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You have to finish off Novak Djokovic. Otherwise, the World No. 1 might not only win that match, but the entire tournament.The Serbian is a 79-time tour-level titlist. On a record seven of those occasions, he saved at least one match point during the tournament. Djokovic accomplished the feat at 2007 Vienna, 2009 Basel, 2011 US Open, 2012 Shanghai, 2017 Doha, 2019 Wimbledon and 2020 Dubai.Djokovic returned from the brink to earn a crown in his most recent tournament at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. In the semi-finals, the top seed saved three consecutive match points before defeating Gael Monfils 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-1. The Serbian rode that momentum to the title by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas.“It's like being on the edge of a cliff,” Djokovic said about facing match points. “You know there is no way back so you have to jump over and try to find a way to survive I guess and pray for the best and believe that you can make it.“That's one of the things that I feel at the moment. Okay, one point away, one shot away. There is no going back. This is it. I accept the situation and try to make the most out of it.”[ATP HERITAGE]Since 2015, players have won 53 tour-level titles after saving match point(s) during the tournament. Djokovic and Lucas Pouille lead the way during that period by winning three different events from match point(s) down.Pouille has won three of his five ATP Tour titles from the brink of defeat, saving at least one match point at Budapest and Stuttgart in 2017 as well as Montpellier in 2018. Since 2015, seven different players have saved match point(s) in two different matches at the same tournament before lifting the title, led by Dominic Thiem at 2016 Buenos AiresPlayers Who Saved Match Point(s) In Multiple Matches, Won Title (since 2015) Player Tournament Rajeev Ram 2015 Newport Dominic Thiem 2016 Buenos Aires Martin Klizan 2016 Rotterdam Victor Estrella Burgos 2017 Quito Feliciano Lopez 2017 Queen's Club Bernard Tomic 2018 Chengdu Jiri Vesely 2020 Pune Former World No. 1 Andy Murray has saved at least one match point en route to a title twice since 2015. In the semi-finals of the 2016 Nitto ATP Finals, Murray saved one match point before battling past Milos Raonic 5-7, 7-6(5), 7-6(9). In the championship match, with year-end No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on the line, Murray beat Djokovic for the title.Murray also notably saved seven match points in the quarter-finals of the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, beating Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-7(4), 7-6(18), 6-1 before lifting the trophy on the weekend. The top seed saved all seven match points in the 38-point second-set tie-break, which lasted 31 minutes.“It's obviously a special match to win because of how it went,” Murray said. “I'll probably never play another tie-break like that again.”
There will be no shortage of star power when the ATP Challenger Tour resumes play in two weeks. After being sidelined since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, players competing on the Challenger circuit will return to action at clay-court events in Prague, Czech Republic and Todi, Italy.Scheduled to commence on 17 August, the I.CLTK Prague Open 2020 by Moneta features six players inside the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. Top Czech and World No. 65 Jiri Vesely is the highest-ranked player on the entry list and will be joined by Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber and Dominik Koepfer, as well as Hungary's Attila Balazs and Marton Fucsovics.World No. 71 Pierre-Hugues Herbert is also on the Prague entry list, as well as Finnish No. 1 Emil Ruusuvuori. Sitting one spot off a Top 100 breakthrough, the #NextGenATP star is hoping to join the club immediately. Arthur Rinderknech, the 2020 wins leader on the ATP Challenger Tour, will be in Prague as well. The former Texas A&M University standout won 16 of 20 matches in January and February, before the tour was suspended.India's top-ranked player and World No. 127 Sumit Nagal knows it won't be easy, with such a strong field right out of the gates at the Challenger 125 stop."I'm really excited to play matches again and get in that competitive mode," Nagal told ATPTour.com. "It's what we train for. Everyone is feeling the same way. No one wants to be home anymore after all these months. All the players are going to try to play as much as they can. I cannot wait to get on the court and hit the ball again. I'm just really excited."Prague kicks off a four-week swing in the Czech Republic, which opens with a two-week stop in the capital city and weaves to historic events in Ostrava and Prostejov. With the goal of minimizing travel amid the pandemic, it is one of many swings planned for the remainder of the 2020 season. Another such tournament cluster will be simultaneously held in Italy, which opens with a Challenger 100 event in Todi. The tournament also features six players inside the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings. Federico Delbonis (2017 champion), Roberto Carballes Baena and home hopes Gianluca Mager, Andreas Seppi, Stefano Travaglia and Salvatore Caruso are the Top 100 stars on the entry list.Mager was on a tear prior to the tour's suspension, reaching his first ATP Tour final in Rio de Janeiro. Seppi also appeared in a Tour-level championship in February, finishing runner-up to Kyle Edmund at the New York Open.The 2020 edition of the Internazionali di Tennis Citta di Todi is the first in three years, returning after the tournament's decade-long run came to an end. Former finalist and World No. 16 Marco Cecchinato is also in the field, as well as #NextGenATP stars Jurij Rodionov and Alexei Popyrin. Rodionov was one of the hottest players on the Challenger circuit in February, winning titles in Dallas and Morelos and posting a 15-2 record.Following Todi, the tour of Italy swings to Trieste, Cordenons and Parma. Many players competing in Todi are also on the Trieste entry list, including Cecchinato, Popyrin and Rodionov.
There’s no greater pressure in tennis than facing match point. If you lose the point, you lose the match. There have been memorable moments over the years when players saved match point and eventually triumphed.Alexander Zverev did this in an extreme way at the 2017 Coupe Rogers. In his opening match, the German saved three match points before defeating Richard Gasquet in a third-set tie-break. One of those match points, at 5-6, 30/40 in the decider, featured a 49-shot rally, which Zverev finished off with a forehand winner."It definitely helped that I won the point against Gasquet, otherwise I would be in Cincinnati right now," Zverev said after his next match against Nick Kyrgios.[COACHES]Zverev took full advantage of that save, going on to lift the trophy in Montreal with wins over Kyrgios, Kevin Anderson, Denis Shapovalov and Roger Federer.At the same tournament, Gael Monfils saved four match points before defeating Kei Nishikori in a final-set tie-break to reach the Round of 16.“I’m more than happy because I fought through the toughness, because it was tough for me,” Monfils said. “It was a bit like a rollercoaster.”Other memorable match point saves include when Rafael Nadal battled from the brink against Novak Djokovic at the 2009 Mutua Madrid Open and Andy Murray saved seven match points against Philipp Kohlschreiber at the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
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Das Traditionsturnier am Hamburger Rothenbaum kann in diesem Jahr nun doch stattfinden. Der Termin kurz vor den French Open steigert die Bedeutung des Wettbewerbs.