Murray wins Vienna, Cilic in Moscow and Berdych in Stockholm - UBITENNIS
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Murray wins Vienna, Cilic in Moscow and Berdych in Stockholm

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TENNIS – Andy Murray recovered from a set down to win over David Ferrer in a crucial three-set match with 5-7 6-2 7-5 in one hour and 42 minutes in a decisive Play-off match for one of the remaining spots for the ATP Finals in London. Ferrer served for the match at 5-3 but he dropped serve allowing Murray to claw his way back into the match by winning four consecutive games. Thanks to this win Murray has moved up to World Number 8 with a gap of 110 points over Ferrer in the ATP Race to London. Tomas Berdych battled past Grigor Dimitrov in three sets in Stockholm with 5-7 6-4 6-4 and backs up his 7th place ahead of Murray. Diego Sampaolo

 

Ferrer got the first break of the match in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Murray broke back and earned a chance to take the lead at 4-4 but he made two forehand errors when he served at 5-6 and dropped his serve.

In the second set Murray broke serve twice in the third and the seventh games and fended off all the six break points he faced. The Scotsman reeled off five games in a row en route to winning the second set 6-2 and taking the third set with 2-0. Ferrer fought back by reeling four consecutive games to take a 4-2 lead but he dropped serve to 15 in the seventh game.

Ferrer served for the match at 5-3 but he made his seventh double fault and dropped serve to 15. Murray came back winning taking three breaks and reeled off four games in a row. He closed out the match with an ace to clinch his second title of the year after Shenzhen. Murray has become the third British player to win in Vienna after greg Rusedski in 1999 and Tim Henman in 2000.

Murray has boosted his chances to qualify for the ATP Finals in London as he is now ranked 7 110 points ahead of Ferrer.

The Dunblane player won his 30th career title and the second of the year after Shenzhen. He will next play in the Valencia ATP 500 and in the Master 1000 in Paris Bercy.

“It was an extremely difficult match. Ferrer deserved to win the first set. I deserved to win the second and the third could have gone either way”, said Murray

Kremlin Cup ATP 250 Moscow

Marin Cilic is ranked sixth and secured his spot as US Open winner. The Croatian player beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 6-4 to lift the Kremlin Cup in Moscow

Cilic has improved his record to 54 match wins becoming the second player this year behind Roger Federer who clinched 61 match wins. He lifted his fourth title of the season after Delray Beach and Zagreb and his 13th career title.

The first set was tough as it featured many deuces. Cilic saved three break points in his first game before breaking serve in the seventh game for 4-3. Bautista Agut put pressure on Cilic but the Croatian player claimed the first set with 6-4 before breaking serve at the start of the second set and held his serve to take the win after one hour and 24 minutes. Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanisevic who won the Kremlin Cup in 1996

The current stand of the ATP Race to London for the players who are still bidding to qualify is the following: 5 Kei Nishikori 4265 points, 7 Tomas Berdych 4105 points, 8 Andy Murray 3855 points points, 9 David Ferrer 3775 points, 10 Milos Raonic 3750 points, 11 Grigor Dimitrov 3555 points

IF Stockholm Open ATP 250:

Tomas Berdych fought back from a set down to battle past Stockholm defending champion Grigor Dimitrov with 5-7 6-4 6-4. With this wi Berdych makes a step forward to claim his spot for the ATP Finals for the fifth year in a row.

Berdych served for the set in the first set but Dimitrov recovered to take the edge in the first set. Berdych broke serve at the start of the second and the third sets to clinch the 10th title of his career with a solid performance. Berdych dropped just six points on serve in the second set and just four in the decider.

Dimitrov still leads 3-2 in their head-to-head matches but the Czech player won his first match on hard-court against the Bulgarian.

WTA Premier Moscow Kremlin Cup

Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova battled past Irina Camelia Begu from Romania 6-4 5-7 6-1 to clinch the Combined Kremlin Cup in Moscow. Pavlyuchenkova has become the fourth Russian player to claim the Kremlin Cup win but the first since Elena Dementieva in 2007. Pavlyuchenkova, who dropped just one set in the whole tournament, converted her second match point to claim her seventh WTA title and the second this year after Paris Indoor.

Begu broke serve in the first set but Pavlyuchenkova fought back to claim the first set. The Romanian cruised to a 3-1 lead en route to winning the second set. Pavlyuchenkova pulled away to 5-0 in the decider before closing out the match after two hours and 29 minutes. Begu player her first final at a Premier Tournament.

ATP

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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Tennis Could Be Suspended For ‘A Long Time,’ Warns Millman

The top 50 player isn’t expecting to play on the tour anytime soon.

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Australian player John Millman has indicated that he believes the current suspension of the ATP Tour is all but certain to be extended in the coming weeks.

 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, both the ATP and WTA Tour have been suspended until at least June 8th. Although those in change of both of those governing bodies have previously admitted they are uncertain as to when play will resume. ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi has said that ‘it is unknown at this time’ as to when men’s tournaments will resume. Meanwhile, Steve Simon has echoed a similar view during an interview with The Tennis Channel.

Speaking about the current situation, world No.43 Millman said the sport is in a difficult situation due to its global reach with both tournaments and players based around the world. For example the Australian started his season by playing four tournaments in four different countries across three continents within five weeks.

“We’re going to have to be pretty unified in terms of our recovery process before the tour can resume,” Millman told The Age.
“Maybe the tournament location has got the COVID-19 situation under wraps and then manage to contain it, but if someone’s flying in from South America, say, and their country hasn’t got a hold of it, then the tournament can’t (go ahead).
“You can’t have the tournament going when only certain players can get there. I think that’s
where the problems lie.”

The 30-year-old didn’t speculate as to when he and his rivals will be returning to the court, but believes it could be a while. During the coming week the fate of Wimbledon will be decided at an emergency meeting. The All England Club is pondering the motion of cancelling this year’s tournament. A move that has never been taken during peacetime. Wimbledon has been scrapped a total of 10 times during the first and second world wars.

“It’s almost like we have to have a vaccine or the virus has to run its course before there’ll be any let-up there.” Millman commented.

Besides trying to maintain fitness, many players like Millman are in a difficult situation financially due to a lack of income. He has managed to earn $290,705 on the tour this year before the suspension. This is the 44th highest total on the men’s tour. In total, 131 players have surpassed the $100,000 mark. Although the earnings don’t take into account travel costs, coaching, accommodation and so on.

“I just can’t see us playing tennis for a long time and now it’s a matter of trying to stay (the) fight, trying to scrape by a little bit while not much is coming in,” he said.
“You’re used to a bit of money coming in and obviously that’s not the case anymore. Yeah, it’s tough. It’s just not easy. You try and make do.
“But I don’t want to be a sob story, that’s for sure, because I know Australians are doing it a lot tougher than me.”

Millman reached the third round of the Australian Open earlier this year before losing to Roger Federer in a five-set thriller.

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Jamie Murray Speaks Out On Wimbledon Dilemma

The two-time mixed doubles champion shares his thoughts about the current situation and the problems that could arise.

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Former world No.1 doubles player Jamie Murray says he is unsure how much longer Wimbledon can be delayed this season ahead of a crucial meeting on its future next week.

 

The All England Club is set to hold an emergency meeting to make a final decision as to what to do with this year’s tournament. Including the possibility of cancelling the event for the first time since 1945. The tennis calendar has been brought to a standstill due to the covid-19 pandemic. There have been more than 500,000 cases of Coronavirus worldwide, according to John Hopkins University.

Speaking about Wimbledon’s potential decision during an interview with BBC Scotland’s The Nine, Murray admits that organisers face a difficult decision. Saying it would pose as a big challenge for them to reschedule the event. Both the ATP and WTA are currently reviewing their calendars with the French Open now taking place a week after the US Open.

“I don’t know how long they could push it back,” said Murray.
“They’re desperate to have their event on, it’s still over three months away and a lot can change in that time,” he added.

Murray has featured in the doubles main draw at Wimbledon every year since his debut back in 2006. He has won the Mixed doubles trophy twice in 2007 (with Jelena Jankovic) and 2017 (with Martina Hingis). The 34-year-old currently has a doubles ranking of 34th.

“For them, optics don’t necessarily look great, I guess, if there’s sporting events all over the world getting cancelled and they’re trying to crack on with things.” He commented on the scheduling difficulties.
“There’s a lot of other stakeholders, a lot of other tournaments to consider. Even things like daylight for the tournament. Once the tournament gets put back, there’s less and less daylight. When you play at Wimbledon normally, you can play until 10 at night.”

The UK is currently in a lockdown with members of the public only allowed to leave their houses for specific reasons. Furthermore, 1.5 million people have been advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks. The government is hopeful that they can flatten the spread of the disease within this period, which is extremely close to the Wimbledon start date.

According to AFP News, any decision to scrap this year’s tournament is likely to have a massive financial impact. Between 2017-2018 Wimbledon made an estimated pre-tax profit of $52 million with over 90% of that invested back into British tennis. Furthermore, the BBC could also suffer a big blow. It is reported that the broadcaster pays in the region of $72 million for the TV rights.

It is unclear as to what day the decision will be made next week. Since its creation in 1877, Wimbledon has been cancelled a total of 10 times before. All of which happened during the first world war (1915-1918) and second (1940-1945). The event has never been delayed or scrapped during peacetime.

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