles leader with 109 crowns.Federer added to his silverware haul in 2019 at the Miami Open presented by Itau (d. Isner) in March, the Grass Court Open Halle (d. Goffin) in June and the Swiss Indoors Basel (d. De Minaur) in October for 103 titles overall. He is also on 1,237 match wins – 37 victories behind Connors.50th Anniversary of Laver’s Second Grand SlamThe tennis world celebrated the 50th anniversary of Rod Laver’s second Grand Slam of the Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and US Open titles. The Australian, who won 18 of the 32 tournaments he entered in 1969, compiling a 106-16 match record, spoke exclusively to ATPTour.com on the eve of each major championship in 2019, reflecting on his memories of his historic run half a century ago. Laver first completed the calendar year Grand Slam as an amateur in 1962, following in the footsteps of Don Budge, who first achieved the feat in 1938.Exclusives: Laver Talks About His 1969 Grand SlamAustralian Open Feature: Wet Cabbage Leaves Keep Laver & Roche CoolRoland Garros Feature: 'It All Worked For Me Against Rosewall'Wimbledon Feature: 'I Never Looked At Draws, It Was In My Corner' US Open Feature: ‘Unless You Played Your Best Tennis You’d Get In Trouble'Fognini, Berrettini, Medvedev Make Top 10 BreakthroughsTwo Italians — Fabio Fognini and Matteo Berrettini — and a Russian, Daniil Medvedev, broke into the Top 10 of the ATP Rankings for the first time this year.Fognini, aged 32, became the third Italian in rankings history (since 1973) to crack the elite group (after Adriano Panatta and Corrado Barazzutti) on 10 June, and he was also the oldest first-time member in the Top 10 since 1973. Shortly prior to his debut at the Nitto ATP Finals, on 28 October, Berrettini entered the Top 10.“It is crazy, because we had to wait a lot,” said Berrettini. “Fabio won a crazy tournament [in Monte-Carlo], he was playing so good. He was looking for this achievement a bit longer than me. He [has had] a really great career. After winning an ATP Masters 1000 [title], the Top 10 is the next step, so I was happy for him and now I am super proud of myself.”On 15 July, Medvedev entered the fray, 12 months on from being ranked No. 61. “I am very proud to reach this step in my career,” said Medvedev. "Some years ago, I changed my life and really dedicated myself to this sport and the results have shown this. This is hopefully the first step of many more goals.”Cilic, Dimitrov, Melo Record Milestone Match WinsThirteen years after recording his first ATP Tour match win, Marin Cilic became one of 10 active players to hit the 500 match wins milestone after he beat Ivo Karlovic at the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow on 17 October. Just four days later, on 21 October, Grigor Dimitrov earned his 300th match win by defeating Damir Dzumhur at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. The Bulgarian’s first tour-level victory at Rotterdam in 2009 against Tomas Berdych.Former doubles World No. 1 Marcelo Melo became the 35th player to record 500 tour-level doubles wins when he partnered Lukasz Kubot to victory over Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the Citi Open first round in Washington, D.C. “It means a lot. It means I’ve been playing good for a long time,” said Melo, who did not know he was on the verge of the milestone before the match. “I’m very happy and the many people [who have been] with me all the way, for sure they’re going to be happy as well.”Herbert/Mahut Complete Career Grand SlamNicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Herbert became the eighth men's doubles team in the sport’s history to complete the career doubles Grand Slam of all four major championship crowns on 27 January to clinch their first Australian Open trophy. The Frenchmen defeated 2017 champions Henri Kontinen and John Peers to add to their 2015 US Open, 2016 Wimbledon and 2018 Roland Garros titles.“We knew when we won Roland Garros that it was the one missing, so for sure it added maybe a special motivation when entering this tournament,” said Herbert. “I think we wanted it, but we also wanted to be good on court in each match and we focused on the game, and that's why maybe today we could achieve what we achieved here at the Australian Open.”“Today, I didn't have it in mind, because I thought I was sure it would have been really difficult to play if I was just focused on just to win this tournament, because it was the one missing," said Mahut. "I was just focussed on the game, just focused on what I have to do on court to be good, because in front of us we had a really good team to beat.”Herbert and Mahut became the first team to complete the Career Grand Slam since Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan secured their set of major titles at Wimbledon in July 2006. Herbert and Mahut reunited later in 2019 to compile an 11-match winning streak, including titles at the Rolex Paris Masters (d. Khachanov/Rublev) and the Nitto ATP Finals (d. Klaasen/Venus).Mike Bryan Celebrates 500 Weeks As Doubles No. 1Mike Bryan, who returned for his 13th stint at No. 1 in the ATP Doubles Rankings on 16 July 2018, celebrated his 500th week in the top spot on 26 May at 41 years and 28 days. Mike was quick to praise his brother, Bob Bryan, who’d missed eight months of the 2018 season due to a hip injury, telling ATPTour.com, “It seems like yesterday that we won Roland Garros [in 2003] and reached No. 1.“It’s a dream to hit No. 1, but to be No. 1 for so long I owe it to this guy. We’ve been pushing each other and never really taken the foot off the gas as long as we’ve been playing. We’ve always reached for more and never been satisfied when we’ve won a tournament and set our sights on the next one. There has been sacrifice, but we love what we do.”Mike Bryan spent his final day at No. 1 on 14 July 2019, completing his 506th week. Together, with his twin brother, Bob, the Americans will retire from professional tennis after the 2020 US Open.Djokovic Moves Up Weeks At No. 1 LadderNovak Djokovic, who began his fourth stint at the summit of men’s professional tennis on 5 November 2018, moved passed Jimmy Connors (268 weeks) for 269 weeks at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings on 16 September 2019, and rose to third place for the most weeks in the top spot on 271 weeks, beyond Ivan Lendl (270 weeks), on 30 September. He completed his 275th week at World No. 1, before Rafael Nadal returned to the top spot on 4 November. Djokovic is now behind only Pete Sampras (286 weeks) and all-time leader Roger Federer (310 weeks).Farewell To Former StarsThe tennis world also bid farewell to former players, who passed away during the 2019 season, including Britons Graham Stilwell (13 January) and Paul Hutchins (14 March), Australia's Peter McNamara (20 July), 1972 Roland Garros champion Andres Gimeno of Spain (9 October) and Russia's Alexander Volkov (19 October). See Obituaries Section

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