Winston Salem last stop before US Open

We’re in the middle of the North American swing, now that Nico is in Winston Salem. The last few weeks he was  competing in Cincinnati and in Montreal. It weren’t the most succesfull weeks on the hardcourts, but Nico does have some matches under the belt leading to the US Open.

In Montreal started the week with qualifications, where Nico was the first seeded in the qualification draw. He won over an alternate from Canada, named Isade Juneau with 6-1 7-5. This match was followed by a last round qualifying against Ernests Gulbis, which was a great fight but unfortunately Nico didn’t win it: 7-6 5-7 3-6.
It came as a big surprise that Nico still was allowed to play in the maindraw, because he was last minute Lucky Loser for Richard Gasquet who couldn’t play due to injury. Nico played against Jeremy chardy, who won in straight sets: 6-1 7-5.

The doublestournament in Montreal began with a first round bye. The spanish duo of Rafael Nadal and Fernando Verdasco were the opponents in the second round, and they got the win in the supertiebreak, winning 7-6 6-7 10-4.

In Cincinnati started the tournament with qualifications for the singlesdraw, which happened in two matches. In the 1st round Q he won in straight sets over American Frances Tiafoe: 6-3 6-2. The dfin
final round Q: 6-2 6-4 over another American Steve Johnson.

In the maindraw waited another American, a young player called Jared Donaldson. The match started on monday, but was stopped for rain/darkness when Nico was down 1-4 in the final set. Nico couldn’t turn around the match in the next day and lost in 3 sets: 5-7 7-6 2-6.
Of course there were doubles too in Cincinnati with Pierre-Hugues. In the first round they were too strong for the fellow french team of Gilles Simon and Adrian Mannarino with 6-3 6-2 in less than an hour. The end was in round 2, with a big fight against Rohan Bopanna and Florian Mergea.  Nico and Pierre-Hugues had to bow in the supertiebreak: 6-1 6-7 11-13.

Nicolas and Pierre-Hugues are now both in Winston Salem, but there are no doubles this week. it’s the last event before the US Open, and the last possibility to get some match rythm. Nico is directly into the maindraw, where he plays today against a player from Kazakhstan, Mikhail Kukushkin (ATP 54).

Bonne chance Nico!

Two more titles after the 2015 grass season

With another grass season over, the palmares of Nicolas has grown with a few more titles. He won the singles title in ‘s-Hertogenbosch again, all the way from qualifying, and was the strongest with Pierre-Hugues Herbert on the grass in Queens a few weeks later.

His total amount of singlestitles is now 3, all on grass. And there are nine doublestitles on ATP level behind his name. Here’s a short overview of all Nico’s ATP titles of his carreer so far.

ATP singles titles:
2013: ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Newport
2015: ‘s-Hertogenbosch

ATP doubles titles:
2003: Metz
2004: Metz
2009: Lyon
2012: Metz, Marseille, Montpellier
2013: Newport
2014: Rotterdam
2015: Queens

To conclude, a few images from Nicolas when he won his singles title this year on the grass of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

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Flashback to Wimbledon 2015

We’re in a short summerbreak, before the North American hardcourt swing starts for Nicolas. He’s scheduled to play the Rogers Cup for his first tournament, starting on august 10 of this year. Sorry for the delays on here, but during Wimbledon it was simply impossible to be online to post things, but no worries, we’ve got a bunch of pictures for you from London.

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Wimbledon this year began with the wildcard for singles. In the first match was our champion scheduled to play against Serbian Filip Krajinovic. Nico got the win in 4 sets: 7-6 6-4 3-6 7-5. He was treated on his thigh in this match, having it taped by the trainer.

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On wednesday began the doublestournament, with 37 degrees in the British capital. Nicolas and Pierre-Hugues had to do a lot of work to defeat the Spanish couple of Almagro and Menendez-Maceiras in 2 hours and 41 minutes: 1-6 7-6 6-3 4-6 6-3.

The singlesdraw was not so lucky for Nico, because in his second round he got to play Tomas Berdych. The match went in straight sets to Berdych, although Nico didn’t play a bad match. Berdych was simply too good: 6-1 6-4 6-4. There was a day of rest on friday, before the second round in doubles was played on the saturday. This time it were the experienced players Gilles Muller and Aisam Qureshi who were sent home: 6-7 7-6 6-4 6-4 in exact 3 hours of play.

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Wimbledon was this year sooner over than the year before, because in the third round was the duo of Matkowski/Zimonjic too strong for Nicolas and Pierre-Hugues.  The final result was 7-6 3-6 7-5 6-1. Because of last years semifinal with Mika Llodra, Nico has lost a lot of points in the doublesrankings, and is now number 22 of the world. In the race to London, Nicolas and Pierre-Hugues are 9th as a team.

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Flashback on Davis Cup: 17-19 july 2015 in London

It’s the week after Davis Cup, and we can look back on the second selection for Nico in the French Davis cup team.

Nico was one of the first team meambers to go to Queens to start the practice on the grasscourts there. It was only weeks ago that He and Pierre-Hugues had won the doublestournament there during the Queens tournament. During the week, he and Jo practiced together, but thursday at the draw was Nico announced as the man to play doubles with Richard Gasquet.

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These are two pictures taken during one of the practice days, when Nico practiced with Jo Wilfriend Tsonga.

Tennis - Great Britain v France - Davis Cup World Group Quarter Final - Queen’s Club, London - 15/7/15 France's Nicolas Mahut and Jo Wilfried Tsonga during practice Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers Livepic

Tennis - Great Britain v France - Davis Cup World Group Quarter Final - Queen’s Club, London - 15/7/15 France's Nicolas Mahut and Jo Wilfried Tsonga during practice Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Boyers Livepic

Friday started the tie with France winning the first point. Gilles Simon won in straight sets over Britains James Ward, giving them the lead in the tie with this strong performance: 6-4 6-4 6-1. Great Britain equalised the score, later that afternoon with Andy Murray taking the win over Jo Wilfried Tsonga: 7-5 7-6 6-2.

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Saturday it was Nico’s turn to make the appearance in the french kit, with Jo Wilfried Tsonga as teammate to fight for the third point of the tie. The first set was for the french team, but the Brits came back in the match, and won the next 3 sets: 4-6 6-3 7-6 6-1. A real pity that the level of play from the French dropped after set 1, and never came back for the rest of the match. The disappointment was visible on the French faces, as they were 1-2 behind after day 2. It was all or nothing for the last matchday for them.

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The sunday was planned with Andy Murray taking on Gilles Simon for the 4th point, followed by Jo wilfried Tsonga vs James Ward for the last point of this quarterfinal. Gilles Simon played a great match, even won the first set, untill he slipped and seemed to have hurt his knee with the fall. He seemed to be able to continue, played great rallies against Murray, but the second fall, and a hurt ankle pretty much ended the French hopes for a win. In the fourth set wasn’t Gilles able to move any more, and Andy could win the match in four sets: 4-6 7-6 6-3 6-0.

Great Britain won over France, and the fifth rubber wasn’t played anymore. It’s the Brits who take on Australia in the semifinals in september. France will be back in the worldgroup of 2016, the draw for next year will be made in september.

Grass season in full swing, Wimbledon coming up!

First of all, very sorry for the lack of updates on the blog last few weeks. We’ll definately try to update it more again for the rest of the year. It has been an amazing few weeks on the grass so far, and we are only halfway the season. Nico was the winner in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in singles and runner up in doubles with Pierre-Hugues. The week after that, the two went one step further to catch their first ATP title together by winning the doubles tournament of Queens.

This week was the week of qualifications for the greenest of all Grand Slams, Wimbledon.Nico has been given a wildcard, but his doublespartner had to qualify for the maindraw, which he did succesfully. The draw for the singles and both doubles tournament are made yesterday.

Nico plays his first round against Filip Krajinovic from Serbia. Krajinovic is currently number 121 of the world. In the round after, Nico can play against the winner of Jeremy Chardy and Tomas Berdych. But before this can happen, there’s the first round first, and this should be played on tuesday. The tophalf starts on monday and the bottomhalf, including Nico, on tuesday.

The doublesdraw was made too, and it should not be too difficult for Nico and Pierre-Hugues in their first round match. They play the spanish couple of Almagro and Menendez-Maceiras.

More pictures of the previous grass events will be added too, and we’ll be in Wimbledon live, so stay tuned for grass tennis plctures on this place soon.

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Madrid 2015: doubles with Edouard Roger-Vasselin

With a short delay some pictures of the doublesmatch from last wednesday. Nicolas and Edouard lost the second round with 6-4 4-6 10-5. They got a bye for the first round (seeded 8th in Madrid), so they just played one match this year. Doublesmatches can be so close, the difference was only 3 points! Mergea/Bopanna won 65, and the french 62 points in this match.

The focus goes now to Bordeaux, the challenger that’s played next week. Nico is in the singles maindraw there. Fingers crossed for a good week for him to come. Allez!

(but first enjoy these photos, with thanks again to Rena Ibragimova, who took them for us to use.)

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Still doubles left to play in Madrid

The last round of qualifying yesterday didn’t go the way we wanted, Nicolas lost a big battle against Luca Vanni in 3 sets: 4-6 6-3 5-7. Luckily he’ll get some more clay rythm, because he’s still in doubles with Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

It’s a real pity to have been so close, (Vanni broke Nico in the third set in his last servicegame) but let’s take the positives from this weekend. He got to play some matches on clay, and reaching that second qualifying round gives Nico 16 points to hopefully rise a few places on the rankings next week. In case you haven’t followed the match yesterday, here are the stats.

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Madrid is not over yet, because there’s doubles to be played with Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Both men are without their regular partners, which makes them the eight seed team in Madrid. For the first round, the french have a bye. In the second round they will play the winners of Kontinen/Draganja vs Bopanna/Dregea.

We have some pictures from yesterdays match for you, made by Rena Ibragimova. She kindly gave permission to share them on here, hope you enjoy!

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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