Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 14th of July 2014 - UBITENNIS
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Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 14th of July 2014

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TENNIS BITS & PIECES – Troicki is on his way back. Ivanovic and Kyrgios split with their coaches. Djokovic gets married. Petra Kvitova receives threats. Serena pulls out of Bastad and who is playing where this week. Joshua Bosco

 

Threats to Kvitova

Czech police announced on Friday they had arrested an unidentified man who allegedly made threats to 2014 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.

According to Police spokeswoman Gabriela Holcakova the man made threats against “a publicly known person” who the media reports to be the famous tennis player and the Police considered the threat to be serious.

The incident happened in the wake of criticism against Kvitova for moving from her home country to Monte Carlo to avoid higher taxation.

Troicki comeback

Former World No.12 Viktor Troicki, who missed the last twelve months on the tour while serving a suspension for doping, is eligible to play from tomorrow 15th July 2014.

Troicki was banned from playing tennis for 18 months after failing to provide a blood sample at the Monte Carlo Masters in 2013; he then appealed the ban and the suspension was reduced to 12 months.

With a statement on his official website the Serb announced he will make his comeback in Umag at the Vegeta Croatia Open which starts on 21st July 2014. Troicki has applied for a wildcard but stated that he is ready to play the qualification event, if necessary.

Ivanovic & Kyrgios split with coaches

Just when it looked like things were going the right way for Ana Ivanovic, the former World No.1 released a statement on her website announcing that she and coach Nemanja Kontic had split on mutual agreement.

The two started working together last year after Wimbledon and the new partnership helped Ivanovic to get back to No.11 in the WTA rankings. She now has the next few weeks to appoint a new coach before the start of the summer hard court season.

In another shock split Australian rising star Nick Kyrgios split from coach Simon Rea, two weeks after stunning Rafael Nadal in the 4th round at Wimbledon.

Kyrgios announced on his website that he has switched to two new Australian coaches, Todd Larkham and Josh Eagle, in order to spend more time at his home in Canberra.

Money money money

The ATP has announced Lacoste will continue to sponsor the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals until 2015, after a two-year renewal of their partnership. This means that the ATP staff will wear Lacoste at all ATP events during the season and Lacoste will continue to receive advertising space on the ATP official website.

The USTA announced a 11.7% increase for the 2014 US Open prize money, bringing the grand total to $38.3 million. The raise is part of a five-year agreement made in 2012, which will bring the total grand prize to an astounding $50 million by 2017. This year singles winners will take home an incredible $3 million.

Djokovic ties the knot

Four days after winning his second Wimbledon title, Novak Djokovic married his long-time girlfriend Jelena Ristic in a private ceremony in Montenegro.

The wedding took place in a luxurious resort on the Adriatic Coast, away from the public eye, and the local media report it was attended by family and close friends.

Congratulations Novak & Jelena!

Serena still under the weather

World No.1 Serena Williams, who was forced to pull out of her doubles match at Wimbledon last week after serving four double faults in a game and clearly struggling on court, has withdrawn from this week’s Swedish Open in Bastad.

“This is of course a hard blow to the tournament” said Nina Wennerstrom, the tournament director. Serena was the defending champion at the event and she is now scheduled to play at the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, California, which starts on 28th July.

Who’s playing where

Both the ATP and the WTA have two tournaments in schedule for this week.

Many top men will keep playing on clay and travel to Hamburg for the 2014 International German Open. Fabio Fognini, who failed to defend his 2013 title at the Mercedes Cup last week, is the defending champion here in Hamburg too but he will have to battle against some great players like David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo, Alexander Dolgopolov, Roberto Bautista Agut, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Fernando Verdasco to try and retain his title. Jeremy Chardy and Jurgen Melzer are among the players who have withdrawn before the start.

Some other players will make their transition to hard courts in Bogotá for the 2014 Claro Open Colombia, where big server Ivo Karlovic is the defending champion. He will try to retain a title for the second time in his career, but he’s going to face some tough competition from top seed Richard Gasquet, Vasek Pospisil, Radek Stepanek and wildcard Bernard Tomic. Dmitry Tursunov has withdrawn before the start of the tournament.

It’s the women’s turn in Bastad this week and with defending champion Serena Williams out of the picture, everyone will have a shot at the title, starting with top seed Alize Cornet and continuing with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Camila Giorgi, Yaroslava Shvedova, Annika Beck and Maria Teresa Torro-Flor. Vania King, Flavia Pennetta and Carla Suarez Navarro are among the players who withdrew before the start.

After a three-year hiatus because of the WTA Tour Championships, the Istanbul Cup makes its return in the WTA calendar and the field is very competitive right from the start. With 2010 champion Pavlyuchenkova in Bastad, the tournament will have a new champion and it will probably be one of the top seeds; Caroline Wozniacki, Roberta Vinci, Klara Koukalova, Elina Svitolina, Magdalena Rybarikova, Kurumi Nara, Bojana Jovanovski and Karolina Pliskova.

ATP

Jean Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau beat Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the doubles tournament in London

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Former ATP Finals champions Jean Julien Rojer from the Netherlands and Horia Tecau from Romania beat 2019 year-end number 1 team Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah 6-2 5-7 10-8 after 90 minutes in Max Mirnyi Group of the doubles tournament at the ATP Finals in London.

 

Tecau broke serve with a backhand crosscourt winner to take a 3-1 lead in the opening set. The Romanian player went up a double break with a backhand crosscourt winner at 5-2 to seal the opening set after 28 minutes.

Cabal and Farah did not convert any of their break points in the ninth game of the second set before breaking serve for the first time in the match two games later to claim the second set 7-5 forcing the match to the decisive set.

Rojer and Tecau went up a 6-2 lead in the Match Tie-Break. Cabal and Farah won four consecutive points to draw level to 6-6. Rojer and Tecau rallied from 7-8 down by winning three consecutive points to claim the Match Tie-Break 10-8.

Rojer and Tecau have now a 1-1 record in Group Max Mirnyi. The Dutch and Romanian team took the re-match against Cabal and Farah, who won their previous head-to-head clash in five sets at Wimbledon en route to their maiden Grand Slam doubles title.

“I am happy with our form. We lost the first match and knew we would need to bounce back against a very good team. We played a very good first set, prior to them making adjustments in the second set. We played a really good Match tie-break”, said Rojer.

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Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus secure their spot in the semifinal in the doubles tournament at the ATP Finals in London

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Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus beat Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 6-3 6-4 in the evening’s double match securing their spot in the semifinal with a record of 2-0 in the Group Jonas Bjorkman.

 

Klaasen earned an early break with a forehand volley to open up a 3-1 lead. Venus and Klaasen dropped just four points on serve and did not face a break point. Venus held serve at 5-3 to close out the opening set 6-3 after 32 minutes.

Both teams held serve until the ninth game, when Venus got the first break at 4-4 with a half-volley winner, when Melo was serving on a deciding point. Kubot and Melo fended off two match points in the next game to force a deciding point and got their first break point of the match.

Venus sealed the win after 71 minutes with a big serve on their third match point in the 10th game. Klaasen and Venus won 86 % of their serve points.

US players Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury scored their first win in the Group Jonas Bjorkman at the Nitto ATP Finals, when they beat Ivan Dodig and Filip Polasek 3-6 6-3 10-6 in the Match Tie-Break. The US team improved their ranking to 1-1.

Dodig and Polasek earned the first break in the fourth game of the opening set to open up a 3-1 lead. They saved four consecutive break points in the ninth game, when they were serving for the first set at 5-3. Dodig and Polasek sealed the first set with a service winner after 33 minutes.

Ram and Salisbury did not convert break points in the most crucial moments of the first set. Ram and Salisbury earned their only break in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead and did not face a single break point to win the second set 6-3 forcing the match to the third set.

Ram and Salisbury opened up a 3-0 lead with an early mini-break in the Match tie-break. Dodig and Polasek rallied to draw level to 5-5. Ram and Salisbury sealed the win on the first match point, when Polasek hit a backhand volley into the net at 9-6.

Dodig and Polasek, who won two titles in Cincinnati and Beijing, lost to Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo 10-5 in the Match Tie-Break in last Saturday’s first match.

 

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Dominika Cibulkova announces her retirement from tennis

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Dominika Cibulkova has announced her retirement from professional tennis at an event in her home town of Bratislava. The 30-year-old Slovakian player won eight titles on hard-court, grass, and indoor surfaces and achieved her career-high of world number 4 on 20th March 2017.

 

Cibulkova reached the semifinal at the 2009 Roland Garros, three quarter-finals at Wimbledon (i2011, 2016 and 2018) and the quarter-final at the US Open in 2010. She became the first Slovakian player to reach a Grand Slam final when she finished runner-up to Li Na at the 2014 Australian Open. She achieved the best result of her career in October 2016, when she beat former world number 1 Angelique Kerber at the WTA Finals in Singapore to clinch the Billie Jean King Trophy. That year Dominika won three more titles at Katowice, Eastbourne, and Linz. She also finished runner-up in Acapulco, Madrid, and Wuhan.

“It wasn’t just winning the WTA Finals, but also the road to qualifying, which was really hard. I had to win in Linz just to make it there. While winning Singapore was the biggest moment of my career and life, winning Linz and the way I had to fight to get there, the fact that I was able to do it and belong among the best players in the world”, said Cibulkova in an interview to the WTA Website.

Cibulkova also won four more titles in Moscow 2011, Carlsbad 2012, Stanford 2013 and Acapulco 2014.

She represented the Slovak Republic at two editions of the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and has scored a record of 22 wins and 11 defeats in her Fed Cup appearances.

Cibulkova decided Roland Garros would be the final tournament of her career.

“It wasn’t a decision where I woke up and thought: “I don’t want to play anymore”. It was a long process. I was already convinced by the time I played Azarenka in Miami, that this could be my last match. It was strange because I knew, and no one around me except my team knew it would be my last tournament. At that point, I was 100 percent sure. I was not doubting or thinking: maybe yes or no. I knew I wanted to do it like this, for this to be my last tournament. I went home and I was happy with my decision. It’s really hard to make it, but once you do, you more free. I feel like this life has been fulfilled for me, and I want to start a new one. I was already feeling like the tennis life is really tough, with all the traveling and training, giving 100 % every day. I started to get tired of it. In the end, I gave enough and achieved things I never dreamed of reaching in my career ”, said Cibulkova.

 

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