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Match Preview: Tiafoe vs Nishikori at Erste Bank Open

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By Editorial Team

Frances Tiafoe is wrapping up a great 2018 season with wins over Milos Raonic, Fernando Verdasco, Pablo Busta, Kyle Edmund, Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro plus an ATP Tour 250 title win at the Delray Beach Open in late February.

With these stellar results and a top 5o ranking in the balance, Frances is set to regroup for another run in Europe this week as he now faces Kei Nishikori in the first round of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Austria tomorrow morning. These two have not played each other yet on tour so Frances has a huge disadvantage especially as Kei has now been able to fully recover from his wrist injury to play top 10 tennis with a semifinal appearance in the 2018 US Open and a tough quarterfinal loss to Roger Federer this month in the Rolex Shanghai Masters.

As the season comes to a close Kei is attempting to squeeze his way into the Nitto ATP Finals from his current 10th place in the race, but he will get opportunities as he will potentially have a key match against Dominic Thiem (another contender for the ATP Finals) if he is able to defeat Frances. Even with the favorable match up and big moment experience, Kei must respect Frances’ ability to pull off huge upsets as proven many times this season.

The key for Frances to pull off another top-10 win is to continue to play aggressive tennis slashing to the net in effort to end points quickly against the steady play of Kei’s powerful and deceptive ground game. Barring an off day for Kei, Frances may run out of solutions early in the match while Kei will most likely grind Frances and force him into making errors late down the stretch.

The Tiafoe Nishikori match can be viewed on Tennis Channel Plus tomorrow at 4am PST.

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Stephens and Keys raise the bar in Fed Cup playoff

Ronald Cortes

By Editorial Team

The Fed Cup has come home for the US women’s team to the Alamo state with both Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys in the drivers’ seat.

After the early round defeat to Australia, Madison is anxious to redeem Team USA and position itself in the running for 2020. When asked about the status of the team and anticipation for the weekend, Keys stated,

“We’re playing to stay in World Group I. It’s obviously very important, We were all really bummed about the loss, and we’re looking to walk away with a win after this weekend.”

Chemistry is definitely in favor of the US team as the players and coaches are all very close off the court as friends, but against Switzerland its definitely a business trip.

Coming off a title win in Charleston, Madison is set to keep the momentum going full steam as she prepares to make a decent run toward the French Open later next month.

While title hopes are around the corner for Madison, Sloane is planning on regaining her rhythm and finding her strokes while she competes. Fans shouldn’t be surprised if Sloane goes deep in this year’s French Open as she is able to turn it around on a dime – noting last year’s final run in Paris.


Stable coaching appears to be Sloane’s biggest challenge now as she must find a suitable replacement after Fed Cup Captain, Kathy Rinaldi, has been filling in recently for Sly Black.

This Fed Cup match should a simple win for the deep high caliber of talent on the US team. Play is scheduled for April 20-21 in San Antonio, Texas with matches aired live on Tennis Channel.

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Healthy, Tsonga takes on Edmund in Morocco

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is up against top seed Kyle Edmund tomorrow in the Grand Prix Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco.

Tsonga is having a good start to the season with the exception of an early qualifying loss in Miami. Playing on the red clay surface is definitely a new venture to Tsonga after being off seven months from competitive play.

After his first round win over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, Tsonga commented on his form:

“It was my first match on clay in a while. So I’m happy that I won today. I did what I needed to do today and played well during the first set,” said Tsonga, whose last outdoor clay match came at 2017 Roland Garros. “It has been almost two years since I didn’t play on outdoor clay. It’s nice to be back on clay.”

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Perhaps this is the biggest test for Tsonga since his recovery. A win tomorrow could definitely put the Tour on notice while improving his ranking just before going into the red clay stretch and grand slam season.

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Keys wins 4th title in Charleston

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By Editorial Team

Madison Keys was able to defeat the 5th seed Caroline Wozniacki 7-6, 6-3 today to win her 4th title and 1st tournament win in close to 2 years.

This win against top WTA Tour players is great for Madison’s confidence as she goes into the thick of the clay court season.

Red clay has not been that kind to Madison even after reaching the semifinals last year. 2019 could be the year for a grand slam title, but consistency and health will play a major role in that for Madison.

The first 3 months of this season have been dismal for Madison with little to show in term of wins, but at the Volvo Car Open – her favorite tournament – she was able to overcome major hurdles with big wins over Sloane Stephens and Caroline Wozniacki.

“It means so much,” Keys stated in her post-match press conference. “I’ve always loved Charleston. It’s always been one of my favorite tournaments, so to now be able to say that I’ve won the tournament and be on the trophy is really, really special.”
“It’s definitely been a really great week for me, especially after having some really tough losses the last couple of weeks,” Keys continued. “And to be able to really bounce back and have a really good week of training with my coach, Nacho, and then be able to come and win the tournament, it definitely is a very good springboard for heading over to Europe.”

Volvo Car Open

Is it Madison’s year? Fans will have to wait for the French Open and hope that a favorable draw propels her to the end of the second week.

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