BITS & PIECES FROM THE WORLD OF TENNIS: 24TH OF MARCH 2014 - UBITENNIS
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BITS & PIECES FROM THE WORLD OF TENNIS: 24TH OF MARCH 2014

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TENNIS – Del Potro will have to undergo an operation on his wrist. Hewitt records his 600th win. Nieminen and Tomic recorded the quickest match in ATP history. World No.4 Victoria Azarenka will miss the 2014 Monterrey Open, starting on 31st March and goodbye Paris Open. Joshua Bosco

 

Del Potro wrist concerns

According to Argentine Media, World No.8 Juan Martin del Potro will have to undergo an operation on his left wrist, missing the rest of the season for rehabilitation. He had surgery on his right wrist in May 2010 just months after winning the US Open, his first and only (for now) Grand Slam title.

After a poor 2011, he finally made his comeback in 2012 winning the Bronze medal at the London Olympic Games and this year he was looking forward to reclaiming a spot in the top rankings. After winning the Apia International Sydney at the beginning of the season, he lost in just the second round of the Australian Open. After six weeks off the court, he returned for the first round in Dubai against Devvarman, but had to retire mid match after losing the first set 7-6.

He then missed Indian Wells and he has now withdrawn from Miami to travel to Minnesota to discuss undergoing surgery with American specialist Richard Berger, the same surgeon who operated him in 2010.

Hewitt and Garcia-Lopez go 600 and 200

Lleyton Hewitt finally recorded his 600th win on the ATP tour, becoming just the 21st player to reach the milestone and only the 3rd active player to do so. He joined Roger Federer (943) and Rafael Nadal (676) in the elite club after defeating Robin Haase 3-6 6-3 6-3 in the first round at Miami.

His first win came 16 years ago in Adelaide in 1998, when he defeated Scott Draper in his first round match.

World No.55 Guillermo Garcia Lopez also reached a milestone in Miami, winning his 200th career match against 23rd seed Gael Monfils, reaching the third round of the Sony Open for the first time.

Quickest match ever

Bernard Tomic and Jarkko Nieminem recorded the quickest match in ATP history in their first round encounter at the Sony Open. The Australian, who was playing his first tournament since undergoing surgery on both hips in January, lost 6-0 6-1 to Nieminem in just 28 minutes and 20 seconds.

The previous record belonged to Greg Rusedski and Carsten Arriens’ 1996 match which lasted a whole 29 minutes.

Azarenka still out

World No.4 Victoria Azarenka will miss the 2014 Monterrey Open, starting on 31st March, due to the foot injury that has been bothering her since the beginning of the season. It’s the second year in a row that she has withdrawn from both Miami and Monterrey due to injury.

According to the Monterrey tournament director, the Belarusian still needs a couple of months to recover from her injury: if this is true, it would mean that Azarenka will miss the best part of the clay court season and  could be out until  Roland Garros, the second Grand Slam of the season.

Au revoir, Paris

The Open GDF Suez has been renamed “L’Open de Paris Coubertin” and will move to Toulouse next year. The women’s tournament, held in Paris since its first edition in 1993, will be held in Toulouse for at least five years and will keep its Premier level status.

Usually held the week after the Australian Open, the tournament will now move forward a week and next year it will run from 7th to 15th February.

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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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