Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 10th of March 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 10th of March 2014

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TENNIS – Elena Baltacha is diagnosed with liver cancer. Murray wins 300 on hard courts. Ward’s luck in California. Laura Robson announces Mauricio Hadad as her new coach. Hutchins lands prestigious job and the 2014 inductees for the Hall of Fame are announced. Joshua Bosco

 

Good luck Baltacha
After suffering with a chronic liver condition from the age of 19, former British No.1 Elena Baltacha has now been diagnosed with liver cancer.
In a statement released on the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) website, the 30 year old ex-tennis player said “I’m currently undergoing treatment and fighting this illness with everything I have”.
Baltacha retired from the game in November 2013 and married her former coach Nino Severino, who also used to be a kick-boxing champion, a month later.

300 for Murray, 599 for Hewitt
While Lleyton Hewitt has been denied a 600th career win with a 7-6(5), 6-4 loss to South African Kevin Anderson, British No.1 Andy Murray notched up his 300th win on hard courts with a hard-fought win against Lukas Rosol in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.
Murray now stands 6th in the active hard-court match wins rankings, topped by Roger Federer with 575 wins, and is just 24 wins shy of Rafael Nadal’s 5th spot.
Hewitt, on the other hand, is looking to become just the third active male player to reach the 600th win milestone, the other two being Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Lucky Ward, unlucky Delpo
Last year’s finalist Juan Martin del Potro has been forced to withdraw from Indian Wells due to his ongoing wrist problem, which had already caused him to retire during his match against Somdev Devvarman in Dubai last week.
His place in the second round match against Feliciano Lopez has been taken by lucky loser James Ward, hero of Great Britain’s Davis Cup tie with USA in February.
Del Potro has also switched places in the rankings with Roger Federer as a result of points lost with his withdrawal. The Argentinian is now eighth and Federer is seventh, close on the heels of No.6 Tomas Berdych.

Another new coach for Laura
British No.1 Laura Robson has once again changed coach. After just 9 months with Zeljko Krajan, 4 months with Miles Maclagan and only 2 months with the newly appointed Nick Saviano and Jesse Witten duo, she has now hired Mauricio Hadad, a Colombian with Lebanese origins, a former tennis player who reached his highest ranking at No.78 in 1995.
In the past he coached Maria Sharapova, helping the then-17 year old Russian to her surprising 2004 Wimbledon title. He also worked with Heather Watson, who won her first WTA title (in Osaka) under his guidance.

Ross Hutchins lands new job
Ross Hutchins has been named tournament Director for the AEGON Championships at Queen’s Club.
The 29 year old, who returned to action in January after recovering from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, will not play in the event which starts on June 9 but he will be responsible for tennis decisions and player/ATP relations.
The British player added that Colin Fleming, his regular doubles partner, will partner someone else at Queen’s but assured that they would play together for the rest of the season.

Class of 2014
Last Monday the International Tennis Hall of Fame announced the “Class of 2014”, a list of five new inductees that will join the other 235 people honoured in the organisation’s 60-year history.
The five inductees are:
Lindsay Davenport: a six times Grand Slam champion (3 titles in singles without losing a set and 3 titles in doubles), the former American player has reached the World No.1 spot in both singles and doubles. She also has an Olympic Gold Medal to her name, won in Atlanta in 1996.
Nick Bollettieri: after founding the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in 1978, the American tennis coach has guided 10 players to No.1 in the world.
John Barrett: a former British No.5 and BBC Sports Commentator, he reached the 3rd round at Wimbledon four times. One of the sport’s premier historians and authors, he is only the 8th journalist to be honoured by the organisation.
Chantal Vandierendonck: the first female wheelchair tennis player to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, she is a five-time Paralympic gold medallist and three-time ITF Wheelchair Tennis World Champion.
Jane Brown Grimes: a former reporter/researcher for Life magazine, she has been involved with tennis for more than 30 years. She has held executive leadership roles with the WTA and the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
Joshua Bosco

ATP

REPORT: Japanese Tennis Association To Lose One Billion Yen In 2020

The loss of a key men’s event in the country has resulted in millions of dollars being loss in revenue.

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Venue of the 2019 Mens Japan Open (image via https://twitter.com/rakutenopen)

The cancellation of a premier tennis event in Japan due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is set to have a massive financial impact on the country’s governing body.

 

Last month organisers made the decision to scrap the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships this year amid fears of a second wave of the virus in October when the it is set to take place. The tournament is currently categorised as an ATP 500 event and has been held annually since 1973. In 2019 Novak Djokovic won the tournament for the first time in his career without dropping a single set throughout. Other previous winners also include Roger Federer (2006), Rafael Nadal (2010) and Andy Murray (2011).

“Given concerns about a second wave of the infection both in Japan and overseas, we came to the anguished conclusion that we had to cancel,” organisers said in a statement.

It has been estimated that as a result of the move, the Japanese Tennis Association (JTA) will lose millions of dollars in revenue. National news agency Kyodo has estimated the loss to be at least 1 billion Yen ($9.4 million) based on this event alone and no others.

JTA executive director Naohiro Kawatei told Kyodo that moving athletes in and out of the country is problematic due to the current situation. Tokyo has recently raised it’s Coronavirus alert level to the top of a four-point scale after there have been more than 100 new daily cases of the virus in the city for six days in a row. Furthermore, The Bank of Japan has revised down their growth forecasts.

“In addition to players coming from overseas, it is the responsibility of organizers to facilitate their departure, so there are some differences between our sport and others,” said Kawatei.

At present the women’s top tournament in the country is still on the 2020 schedule. The Pan Pacific Open, which is classed as a Premier event, is currently set to take place during the week commencing November 2nd.

Recently the Asian swing of the tennis season has been thrown into jeopardy after the Chinese General Administration of Sports recommended that no sports events take place in the country unless they are related to Olympic qualification. Although sports federations, including both the ATP and WTA, are seeking clarity from officials before they make their next move. China is usually where the majority of Asian tennis events are played, including the WTA Finals.

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Official: No Swiss Indoors In 2020 Due To COVID-19

Roger Federer’s home event was set to take place between October 26th and November 1st.

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By Emil Evtimov

The ATP 500 Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel won’t happen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The organizers of the Swiss Indoors already hinted a couple of weeks ago that the tournament in Roger Federer’s hometown was unlikely to happen due to the Coronavirus and the financial impact from the restrictions on spectator capacity.

This year’s edition would have been the 50th anniversary of the tournament, but is now out of the ATP calendar. Organizers are already making plans for the 2021 edition between 23 and 31 October.

“Dear tennis friends, As a result of the Corona pandemic, the world’s third largest indoor tournament has been definitively cancelled,” a statement issued by the tournament reads.
“The ATP has now formally approved the request to cancel the Swiss Indoors Basel, after the tournament management of the Swiss Indoors had already declared in mid-June that it would be irresponsible and unfeasible to hold the tournament in view of the medical, social and economic uncertainty.”

Founded by Roger Brennwald, the Swiss Indoors had been held every year since 1970. It became an event on the Grand Prix Circuit in 1977 and has been classed as a ATP 500 tournament since 2009. 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, who is a former ball boy at the event, has won the title a record 10 times.

The latest development leaves another big question mark on the remainder of the 2020 season. ATP president Andrea Gaudenzi spoke frankly during an interview with Sky Sport Italia and admitted that he is still unsure of what the final quarter of the calendar will look like.

“We have no idea how the Asian swing or the European indoor season could go. It might sound obvious, but I can’t predict how the virus will affect us going forward, there are too many variables to consider,”  he said.

As of today, the ATP Tour should restart on 14 August with the Citi Open in Washington, followed by the Cincinnati Masters and US Open. After that the tour goes to Europe for a mini clay season with the two Masters (Madrid and Rome) and Roland Garros.

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France’s Lucas Pouille To Undergo Surgery

The 26-year-old has suffered another setback to his plans for a return to the Tour.

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Lucas Pouille (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Lucas Pouille says he is hopeful that he will be able to play tennis again this season after announcing plans to undergo surgery.

 

The world No.58 confirmed on Tuesday morning that he will be having an operation on his right elbow later this month in Paris. Pouille has only managed to play one match this year on the ATP Tour due to the injury, which was at the Indian Wells Challenger tournament where he lost in straight sets to Noah Rubin.  The issue has been bothering the Frenchman since last October when he shut down his season early after the Shanghai Masters.

“It’s never an easy decision to take, but I will get surgery on my right elbow this month in Paris. After new medical exams, it appeared it was the best solution in order to finally be able to play pain-free. I still hope to play before the end of the season.” Pouille said in a statement.

Pouille initially looked to be on track to making a return to action after participating in the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in June. An exhibition tournament created by Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou. However, he lost two matches to Feliciano Lopez and Elliot Benchetrit before being forced to withdraw from the competition due to his elbow.

In recent days the coach of the former world No.10,  Loic Courteau, said they will not be travelling to the US Open next month. Although it is unclear if Courteau’s comments were made before or after the decision to undergo surgery was made.

“I will not be in New York, for the good reason that Lucas… is not going to play the tournament,” he told French television.

Pouille has won five ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $7 million in prize money. He is currently the eighth highest ranked French player on the ATP Tour.

Pouille’s ATP titles breakdown

2018 1 Montpellier (Indoor/Hard)
2017 3 Vienna (Indoor/Hard)
Stuttgart (Outdoor/Grass)
Budapest (Outdoor/Clay)
2016 1 Metz (Indoor/Hard)

 

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