Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 4th of August 2014 - UBITENNIS English
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Bits & Pieces from the World of Tennis: 4th of August 2014

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TENNIS BITS & PIECES – An Anglo-Japanese duo aim for the Grand Slam. Wozniacki will run the New York marathon. Players are changing coaches. The young ones are coming through and will we see Fish and Roddick at the US Open? Joshua Bosco

 

A Grand Slam in sight

At this year’s US Open Anglo-Japanese duo Jordanne Whiley and Yui Kamiji will try to emulate Dutch duo Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot and become the second consecutive Wheelchair women’s doubles team to complete the Grand Slam.

“Winning all the Grand Slams would be amazing. That’s the aim for this year” said Whiley, who at the age of fourteen became the youngest ever UK National women’s singles champion in wheelchair tennis.

Wozniacki runs in NY

World No.13 Caroline Wozniacki has announced she will run the New York City Marathon on 2nd November. “It’s always been on my bucket list. And always New York City was the one I wanted to do. […] so I thought, ‘Why not do it?’” said the Dane in an interview.

Wozniacki will become one of the few professional athletes to compete in a marathon during their careers. She will run alongside Meb Keflezighi, reigning Boston Marathon champion, as a Team for Kids Ambassador.

US Open 2015 Wildcard?!

Former World No.1 Andy Roddick and his compatriot Mardy Fish have already been offered a wild card for the 2015 US Open doubles tournament after the pair failed to land a spot in this year’s final Slam.

The American duo wanted to make a one-off appearance at their home-tournament but Roddick was refused entry as his official retirement from tennis removed him from the sport’s anti-doping programme. ITF laws require a tennis player to be in the drug testing programme for three months before being eligible to play in a tournament.

It remains to be seen if a rather unhappy Roddick and Fish will accept the invitation.

Another record for Serena

Today marks Serena William’s 200th non-consecutive week as World No.1. She becomes the third American and just the fifth woman in history to join this elite group after tennis legends Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Martina Hingis.

Her No.1 spot isn’t in immediate danger but Simona Halep, who will rise to World No.2 next week, will certainly do her best to put an end to the American’s permanence at the top.

New coaches

After splitting from Nemanja Kontic, World No.10 Ana Ivanovic has hired Dejan Petrovic as her new coach. The 36 year old, who played for and captained Serbia in the Davis Cup, has previously worked with Novak Djokovic and Jelena Jankovic.

Although neither man has yet confirmed the news, rumour has it that Roberto Bautista Agut has hired Javier Piles, who recently split from David Ferrer after sixteen years of collaboration, as his new coach.

Youngsters rule

It’s been a good month for young Belgian David Goffin. After losing in straight sets to Andy Murray in the first round at Wimbledon, Goffin has been on a roll winning 20 matches in a row and 40 out of 42 sets.

Along the way he picked up titles in three Challengers before reaching, and winning, his first ever ATP final beating home-favourite Dominic Thiem in Kitzbuhel on Saturday.

This was the first ever ATP final played between two players born in the 1990s, and Sunday saw the second when Milos Raonic took on Vasek Pospisil at the Citi Open in Washington. This was also a first – two Canadians in an ATP World Tour final – and Milos Raonic prevailed, taking him just 35 points shy of the World No.5 spot.

Happy Birthday Vika!

Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka turned 25 last Thursday, but she didn’t have much to celebrate. She lost 6-4 7-6(1) to another former World No.1, Venus Williams, in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic, Stanford.

The Belarusian now has 2300 points to defend in the next couple of weeks, after winning in Cincinnati and reaching the final at the US Open in 2013. All we can do is wish her luck for the near future!

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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Alexander Zverev Secures Place In ATP Finals With Indian Wells Win

Zverev will be seeking to win the season-ending extravaganza for the second time in his career.

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Alexander Zverev (GER) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Germany’s Alexander Zverev has become the fourth player to officially qualify for the ATP Finals after reaching the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

 

The world No.4 defeated America’s Jenson Brooksby 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in his second round match on Sunday which pushed him over the points threshold to secure his spot in the end-of-season event. It is the fifth year in a row he has qualified for the ATP Finals which he won back in 2018. He is one of only three German players to ever win the title after Boris Becker and Michael Stich.

This year’s tournament will take place in Turin, Italy for the first time in history after being held at The O2 Arena in London for more than a decade. Only the eight highest ranked players are eligible to play in the round-robin tournament which has on offer up to 1500 rankings points for an undefeated champion.

“My first time in Turin. I’ve been to London four times before. London is obviously very special to me because I won there, as well. I think the stadium is incredible, one of the most special events that we had,” Zverev told reporters on Sunday.
“But I also love playing in Italy. I had great success in Italy. I won my first Masters in Rome. I’m looking forward to being there. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Italian fans. It’s going to be a great week.”

The 24-year-old approaches the final quarter of this season with four titles already won this year. He has won two Masters 1000 trophies, an ATP 500 event in Mexico and a gold medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Zverev, who has recorded seven wins over top 10 players, also reached the semi-finals at both the French Open and US Open.

Zverev joins Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas as the players who have qualified for the ATP Finals so far. It is the third straight season the quartet has qualified for the event.

This year’s ATP Finals will get underway on November 14th. Medvedev is the defending champion.

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Denis Shapovalov Advances After Pospisil Retires In Indian Wells

The battle of the two Canadians didn’t go as planned…

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Vasek Pospisil faced off against his fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and it was the world number 13 who got the win after the Vernon native pulled out due to an injury whilst trailing 0-3.

 

It was a rough start for Pospisil who seemed to struggle with his serve in the opening game of the match and double-faulted twice in a row to give the early break and Shapovalov had no issues consolidating the break.

Shapovalov continued to apply pressure on the Pospisil serve and after saving two breakpoints the world number 68 pulled up after a serve and stopped play, calling for the trainer. He ended up taking a medical timeout off the court and a couple of minutes later returned to court. Pospisil was broken once again and the following game after a couple of returns decided to call it quits.

” It was pretty awful…and if I’m being honest I am shaking a bit…It really sucks I hope it’s nothing serious…He’s a great guy he’s a real warrior he’s fought back from some injuries surgeries to such a great level.” Shapovalov said of his compatriot.

Shapovalov will face 19th seed Aslan Karatsev in the next round after the Russian thrashed Salvatore Caruso 6-2, 6-0.

In the other results of the day sixth seeed Casper Ruud dominated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-1, 6-2, Roberto Bautista Agut beat the Argentine Guido Pella 7-5, 6-3 and Sebastien Korda won an all American battle with Frances Tiafoe 6-0, 6-4.

Finally, Diego Schwartzman needed three sets to beat another American in Maxime Cressy winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-5.

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