Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 7th of April 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 7th of April 2014

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TENNIS – Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis. Andrea Petkovic won the Family Circle Cup in Charleston. Ana Ivanovic won in Monterrey. Will Farrell wto be Riggs in “Battle of the sexes”. Wawrinka collects an award. Haas and Ferrer celebrate their birthday this week and who is playing where this week. Joshua Bosco

 

Charleston & Monterrey champions

The Family Circle Cup was won by Andrea Petkovic, who beat Jana Cepelova 7-5 6-2 in 1h 19m. Both players had a fantastic week in Charleston, with Cepelova beating Serena Williams, Vesnina and Hantuchova before defeating Bencic in the semi-final, while Petkovic beat Lisicki, Safarova and Bouchard playing some of her best tennis in quite some time.

Ana Ivanovic beat Jovana Jaksic 6-2 6-1 in an all-Serb final to win the Monterrey Open. Jaksic defeated the “Godmother of the WTA Tour” Kimiko Date Krumm to reach her first WTA career final, while Ivanovic battled past Caroline Wozniacki with a 7-6(5) 6-4 win: it was her sixth Top 20 win this season and the third against a former World No.1.

Tennis goes to Hollywood

Famous American actor and comedian Will Ferrell will play Bobby Riggs in “Match Maker” – an upcoming movie drama about the 1973 ‘Battle of the Sexes’ tennis match, where Riggs played Billie Jean King.

Riggs was World No.1 in 1939 and then again as a professional in 1946 and 1947. He won the US Open twice and completed a Wimbledon triple in 1939, capturing the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles.

At 55 years old he seized an opportunity to make some money and draw attention to the sport of tennis when he challenged the then World No.1 Margaret Court and beat her 6-2 6-1. After the match, King came forward and agreed to play him, having refused a previous offer and the pair met four months later in Houston. Billie Jean King won the match, later marred by controversies, 6-4 6-3 6-3 and also claimed a winner-take-all prize of $100,000.

Davis Cup Commitment Awards

Swiss tennis star and 2014 Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka headlined the latest group of recipients of the Davis Cup Commitment Award, an honour presented to Davis Cup players who have competed in a minimum of 20 home-and-away ties or 50 ties at any level of the competition over their career.

This new award was presented for the first time as part of the of the ITF’s centenary celebrations in 2013: among the initial recipients were Italian legend Nicola Pietrangeli -who has played 66 ties for his country – and San Marino’s Domenico Vicini who, with a total of 89, holds the record for most ties played in all levels of the competition.

This weekend Wawrinka, Japan’s Go Soeda, South Africa’s Rik de Voest, Slovak Republic’s Michal Mertinak and ten others were added to the list of 317 players who have already qualified to receive the award.

Happy Birthday

This week David Ferrer celebrated his 32nd birthday while Tommy Haas celebrated his birthday becoming one of only seven 36 year old players to be ranked in the Top 20.

He joins Australians Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall and Roy Emerson and Americans Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors and Andre Agassi in this elite list.

5) Who’s playing where

After last week’s pause for the Davis Cup, the ATP Tour resumes today with two 250 ATP World Tour events.

While many top names are taking a rest before Monte-Carlo, defending champion and top seed John Isner will be joined by Spaniards Robredo, Almagro, Verdasco and Lopez, Juan Monaco, Lleyton Hewitt and big server Ivo Karlovic in Houston for the US Men’s Clay Court Championships.

Other players, including top seed Kevin Anderson, French duo Monfils and Paire, Marcel Granollers and Robin Haase decided to stay closer to Monte-Carlo and will play in Casablanca at the 28th edition of the Grand Prix Hassan II.

In the week before the Fed Cup, the women will be divided between two tournaments, the Katowice Open and the Copa Colsanitas in Bogotá.

Polish No.1 Agnieszka Radwanska heads the field in Katowice where she will be joined by Roberta Vinci, Alize Cornet, Tsvetana Pironkova and Jovana Jaksic, who has received entry as a special exempt into the main draw after reaching the final in Monterrey.

Defending champion Jelena Jankovic, Sloane Stephens and Karin Knapp are the top seeds in Bogotá.

 

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Tour Suspension Will Benefit Novak Djokovic More Than Nadal And Federer, Claims Woodbridge

The former world No.1 doubles player explains why he thinks Djokovic will benefit more than his rivals.

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Australian tennis great Todd Woodbridge believes the current suspension of tennis could have a silver lining for Novak Djokovic and his bid to claim the greatest of all time honour.

 

On Wednesday it was confirmed that all professional tennis tournaments have been suspended until at least July due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision came shortly after Wimbledon was forced to axe their event for the first time since 1945. Prior to the suspension, Djokovic started 2020 unbeaten by winning 18 matches in a row. During that period he guided Serbia to the ATP Cup title, won a record eighth Australian Open title and triumphed at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Now with the tour being brought to a halt, some are speculating as to what the implications could be on the prestigious Big Three. A trio featuring Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Between them they have won 52 out of the last 60 grand slam tournaments.

Woodbridge believes Djokovic is in the best situation because of his age. At the age of 32 he is younger than both Nadal (33) and Federer (38). Although neither of those players are planning to retire from the sport just yet.

“Because of the uncertainty, it makes it hard to see how the three can dominate when they come back because of the age of Roger and Rafa,” Woodbridge told Yahoo Sport Australia.
“It also puts more pressure on Rafa and it changes all of those storylines that were on the table for 2020.
“For Novak, it may come at a good time in his career to actually rejuvenate him again, give him another big burst.
“So if anything, this period helps him the most.”

The biggest question mark surrounds Federer, who recently underwent knee surgery and will turn 39 in August. However, the Swiss Maestro has recently confirmed that he intends to play the 2021 season after pledging to return to the court in Halle. One of the grass-court tournaments that has been cancelled this year.

“We experience difficult times, however, we will arise from it strengthened. Already today I am glad and excited about my return to Halle next year.” He said.

Although Woodbridge believes the suspension will hinder Federer’s dream of extending his record-breaking grand slam tally of 20 titles. He last won a major at the 2018 Australian Open. However, since then Federer has only reached a grand slam final in one out of seven attempts.

“The less match play that you get in this period at that age, it’s so much harder to come back and recover once you start again.” Woodbridge explained.
“So I really think that post-2020 will be a new era of people trying to create records because it’ll have really have broken up a great period in tennis.
“It has stopped the potential, I think, of Federer winning one or two more.
“It becomes very highly unlikely for him.”

Djokovic heads the world rankings with a 370-point lead over second place Nadal. Federer is currently in fourth position behind Dominic Thiem.

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Dominic Thiem Denies Allegation He ‘Misled’ Former Coach

A war of words has broken out between the world No.3 and his former long-time mentor Gunther Bresnik.

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Dominic Thiem - Australian Open 2020 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

Dominic Thiem has stated that he has no intention to publicly disclose the reason as to why he stopped working with his former coach despite recently coming under fire from him.

 

The three-time grand slam finalist has been criticised by Gunther Bresnik, who claims he was ‘misled’ by the world No.3. Bresnik was a key figure in Thiem’s team until last year. Coaching the Austrian throughout his junior and professional career for a 15-year period. He was replaced last April by former Olympic champion Nicolas Massu.

It is unclear as to what was the decisive factor behind the split of a partnership that at one staged looked solid. Thiem met Bresnik at the age of eight when his father applied to work at his academy in Vienna. Under his guidance, he won 11 out of his 15 ATP titles so far in his career.

“Becomes clearer to me with time how things went. It doesn’t make it more aesthetic. There are things I totally don’t understand: honesty, loyalty, values…there was not much left.” Journalist Jannik Schneider quoted Bresnik as saying.
“I have no big problem with it besides the fact that I was misled. You can’t do that to someone that you owe everything. His dad would be a club coach and Dominic a futures player without me.”

The comment has triggered a response from Thiem, who has blasted Bresnik’s suggestion that he wouldn’t have been able to reach the top of the sport without his help. In a statement issued to the Austrian Press Agency (APA), the 26-year-old questioned if his former coach has developed ‘delusions of grandeur.’ A term loosely used to describe a person who believes they are greater than they actually are.

“When he complains about a lack of respect, and says that I owe it all to him, and seriously suggests that I would have been a futures player without him, I have to ask whether he has developed delusions of grandeur.” Said Thiem.

As to the root of the fallout between the two, Thiem is refusing to speak publicly about what happened. Although he denied that Bresnik has been misled in any way.

“I did not part ways with him without a reason,” he stated. “Bresnik knows the reasons and at this time I won’t make them public.”

Since pairing up with Massu, Thiem has enjoyed further success of the tour. During the early stages of their collaboration he won his first Masters 1000 title in Indian Wells last year. Since then, he has gone on to claim another four ATP titles and was runner-up to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January.

Thiem is the first player from his country to break into the world’s top three since Thomas Muster back in 1997.

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Grigor Dimitrov – ‘Tennis Is A Microscopic Thing In The World Right Now’

The world No.19 speaks out about how he is coping during the tour suspension.

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Former grand slam semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov has become the latest player to urge the governing bodies of tennis to make a united decision regarding when play will resume again.

 

The ATP and WTA Tours are currently suspended until June due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although it is likely that the suspension will be extended further with rumours that Wimbledon will be cancelled for the first time since the second world war later this week. Dimitrov’s last tournament was at the Acapulco Open in Mexico, where he reached the semi-finals before losing in straight sets to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.

“Tennis is a microscopic thing in the world right now. The ATP supervisors I’ve talked to in recent days have a variety of theories, but for the time being, we can really only guess if we’re being honest.” Tenniskafe quoted Dimitrov as saying during an interview with bTV.
“The tournaments are cancelled, but we have a big luxury in tennis – there is always next week. Yes, it is very difficult right now, you have seen the Olympics cancelled. The only thing that is at the forefront is to go through this situation we are in, and then start rebuilding. “

The world No.19 is currently residing in California during the lockdown. Describing the situation where he is as ‘more casual’ compared to other parts of the world. California is where the Indian Wells tennis tournament was set to take place earlier this month before it was cancelled.

“In my opinion all federations and players, no matter what rank they are, must come together and make a general decision. Because it’s really not easy at the moment to talk to everyone about points, tournaments, competitions … But now other things are really more important – to be safe, to be healthy and to go through this thing.” He said.

During the suspension, the 28-year-old is keeping himself busy in other ways. Recently he has signed up for an online course with Harvard Business School. Becoming the latest of a series of players to do so. He also manages to keep in touch with his fellow rivals on the tour thanks to the world of social media.

“One of the first players I wrote to was Fabio (Fognini) because he was in Italy. Everyone is on Instagram, we know everyone what they do every minute.”

When the restrictions related to the pandemic comes to an end, Dimitrov has vowed to return back to Europe as he outlines the first thing he would do.

“I just want to go back to Europe. Whether it will be in Bulgaria or in Monaco – I do not know. I certainly want to go home, gather all my relatives and just spend time together. I’ve been in the US for over a month now. As things currently look, there will certainly be another two months. Hopefully it will be faster, but I just want to go home and be with my loved ones.” He concluded.

In the fight against Covid-19 in his home country, Dimitrov has made a donation to a hospital in Haskovo. The city where he was born.

Dimitrov has started the 2020 season with a win-loss record of 7-5. Besides his run to the semifinals in Acapulco, he also reached the second round at the Australian Open and Rotterdam. He has been ranked as high as third in the world.

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