Nico plays qualies in Madrid

Hurrah, the season on clay continues! Nico has made it into the madrid qualifying tournament, and he was already seen practicing today!

The for the qualy-draw was made this evening. The first opponent tomorrow will be Joao Souza from Brasil, who’s currently world number 78. He and Nico never met before. Nico has to be careful, and play very well, because Souza is good on clay.

Tomorrows match will be on court 3, one of the bigger courts in Madrid. There’s no streaming for the matches unfortunately, so we’ll have to rely on livescores tomorrow morning.

Allez Nico, time to get some clay rythm for the second Grand Slam of the year!

Looking back: Nico wins first title of 2015 in Saint-Brieuc

Remember sunday april 12th? It’s more than a week ago, but for us a very happy day. Nico won his first title of the year, winning the Saint-Brieuc challenger in singles. Let’s have a look back at a succesful week in the west of France.

Saint-Brieuc was a challenger that Nicolas only entered in singles, to build on his amount of points, and most likely on his confidence too. He won the challenger, but had to win some good matches to lift the trophy on sunday. Here’s, in short, the results of the week:
First round: 6-4 7-6 over Richard Becker
Second round: 6-3 6-0 over Yann Marti
Quarterfinal: 7-6 5-7 7-6 over Remi Boutillier (saving two matchpoints in the third set, before breaking back for 5-5.)
Semifinal: 7-5 6-4 over Lucas Pouille
Final: 3-6 7-6 6-4 over Yuichi Sugita (broke Sugita for 5-5 in the second set, when he served for the match.)

Especially in the quarterfinal and the final, Nico has shown some very strong mental strength. He stayed cool, believed in his chances and took his chances when he got them. Those are the matches you need to build confidence for the months to come.

Here are some photos, taken by the tournament, from Nicolas in Saint-Brieuc. So good to see him with a trophy in his hands, don’t you think? There will come another post, with some action photos from Nico that week, to be posted later this week, so stay tuned for that one! ;)

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If you’d like to watch the archived matches of the whole week, there’s good news for you. Here is the link to watch them, including the final. http://livestream.com/ATP/stbrieuc2015centrecourt

Saint-Brieuc is this weeks place of action

It’s monday again and that means a new stop on the tour. This weeks stop is in France, for the challenger of Saint-Brieuc. The challenger is played on indoor hard court, and Nico will participate here only in the singles tournament.

The first opponent will be a qualifier. These are not known yet because the last round of qualifying will be completed today. If you’d like to watch the matches, there’s a link for livestreaming of the center court in Salle Stederinn in Saint-Brieuc. They show it on the website (http://www.opensaintbrieuc.com/  ) But if you go here, you can watch the livestream too: http://new.livestream.com/ATP/stbrieuc2015centrecourt

Now that Miami is over, the new ATP rankings for this week are out too. In singles nothing has changed, we find Nico still on spot 124 of the world. But the doublesteam rankings has changed a bit, the team of Nico and Pierre-Hughes are on spot 6 this week, two places lower than before. Hopefully PH is soon fit to play again, so the two can build on their doublesrankings again.

The Saint-Brieuc tournament caught NIco on pictures yesterday, when training on the court of Saint-Brieuc. These two are made by them, so credits to them.

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Le Gosier ends after one match

Time flies these days, another tournament is left behind without Nico. Yesterday he played his first round match against Ruben Bemelmans from Belgium; a match that the Belgian won in straight sets: 7-6 6-3.

Nico had several chances during the match, that he unfortunately could not convert. He lead the tiebreak with 6-3, but Bemelmans somehow made 5 points in a row to take it with 8-6. In the second set, the Belgian took a quick lead with a break for 2-0, but this one was made undone by Nico in the third game. Bemelmans created another break, which was enough to serve for the match at 5-3. The match was for Ruben in one hour and 23 minutes: 7-6 6-3.

The facebooksite from the Guadeloupe challenger has posted some photos of Nico in this match, so we can post them here too. If you didn’t have the chance to see the match yesterday, you can watch a replay here:

http://new.livestream.com/ATP/legosier2015centrecourt/videos/82329205

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Nico and Edouard were supposed to play doubles later on the day, but they gave a walkover for that match. The tournament wrote that he felt some pain, and preferred not to play the doubles.
This means, the challenger of Saint-Brieuc is the next tournament, it takes place next week.

Looking back shortly on Miami

We’ve got some pictures for you from last week, when Nico was in Miami. The tournament was not very succesfull for Nico unfortunately, he lost in the qualies first round on monday. Norbert gombos was too strong, winning in straight sets with 7-6 6-3.

Then on friday he won in doubles with Edouard Roger-Vasselin the first match against Bautista-Agut and Troicki. The first set was won by the french with 6-3. The opponents had to retire in the second game of the second set, because Roberto Bautista got a ball in his eye, when he tried to return a serve from Nico.

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(pictures by Judith Remekie)

Saturday was the second round, which they lost, to the American duo Raveej Ram/Ryan Harrison: 7-5 7-6. Little ‘funny’ fact: The french won two points more than their opponents, 74 points for them, and 72 for the Americans.
So Miami didn’t last long unfortunately, but this gave Nico and Edouard the chance to take the plane to Guadeloupe, and play the challenger there. Nico plays tomorrow his first match, 15.00h local time (6 hours later in France) ALLEZ!!!

Thanks a lot to Aidana for the next few practice pictures. She took them in Miami, and gave us permission to use them on this blog. Muchas gracias!

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Nico plays this week in Le Gosier

Before going back to Europe for the clay season, there’s one more tournament on the other side of the Atlantic ocean to play for Nico. He’s in Le Gosier, Guadeloupe this week.

Yesterday they made the singlesdraw. The first round match will be against Ruben Bemelmans, who is currently world number 134, ten places lower than Nico. The two met 3 times before in the past, Nico won the two first meetings (Courmayeur 2011 and Rennes 2013), but Ruben won last year in Rennes. All meetings were on hardcourt, like the matches in Guadeloupe will be too. Here is the link to the singlesdraw: http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2015/6244/mds.pdf

The doublesdraw was made today, and Nico plays here with Edouard Roger-Vasselin. They are the first seeds here, and play first match against Cerretani/Van der Duim, an American Dutch combination.
Link to the doublesdraw: http://www.atpworldtour.com/posting/2015/6244/mdd.pdf

The tournament posted some pictures yesterday on their facebook website. Nico was on a few of them too, at the draw ceremony last night.

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Bonne chance, Nico! Allez!

Nico starts in Miami qualies today

Welcome to Miami! The next stop in Nico’s schedule is in this south-American city.

The tournament starts today, with a first round match against Norbert Gombos. Nico is currently ranked 124, and Gombos is two places higher than him, on spot 122. The two never met on ATP tour level, but in the challenger meetings it’s 3-0 for Nico. The most recent win was last year in Saint Remy, the tournament that Nico won.

Nico and Norbert are scheduled 4th match on court 5. Unfortunately there’s no stream so we can’t follow the match that way. Good news is though, we know someone in Miami who promised to take some photos of Nico today. Hopefully we’ll recieve them tonight.

The maindraw is made within an hour from now, and the doublesdraw comes out tomorrow. Hopefully Nico will play the doubles too, because he made it to the semifinals there last year with Michael Llodra. Speaking of doubles, in the rankings is Nico back to spot 20, two places lower than last week. He lost the points for the Indian Wells quarterfinals of last year, but got 50 points a few weeks ago, for the Davis cup doublesmatch that he won with Julien Benneteau.

Allez Nico, step by step, let’s go qualify for his first masters event of the year!

Photoreport: Nico’s debut in the french Davis Cup team.

From 6-8 march 2015, the first round Davis Cup meeting between Germany and France was played in Frankfurt. Nicolas Mahut made his first appearance in the Davis cup team, playing the third rubber on saturday with his friend Julien Benneteau. A photo report of a weekend in Frankfurt, starring Nicolas in most of the photos.

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Friday afternoon always starts with the teams being presented on court, with their flags and the national anthems of both countries.

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Nico’s doublespartner of this year, Pierre Hugues Herbert had travelled to Frankfurt too, to support the team. He might be injured himself, he still loves to support others in their matches.

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Team hugs for Gilles after he won the first point for France. Nico left the match of Monfils quite early later, so this were the photos for friday. The next day, saturday, was a very important day. The first ever Davis Cup match for Nicolas, playing for the third point, which could give France the quarterfinals already.

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The teams were shortly introduced again to the audience, but this time without the flags and the anthems. Like before every match, both teams posed for the photos, before the match started.

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The match was a perfect match, to summarize it very short. One break in the last game of the first set gave the first set to Nicolas and Julien with 6-4. Another break in the second set was enough for them to take the second set with 6-3. You culd see that both men know eachother and know how to play together in doubles too.

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Enough reasons for Arnaud Clément to stand up and fistpump. He saw his doubleteam playing a fantastic doublesmatch for the last point for France.

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Both were serving strong and returning very well. In the third set, they mad an early break and took the servicegame from Benjamin Becker. Later, it were the french again who broke the german serve. This was enough for Nicolas and Julien to win easily the third set, and the match: 6-4 6-3 6-2.

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Nico has made a winning debut in the Davis Cup team, and raises his hands in victory after an hour and 49 minutes of play. The smiles on their faces couldn’t be bigger, during the hugs and interviews afterwards. Wrapped in a giant flag, Nico stood next to his teammates to sing the french anthem again with the group of french fans.

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On court interview for Nicolas, before heading to the lockerroom to celebrate, still with the flag with him.

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Sunday afternoon, the last day of the tie was made of two dead rubbers. Gilles played the first match against Kohlschreiber, before Nico could play the last match against Struff. The both Germans won the sunday matches, to keep the honour for the Germans.

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Seeing Nico being great in a good doublesmatch is something wonderful, but seeing him in singles will always be the best. Struff was serving great, often leaving Nico without anything to do, but it was good to see another performance of Nico in this Davis Cup tie. The french fans were just as great as the during the double, encouraging and singing to him all the time. A fantastic first performance in the French Davis cup team.

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Hopefully the English tennis association will tell soon what the place of the quarterfinal will be. Murray seems to want it on grass, that would be perfect again for Nico. Fingers crossed for the news to come in the next few weeks, and for some great months for Nico in his singles and doubles performances!

Nico shines in Davis Cup debut

What a weekend we lived with the Davis Cup first round. Nico made his debut for the French Davis Cup team, by playing the doublesrubber next to his friend Julien Benneteau. They played a perfect double, winning the deciding point for France with 6-4 6-3 6-2.

The weekend showed different faces from Nico. Friday he clearly enjoyed being part of the team. Supporting his team mates and chatting with people who were watching the match. Nico supported Gilles through the whole match, but left after one set of Monfils, probably to have a quiet preparation for the doubles and to have an early night of sleep.

Saturday was Nico’s moment to shine. Soon as he and Julien were on court, nobody could see it was his first match in Davis Cup. The both of them served well, returned well, and made the break in the 10th game, on the serve of Andre Begemann. This gave them the first set, with 6-4. Nico’s fistpump here said a lot, he clearly was relieved and happy with the first set. In the second set went the match on serve untill the ninth game, when again the Begemann serve was broken. Nico served the set out for the 2-0 lead.
The last set started very well for the french team. Julien and Nico broke the Germans in the first game, this time the Becker serve. ‘And this was it, it’s over’, was the comment of a concerned German fan. Well seen from this man, because during this set too was the french duo strong and focussed. Later in the set, the french team took again the Becker serve and that was in fact enough. Nico and Julien won their doublesmatch in less than 2 hours of play in straight sets: 6-4 6-3 6-2.

It was great to see how happy they whole team was. first the two players shared a hug on court, before hugging everyone of the french team. The supportersclub sang the national anthem, and all players stood on court and sang with them, with the arms around eachother. Nico looked really happy, with the big french flag around him and a smile that couldn’t wiped off his face.

The next day, sunday, were two dead rubbers planned for Gilles Simon… and for Nico! Gilles played against Kohlschreiber, who won the first rubber for Germany. Nico got to play against Jan-Lennard Struff in a match that was more an exhibition than an actual serious match. Struff was serving very well, and managed to outplay Nico on several points. But the fact that Nico played a single match too in his first Davis cup experience added to the experience. Struff won this match in straight sets, saving the face of Germany on the last day of the meeting.

There’s a group of French supporters, the official fanclub since 2001, who gave Nico a very warm welcome this weekend. They sang his name many times, showed a big sign with ‘Welcome Nico’ and definately supported him all the way through the weekend. Awesome to see how loved Nico is in the french team. We’ve got some pictures for you from all the days, stay tuned for that.

France plays Great Britain in july in the Daviscup Quarterfinals, the week after Wimbledon. The location and the surface are not known yet.

Nicolas Mahut on being selected for the French Davis Cup team for the first time: “I never give up”

Originally posted on Tennis Translations :

From Franck Ramella’s article in l’Équipe March 4 2015, print edition page 13.

“I never give up.” Nicolas Mahut in l’Équipe to @franckramella

– Just before you got here I was talking with some friends about the team over-35 matches held by the TCP [Tennis Club of Paris] … Just saying that these meetings, they’re my education, my path. At Beaucouzé, my little home town [near Angers], I went along with my mother and father who played over-35 on a county level.  I got the chance to play with all the French teams – in the Winter Cup, Copa del Sol, Galéa or Borotra, all those child or junior competitions. So obviously my Holy Grail is playing the Davis Cup and winning. I’ve always trained with that as my number one objective. I grew up with the 1991 win. I was nine, I was at home, I remember it exactly, I…

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