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.

IMG_0971

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

IMG_0983

IMG_0999

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.

IMG_1012

IMG_1016

IMG_1071

IMG_1152

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.

IMG_1268 IMG_1281

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.

IMG_1287 IMG_1290

IMG_1302

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.

IMG_1317

IMG_1325

IMG_1339 IMG_1348

IMG_1363 IMG_1401

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

IMG_1415 IMG_1417

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.

IMG_1435 IMG_1436

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.

IMG_1440 IMG_1449

IMG_1454 IMG_1461

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

IMG_1479 IMG_1482

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.

IMG_1525

IMG_9399

IMG_9404

IMG_9433 IMG_9445

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.

IMG_9468

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…

View original 547 more words

Nico prepares for his first Davis Cup

There is a very good reason why Nico is not playing the challenger of Quimper this week. He’s selected for the French Davis cup team for the first time in his carreer. Tuesday last week, the selections were made public, and Clément had added Nico for the first time to his team.

The team arrived yesterday in Frankfurt, but the Arena wasn’t ready yet to practice in. In this video, they’re leaving for Frankfurt, arriving in their hotel and doing a fitness session in the gym.

Today was the first day they could practice in the Arena, and there’s a video from the training of Monfils and Simon too. Unfortunately no video yet from Nico, but he practiced for doubles today, with at least Benneteau on court too.

In the first place, Nico was named the fourth man in the team, with Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet being the other ones. Gasquet got injured in Dubai last week, and was out of the selection. Therefore, captain Arnaud Clément added Edouard Roger-Vasselin to the team. Benneteau is still the fifth man, but in the next few days the real selection of 4 men will be made. It’s not 100 percent sure that Nico will be part of the doubles, but with the form how he played in Australia there’s a very good chance to be part of the doublesteam that will play against the Germans this weekend.

Hopefully we’ll be able to give you photos from Frankfurt this weekend, of Nico being part of the french Davis cup team. It’s a very exciting week already!

Allez Nico, bonne chance à Francfort!

Marseille summary

For the second time this year was a doubles tournament over earlier than expected for Nico due to injury of his partner. In january he and Pierre-Hugues had to retire  from Brisbane due to a back injury from PH. This time it was a fall in his singlesmatch on wednesday that made him retire in singles, and also from doubles on friday.

Like in Rotterdam, Marseille started in qualifying tournament too for Nico. He had to play 3 matches to make it all the way to the maindraw.
Round 1 vs Andres Artunedo: 76(2) 75
Round 2 vs Mischa Zverev: 76(5) 61 Round 3 vs Remi Boutillier: 63 75

In the maindraw he got as first opponent someone who is ranked 59 in the world, german Jan-Lennard Struff. This match was played on tuesday, and ended very tight. In the first set seemed it an easy match for Jan-Lennard, in less than half an hour he took the set with 6-1. Nico made a very strong comeback in the match, winning the seconbd set in tiebreak, and makiing it to a third set tiebreak too. Unfortunately, the tiebreak wasn’t meant to be, Struff defeated Nico in 3 sets: 6-1 6-7 ( 7-6 (1).

The first match doubles was against that same Jan-Lennard Struff with one of the Australian Open champions, Simone Bolelli. Nico and Pierre-Hugues didn’t have too much troubles with them, they won in straight sets 6-3 7-6 (4). They created 7 breakpoints, but only managed to use 1. Due to the injury of Pierre-Hugues, the team gave a walkover for the quarterfinal on friday. On the positive side, they had nothing to defend, which means that 45 doublesrankingspoints are added to their ranking next week!

Up next is the challenger of Cherbourg, only for singles. Nico will play Axel Michon (ATP 197) in his first round. Allez!! Let’s have some good wins to build confidence for the months to come.

10361032_10153102418744551_4194899352259478794_n 10993436_10153102418904551_9136263633561097316_n 10996724_10153102419019551_3646324370382340511_n 10998076_10153102418894551_2371422273109909895_n

10974724_10153111214924551_6399116541571223656_o 11001565_10153111214859551_8536562611118622244_o

All photos from the official Open 13 facebook page. The last two are from the match against Struff, in singles.

Photoreport: Rotterdam 2015

Here are some photos from Rotterdam, from the qualifying matches, practices and the match against Andy Murray. Hope you enjoy! The first ones are from the first qualifying match on saturday, february 7th.

IMG_9413

IMG_9419

IMG_9425

These are from the second qualifying match, against Michael Berrer.

IMG_9453

IMG_9459

IMG_9463

Nico was every day on the practice courts of course, here with Pospisil to warm up for their doublesmatch on monday. (see the fourth photo).

IMG_9577

IMG_9596

IMG_9629

IMG_9734

Here’s Nico practicing with Wawrinka, the day before the match against Andy Murray.

IMG_9928

IMG_9946

IMG_9957

Then the last performance of this year in Rotterdam, the match in the first roudn against topseed Andy Murray. Nico played a great match, but unfortunately Andy was better in the important moments and won in straight sets. Still a match to be proud of!

IMG_0098

IMG_0102

IMG_0117

IMG_0144

IMG_0165

IMG_0175

Nico hit himself into the Marseille maindraw

Nico’s current ranking in singles doesn’t give him direct access to maindraws. That’s why he had to qualify himself last weekend to try to make it to the maindraw in Rotterdam. This weekend he did the same, he reached the maindraw of Marseille today.

Last week was a qualifying tournament of only two matches, with Nico winning in his first round over Nikoloz Basilashvili: 6-4 6-4. In the last round he faced german Michael Berrer, who was defeated in a very tight match: 5-7 6-4 7-6.
Monday was for doubles, with Canadian Vasek Pospisil. Both maindraws weren’t too lucky for Nico because he got to play the first seeds in doubles, Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Julien Benneteau, and was placed in the singlesdraw opposite of Andy Murray, numnber 1 seed in singles. The duo of Benneteau/Roger-Vasselin won in straight sets, which made Nico lose many points in the doublesrankings.

The match against Andy Murray was of a very good level. Nico made some beautiful points too, they had great rallies, but the Murray proved why he is one of the top players in the world. He won in straight sets over Nico, 6-3 6-2. The score make it look a n easy match for Andy, but many games were deuce games, and it wasn’t only Andy who made great points this match.

Next stop for Nico was Marseille, where he went on thursday, giving him some time to prepare for the next qualifying tournament in the south french city. The qualifying tournament in Marseille was in 3 rounds, and they went like this:
Round 1: 7-6 7-5 over Andres Artunedo
Round 2: 7-6 6-1 over Mischa Zverev
Round 3: 6-3 7-5 over Remi Boutillier

Tomorrow brings more action in Marseille, because Nico plays his first round of the maindraw against Jan-Lennard Struff, a young german player. It’s the same Struff he plays in doubles later, when the Australian Open finalists are back together for a tournament. Nicolas and Pierre-Hugues will play against Bolelli/Struff in their first round tomorrow, second match after 4pm on court 1.

One quick look at the ATP rankings of this week: in singles is Nico now on spot 119. That’s 10 places lower than last week, because he had a second round to defend in Rotterdam from last year (45 points). It’s gonna be interesting this week in Marseille, because here’s a quarterfinal to defend, worth 45 points too.
In doubles it’s a different story. In the race to London, Nico and PH are now third team. Nico individual, as a doublesplayer is ranked 20, 3 places lower after losing the Rotterdam title doubles points. He has nothing to defend in Marseille, they can go all the way in doubles!

Some photos from both Rotterdam and Marseille follow tomorrow, stay tuned.

Allez Nico, let’s go for some great matches in Marseille!

Rotterdam up next for Nicolas

Let’s look forward, to the near future. The next tournament in which Nico will participate is in Rotterdam, next week.

He’ll play in the first weekend in the qualifying tournament in singles. He will also play in doubles, not with Pierre-Hugues, but with Vasek Pospisil from Canada. This makes a combination of a Wimbledon champion and an Australian Open runner up. Not bad, right?

This weeks rankings in doubles are very positive. If you look at the teamrankings, Pierre -Hugues and Nico are second after their great run in Melbourne. Nico, as individual doublesplayer, is 17th of the world, that’s 4 places higher than before. (Pierre Hugues is 30, that’s 34 places higher). In singles rises Nico 2 spots, from 114 to 112. But remember, no matter how small the steps are, it’s a step in right direction again!

We won’t know untill friday evening who Nico will play in the qualifying Rotterdam, so stay tuned for that. And as always: alllezzzz Nicolas!

No crown in Melbourne, but a bright future awaits

A few days later and we can hopefully look a bit more from a distance back on the doublesfinal last saturday. Nicolas was in his second Grand Slam final of his carreer, this time next to Pierre-Hugues Herbert. They lost in straight sets to Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini: 6-4 6-4. Right now, we know too that Pierre-Hugues suffered before the match, with an infection.

It’s a bit more easy talking now, because we know more of the situation, but compared to the other matches, there were more errors on the french side. Shots going wide, or landing in the net. Of course, this happens too because of the opponents, who put the pressure on the french team. They did get chances on the italians serve, but couldn’t push through most of the times. They got 7 breakpoints during the match, only converted the first one, for the 3-1 lead in the first set. A game later, the Italians broke the servicegame of Pierre Hugues, and it was back on serve. Later in the same set, Pierre Hugues lost his serve for the second time, and the Italian team could serve the set out.

Nicolas+Mahut+2015+Australian+Open+Day+13+X0ysxoVt7tYl

In the second set the French started with holding serve, for the first games. One very curious ball in the fifth game here, when we could see in the replay that Nico touched the ball twice, but the point was for the French because the umpire didn’t see it. The only breakchances for Nico and Pierre Hugues were at 4-3 15-40. Unfortunately they couldn’t use their chances and instead, Nico lost his serve in the game after for 4-5. Again, the opponents served for the set, and this time for the match and the championship: 6-4 6-4 for Bolelli and Fognini after one hour and 21 minutes.

stats final

It was hard not to be affected by the few words spoken by Nico after recieving the trophies for runner ups. Pierre Hugues didn’t say something at all, but only looked very disappointed. Maybe they didn’t realise it then, but hopefully they do realise now that reaching a Grand Slam final is an excellent performance.

Nicolas+Mahut+2015+Australian+Open+Day+13+sAs5QWkmj6-l

Here’s a video from the Australian Open with highlights of the final http://youtu.be/J4PsFPC5A4g , and the little video where Pierre Hugues got hit on the head by a serve from Nico. http://youtu.be/dp7seHpCtUM
Also a few more photo’s from the last match in Melbourne for this year (all photos: Getty Images). We can only be very proud now, and looking forward to the future. Remember, this is only the fourth occasion that Nico and Pierre-Hugues teamed up for doubles, and then already in a Grand Slam final is an incredible result. Their games suit very well together and both players seem to feel eachother very good. The future is bright for this doublesteam! They seem to have the goal to be in London at the end of the year, for the World Tour finals, so here´s a goal to support them in for the rest of the season. ALLEZ!

Nicolas+Mahut+2015+Australian+Open+Day+13+mmdOxzxu7Bsl

Nicolas+Mahut+2015+Australian+Open+Day+13+urJG1kbhHctl

Nicolas+Mahut+2015+Australian+Open+Day+13+okr-kmhHLhjl

Nicolas+Mahut+2015+Australian+Open+Day+13+YnI-R_jZ4bul