issa-sbf-white-logo.png
ssflogo2.png

Tennis twins Mike and Bob Bryan – the most successful doubles pair of all time – are to bring their careers to an end following the 2020 US Open.

The identical twin brothers from California have won 118 career doubles titles as a team, including 16 grand slams as well as an Olympic gold medal.

However, their last slam success came at the 2014 US Open, with the duo having won 18 trophies since then.

They will turn 42 in April and – having slipped down the doubles rankings to 27th – have decided to call time on their playing careers at Flushing Meadows, where they have won five titles, next year. 

"We took the last few months off to try and get our minds right and get our bodies and minds fresh and make this decision," Mike Bryan told USOpen.org.

"We feel it's the right time. It's just a perfect time to go. We feel like we can still be competitive and win, but at 42, we're really appreciative of getting so much longevity out of our careers.

"We feel like you can't play forever, so we just wanted to make the decision and go into next year knowing that we can see the finish line and play as hard as we can, but also appreciate being on tour, playing together and giving back to the fans a little bit."

The brothers – who have spent 438 weeks at the top of the world rankings – were the dominant force in doubles tennis from the early 2000s up until 2015, with their grasp having loosened in recent years.

Stefanos Tsitsipas made light work of defending ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev to book his place in the last four in London with a 6-3 6-2 victory.

Zverev outdid world number one Rafael Nadal on Monday but could not match the speed, power and precision shown by Tsitsipas, who has made the semi-finals on his first appearance in the season-ending tournament.

A break on Zverev's final serve of the opener put the 21-year-old in control, with another concession of serve from the world number seven following at the start of set two.

With victory firmly in his sights, Tsitsipas did not let up as he charged on to serve out a dominant triumph in just 75 minutes.

"I was really surprised by my performance," Tsitsipas said. "I did everything right. I just played my game. I had a clear picture on the court."

After an even start, it was Tsitsipas who made the breakthrough.

Having played two excellent drop shots in succession to hold serve, the Greek broke with an exquisite return onto Zverev's toes to lead 5-3.

Tsitsipas took the 39-minute set at the first time of asking – Zverev sending a lob just beyond the baseline.

The German survived two break points at the start of set two, with a fine backhand pass at the culmination of a long rally forcing deuce.

But Tsitsipas could smell blood and, after squandering another chance to break, did so at the fourth time of asking with a combination of superb backhand efforts.

Tsitsipas failed to take another break point at 3-1 up, sending a makeable passing stroke out of play, but made no mistake at the next time of asking with a perfectly constructed attack.

Zverev challenged well to stay in the match, but it merely stalled the inevitable as Tsitsipas – who faces Nadal in his final group match – went on to secure a fourth straight win over his opponent with a sweetly struck ace.

Rafael Nadal offered his apologies to Daniil Medvedev after the world number one produced a stunning comeback at the ATP Finals.

Nadal saved a match point before securing his first win of the tournament in a thrilling 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) triumph at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday.

Medvedev, who lost to Nadal in this year's US Open final, had broken twice to take a 5-1 lead in the decider before collapsing.

The Russian lost five successive games as Nadal forced a tie-break, with the Spaniard – who is still searching for his first ATP Finals trophy – taking advantage to put Medvedev on the brink of an early exit.

However, Nadal conceded he needed his fair share of good fortune to overcome the world number four, who has been in outstanding form in the second half of 2019.

"Honestly, I have been super lucky, that's the real thing," Nadal said. "Sorry to Daniil, it is a tough loss, he was playing much better than me in the third.

"Today is one of these things where one out of 1000 you win.

"At 5-3, when you have the first break, then you are only one break away. I know from personal experience how tough it is to close the matches, especially when you are two breaks in front and lose the first one.

"After the first one, I thought I had a chance. In general terms, I played much better than two days ago [against Alexander Zverev] so that's a positive thing for me.

"I have had lots of years on the tour, I love this sport, I love playing in these amazing stadiums. That's the biggest motivation possible. It's impossible not to fight when you have amazing support like this."

Having lost to defending champion Zverev on Monday, Nadal will most likely have to beat world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas in his final round robin match to progress to the semi-finals.

Rafael Nadal produced a stunning comeback to boost his progression chances at the ATP Finals, saving a match point before sealing a captivating 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-4) victory over Daniil Medvedev.

Medvedev looked destined to gain a measure of vengeance for his loss to Nadal in this year's US Open final when he broke twice and took a 5-1 lead in the third set at the O2 Arena in London.

However, the world number one, who said he was not hampered by an abdominal injury and simply wanted to up his competitive level after losing his round-robin opener to defending champion Alexander Zverev, won five games in a row to force a tie-break.

Medvedev seemed to have lost his composure and made several sarcastic gestures towards his box before finally succumbing, leaving the ATP Finals debutant on the brink of elimination after second straight loss.

Nadal attacked the net to good effect in the early exchanges, though when facing the first break point in game seven it was a looping passing shot from the baseline at the end of a 35-shot rally that kept the set on serve.

The set went to a tie-break and Medvedev's forehand into the corner earned a mini-break to start, but Nadal hit straight back with his first point on the Russian's serve since game four.

Medvedev dominated Nadal's usually imperious groundstrokes and a rare error from the 33-year-old gave his opponent a chance to serve out the set, which he did not pass up.

The 19-time grand slam champion pumped his fist after starting the second with a break and he came from 0-30 down to consolidate it.

Medvedev appeared to become frustrated as he struggled to make in-roads – frequently giving a thumbs up in the direction of his box following lost points – and a double fault preceded a wayward forehand on Nadal's third set point.

An unforced error gifted the Russian a break at the start of the decider and, after the top seed failed to take two chances to get it back on serve, Medvedev produced an ace to move 2-0 up.

The world number four pounced on a poor drop-volley from Nadal by whipping a backhand pass into the far corner for a second break that looked sure to prove decisive.

However, Nadal staved off two more break points and a match point as he reduced the arrears and somehow clawed his way back into the set.

He forced the set back on serve when Medvedev failed to get a volley at the net across and the Russian's composure was shot, with Nadal successfully challenging a backhand that was called in to complete a memorable turnaround.

Tomas Berdych has seemingly confirmed he will announce his retirement from tennis on Saturday.

It was reported by Czech tabloid Blesk on Wednesday that former world number four Berdych will officially bring the curtain down on his career in London this weekend.

The 34-year-old, who has claimed 13 ATP Tour titles, has been struggling with a back issue since June 2018 and revealed a painful hip injury was hampering after his first-round exit at this year's US Open.

In a video posted to his official Twitter account, Berdych confirmed he will be making an announcement but provided no detail on the specifics.

"Hi guys, if you want a little surprise just don't watch any media or social networks, but I know it is impossible these days. I know, these little mistakes happen," said Berdych.

"I had it planned as a little surprise on Saturday where I'm going to be in London. But now it's not even possible because it is all over [the news], but it's fine. More information is going to come on Saturday."

Berdych has no grand slam titles to his name but reached the final of Wimbledon in 2010. He twice made the last four at the Australian Open (2014 and 2015) and reached the semi-finals at French Open in 2010 and the US Open in 2012.

Novak Djokovic praised Dominic Thiem's "unbelievable" performance after suffering a thrilling loss to the Austrian at the ATP Finals on Tuesday.

Djokovic went down to Thiem 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) after an enthralling contest at the O2 Arena in London.

Thiem hit 51 winners and just as many unforced errors during an aggressive display that eventually paid off with victory in two hours, 47 minutes.

Djokovic, who will face Roger Federer in Group Bjorn Borg for a place in the semi-finals, praised Thiem's performance.

"I thought he deserved to win. He just played very courageous tennis and just smacking the ball, he went for broke, the entire match he played the same way he played the last point," the Serbian 16-time grand slam champion told a news conference.

"I mean, I have to put my hat down and congratulate him because he just played a great match."

Djokovic added: "I don't think I've experienced too many matches like this where my opponent just goes for every single shot.

"I mean, he was unbelievable, in some stages it was just incredible that he was just literally smacking the ball as hard as he can and it was going in.

"Of course his level is super high, today was unbelievable, but whether he can keep that up every match, if he does, chapeau, there's not much you can say, for sure he's playing great tennis."

Dominic Thiem said he was "in the zone" during his thrilling ATP Finals win over Novak Djokovic on Tuesday.

The Austrian booked his spot in the semi-finals in London by overcoming Djokovic 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) at the O2 Arena.

Thiem, who beat Roger Federer in Group Bjorn Borg on Sunday, said it was an unforgettable performance.

"I was in the zone from the first point on," he said in an on-court interview.

"I served for the match at 6-5 in the third set, but obviously I was playing the best returner in the game so I didn't worry too much, I was focusing on the tie-break and coming back from 4-1, a little bit of luck here and there.

"But, in general, it was just unbelievable and a match that I will probably never forget."

Thiem hit 51 winners during his win, coming from 4-1 down in the third-set tie-break to edge past Djokovic.

The 26-year-old was delighted with his performance and said it was the level required to beat the 16-time grand slam champion.

"This was really one of these very special matches that I practised all my life for, what I practised all my childhood for, a really epic one in front of an amazing atmosphere, beating a real legend of our game," Thiem said.

"I couldn't be happier and also I qualified for the semi-finals which is the best."

He added: "I was playing Novak, who is in great shape, who is probably the best player in the world right now.

"I had to do something special and luckily a lot of these balls and these winners went into the court."

Thiem will face Italian Matteo Berrettini in his final match in the group on Thursday.

Dominic Thiem followed up his win over Roger Federer with a stunning performance in an enthralling 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) victory over Novak Djokovic to secure his progression in the ATP Finals.

The most recent meeting between Djokovic and Thiem went the distance at Roland Garros in May, and it was the latter who triumphed again in a two-hour 50-minute classic.

After losing a 66-minute first set, Thiem rallied to force a decider for the first time in a match at this year's edition of the Finals, while ending Matteo Berrettini's slim qualification hopes in the process.

Despite going a break down, Djokovic - who will now battle it out with Federer for a last-four spot - seemed to have turned the tide in the final set, but Thiem thrived under the pressure, fighting back to clinch a remarkable win on a tie-break.

Djokovic looked set to take control after breaking on Thiem's second service game, yet the Austrian returned the favour to draw level at 3-3.

Thiem denied Djokovic a chance to claim the set in game 10, forcing the world number two onto the backfoot with a venomous serve.

Djokovic was at his best to nose himself ahead in the tiebreak with a stunning cross-court shot, but Thiem found a way back, only for an overhit forehand to hand to give last year's runner up an advantage he did not relinquish.

Two sensational backhands saw Thiem respond with a decisive early break in set two, racing into a lead that proved unassailable.

Thiem raised his arms to the crowd as he restored parity on his serve, though it was Djokovic's turn to fire up the spectators in the opening game of the decider, thumping the air after a wonderful defensive shot won him his first point.

It was to no avail as Thiem claimed another break, but Djokovic - after failing to take advantage of three chances to bounce straight back - did manage to swing momentum in his favour in game six.

However, Thiem refused to go down, holding serve magnificently before breaking for a fourth time, though a loss of focus at the vital moment resulted in another tie-break.

A sloppy start put Thiem on the back foot, but three successive winners paved the way for the world number five to force Djokovic into a weak shot into the net and ensure his place in the semi-finals for the first time.

Roger Federer is thrilled to be going head-to-head with world number two Novak Djokovic in what could be a pivotal ATP Finals encounter for both players.

Federer bounced back from his opening defeat to Dominic Thiem by beating Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 on Tuesday, and will face Djokovic for the first time since losing in a five-set epic in this year's Wimbledon final.

Last year's runner up Djokovic, who is aiming to dethrone Rafael Nadal as world number one, would secure his progression from the Bjorn Borg group should he beat Thiem in Tuesday's late match.

Depending on the result, and how Thiem does against Berrettini on Thursday, Federer could potentially have to beat Djokovic to ensure his place in the last four.

However, Federer is merely focusing on making sure his own performance is at its highest possible level, as he goes up against an opponent he has faced on 48 occasions in the past, winning 22 times.

"No, I'm excited playing against him. I'm excited to see how he's going to play tonight, as well," Federer told a news conference after his win over Berrettini.

"It's definitely going to give me some more information about what to expect. But other than that, I think I need to focus on my game, what I do best and regardless of what I need to do, I just hope I play well.

"We have played a lot of matches since [Wimbledon], and I think we both look back at a great match. I think we both can take away some confidence from the match. Him, obviously a lot. Me, maybe a tad bit less.

"But at the end of the day, I wasn't hoping [for] him not to be in my section or in my draw. I didn't hope I was never going to play him again.

"Actually, it's good for me to play him again, and maybe that all helps to get a chance to get him back or whatever it is."

While Djokovic and Nadal are battling it out for top spot in the ATP rankings, Federer claims he is no longer concerned with where he is placed among the world's elite, as long as his fitness remains in tact.

"Points? Yeah, who cares? Who cares if I'm ranked three, five, nine?" Federer said.

"If I feel like I'm 100 per cent fit, then I feel like I have a chance to win the tournament.

"But if I don't feel that way but I'm ranked one or three or five, whatever it may be, I know it's going to be extremely more difficult and sometimes almost impossible, even though I feel like if I'm in a draw, usually I always give myself a chance."

Andy Murray believes he is now back to being capable of taking on the world's elite players after his remarkable comeback from injury in 2019.

Murray looked set to retire due to injury earlier in the year, but after undergoing successful hip surgery, crowned his return by winning the European Open in Antwerp to claim his 46th ATP Tour title.

After taking the best part of a month off, Murray will now head to the Davis Cup finals as part of Great Britain's five-man team.

The 32-year-old intends step things up further in 2020 and the three-time major winner says he would be confident of pushing Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer all the way should he come up against any of the big three.

"I know if I played against the top players tomorrow there would be a very small chance of me winning that match," Murray told BBC Sport.

"But I do feel I could win. That's one of the performance goals I want - when I go out on court against all of the players I want to feel like I have a chance of winning.

"Seven or eight weeks ago I wouldn't have felt that was the case. 

"If I continued along that path then I wouldn't continue playing. It has been an up and down few years but I feel like I'm coming through the other side of it and I'm excited to see what I can do over the next couple of years.

"It's difficult to say exactly where I am. I'm not where I was when I was 25 but I don't expect to be and I don't need to be [in order] to be competitive at the highest level and that's why I'm excited.

"I'm not going to set a target of top 10 or trying to make the semis of a Grand Slam because I've done all of that before and I don't need that.

"I'm happy just being pain free, healthy and love what I'm doing."

Murray defeated Stan Wawrinka to clinch the European Open title, while the Scot overcame world number eight Matteo Berrettini on his way to the China Open quarter-finals in Beijing, where he was eventually defeated by Dominic Thiem.

Roger Federer opened his account at this year's ATP Finals at the second attempt, beating Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 on Tuesday.

Having started out with a loss to Dominic Thiem on Sunday, Federer needed a victory over London debutant Berrettini to kick-start his campaign ahead of a showdown against Novak Djokovic in his final outing of the round-robin stage.

World number eight Berrettini, who was easily brushed aside by Djokovic at the weekend, put up stubborn resistance in the opening set but the 23-year-old was too often found wanting against his opponent’s serve.

Federer was far more dominant in the second, the six-time champion securing victory after 78 minutes on court in the English capital.

"It's strange to lose and then play again, but I did it last year so have some experience," Federer said. "It was always going to be difficult against Matteo, with the big serve.

"I was pretty clean on my own service game, I think that helped. I hope I can keep it up and maybe play a bit better in the next match."

Berrettini played a brilliant pass in game five as both players held serve comfortably in the early stages.

Indeed, it was not until Federer was 6-5 up that either player had a chance to break, though the 38-year-old failed to take advantage, Berrettini clawing back the set point to draw level again.

Federer made the first move in the tie-break, Berrettini slipping up with a forehand to give his opponent the lead, while an exquisite backhand put the 20-time grand slam champion further ahead – much to the delight of the O2 crowd.

A double fault further dashed Berrettini's hopes, with Federer subsequently wrapping up the 43-minute set on his own serve.

The world number three broke to love to open the next in style and though the Italian stopped the rot with a lob, a supreme drop shot maintained Federer's two-game cushion.

Federer's focus seemed to slip on his next serve, however, and he had to claw back three break points before finally taking a lengthy game.

A sliced forehand from his rival secured victory for the Swiss, who has not won the season-ending tournament since 2011.

Andy Murray feels grand slam events could give him the best chance of success now he has made his comeback from injury.

The three-time major winner marked his return from career-saving hip surgery by winning his 46th ATP Tour title at the European Open last month.

That emotional triumph and the way his body has been reacted to regular matches has given Murray confidence he can be competitive at the highest level.

While he has already won a regular ATP Tour event, Murray feels the slams could work in his favour even more in 2020 because of the extra recovery time they provide in between matches.

"Your body gets a chance to rest up before the next match," Murray told reporters at a Castore sponsorship event. 

"Sometimes in Antwerp where you're playing back-to-back days there was no chance to do that. 

"My physio has always been more positive about me playing grand slams than playing a tournament when you play five days in a row.

"He loves the fact that there's a day off to rest and actually recover.

"I guess I'll see how it responds when I'm over there [at the Australian Open]."

At this stage, the prospect of playing longer matches at majors is not a major concern for Murray, who also discussed his plans to have a flexible schedule going forward.

The Briton added: "I'm not worried from the hip's perspective as I've had zero issues with it so far so I don't anticipate that playing an extra 45 minutes or an hour will be bad for my hip. 

"How the rest of my body how that responds, I'll see when I'm out there.

"I think my body showed I'm going to be able to play at a high level. That's where I need to be smart with my scheduling and the amount of tournaments that I play, to be more reactive than in the past.

"Let's say I plan to play three tournaments in the first couple of months of the year but I only win one match in each of those tournaments, then I could add another. But if I end up doing really well, maybe I play a tournament less. In the past I wouldn't have done that."

While Murray, who is preparing to fly to Madrid for next week's Davis Cup finals, is optimistic about competing at the top, that is no longer his most important consideration.

Asked where he would like to be in 12 months, the 32-year-old added: "I would want to be healthy.

"It's nice to be able to win big competitions and have a high ranking and stuff. That's great but actually the reason why I'm playing is because I love it. I need to remember that and being healthy allows me to do that.

"So if I'm 30 in the world or 70 in the world and I'm still enjoying it and I feel competitive then that would be success for me. You realise what really is important." 

Rafael Nadal succumbed to defending ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev as the world number seven put in a clinical display to triumph 6-2 6-4.

Heading into this year's season finale with concerns over an abdominal problem, Nadal showed no signs of struggling with injury, but the world number one could still not handle Zverev on Monday.

While Novak Djokovic - who Nadal ousted at the top of the rankings last week - started in dominant fashion against Matteo Berrettini, Nadal suffered a similar fate to that of Roger Federer, who went down to Dominic Thiem in his opening match.

Three successive breaks ultimately did the damage for Zverev, as the 22-year-old claimed a maiden win over Nadal to make a statement of intent in London.

"It's great, everyone knows how much I've been struggling this season," Zverev, who will also face Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev in Group Andre Agassi said. "This means so much, playing here again after winning my biggest title here last year."

Any concerns over Nadal's fitness were cast aside with the first serve of the match - a venomous 126mph effort at the start of a game the 33-year-old claimed with relative ease.

But having made Nadal work far harder to hold his next serve, Zverev, who utilised the speed of the court to his advantage throughout, made the first of three straight breaks to take control.

Last year's winner stepped up another level in game seven, using a challenge well after a fantastic down-the-line forehand had been called out as Nadal conceded serve once more.

Having served out a 35-minute first set, Zverev needed no second invitation to take a third break point and - after rallying back from two double faults - held a 2-0 lead in set two.

Nadal finally regained his composure, and after holding to end his losing streak, the 19-time grand slam champion sent a sublime backhand pass to spark the O2 crowd into life.

A backhand into the net saw Zverev squander a break point for the first time - Nadal taking advantage to hold serve and keep himself in contention.

Yet Zverev had victory in his sights, though he lost some control on his first serve to hand Nadal hope of a break.

An impeccable, ripping forehand put him on the cusp, however, with the German duly serving out a first win over his Spanish counterpart in six attempts.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has claimed his 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 win over Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals "means more than extra".

The pair have both enjoyed terrific campaigns in 2019 - while Medvedev has won four titles and made it to a further five finals, including in the US Open, 21-year-old Tsitsipas has cemented himself in the world's top 10.

However, it is no secret Tsitsipas and Medvedev do not see eye to eye, a rivalry which was established in March 2018 during their first meeting.

Medvedev came from behind to win, but was unhappy with his Greek opponent for a heated handshake, with the umpire forced to intervene.

Tsitsipas' triumph on Monday is his first in six attempts against Medvedev, who has won 29 of his last 34 matches and was in the hunt for a 60th tour-level win of 2019.

"It means more than extra," Tsitsipas told reporters after his win. "Our chemistry definitely isn't the best."

According to Tsitsipas, their rivalry began when Medvedev complained that the youngster did not hold his hand up to apologise for a rally winning shot hitting the net during their clash in Miami last year.

"He started telling me that what I do is unsportsmanlike. I tried not to pay attention, because I knew that it was something intentional, something that he wanted to pass to me," Tsitsipas added.

"Somehow it did affect me. I did get p***** and said what I said, which I do regret, but at the time I was very frustrated that things happened this way."

World number four Medvedev, meanwhile, acknowledged the better player won at the O2 Arena on Monday.

"He was better today, but I felt like I was missing some things." the Russian told reporters. 

"This frustrates me after. I do think it would frustrate me against any other opponent. Of course I wanted to make it an even bigger head-to-head, but it's the way it is."

Stefanos Tsitsipas produced a scintillating performance to beat rival Daniil Medvedev for the first time in a battle of two ATP Finals debutants at the O2 Arena.

Medvedev had won all five encounters with Tsitsipas before the Greek finally came out on top on Monday, winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

Tsitsipas had a spring in his step from the start against an opponent whose game he has described as "boring" and did not face a solitary break point in the Group Andre Agassi opener.

Just the one break in the second set was enough for a fired-up Tsitsipas to seal a straight-sets victory over the fourth seed from Russia, who has been outstanding this year but faces a tough ask to reach the last four in London.

Tsitsipas started on the front foot and forced a break point in the second game, but Medvedev held to level at 1-1. 

That was the one break-point opportunity of the opening set, and it was Tsitsipas who then came out on top in a tight tie-break, punching a volley on the line for a third mini-break and letting out a roar as his opponent netted on the first set point.

There was no let-up with the high tempo in the second set as the two continued to trade blows from the baseline and demonstrate their prowess at the net.

Medvedev fended off two break points before holding for a 4-3 lead, but he gifted a relentless Tsitsipas a break point when he left a ball which landed in, and an errant backhand left him 5-4 down.

Powerful sixth seed Tsitsipas jumped for joy after serving out a match in which he won 89 per cent of points behind his first serve. 

Page 1 of 28
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.