Australian Open: the “lame leg” that decides who can go for the Grand Slam - UBITENNIS
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Australian Open: the “lame leg” that decides who can go for the Grand Slam

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – On Monday the Australian Open starts for the 103rd time. Since 1972 it’s home is Melbourne. Once snubbed by the pest players in the world, after 1988 the Aussie Major bridged the gap that separated them from the other three Slams. Now the tournament has the privilege to decide who can go for the Grand Slam. From Adrian Quist’s 13 titles to Federer’s 73 wins: history, records and past winners of the first Major of the year. By Remo Borgatti, translated by Lorenzo Dicandia

 

AO 2015: Interviews, Results, Order of Play, Draws

The Australian Open has often been considered, for quite a long time, the “lame leg” of Grand Slams. Indeed, the remoteness of Oceania from the usual routes has been, especially in the past, a kind of natural deterrent for most of overseas players, both Europeans and Americans. Until the mid eighties, Melbourne has often suffered the defections of many important players, both in the male and in the female draws, although the quality expressed by local players for several decades maintained the level of competition and of champions at pretty high standards. In fact, apart from few surprising cases (that anyways happened also in the other Slams), the list of past champions deserves major respect. From 1988 onwards, when the tournament changed location and surface and provided its main courts with removable roofs closed both in case of rain and of excessive heat, the Australian Open has finally closed the gap with the other Slams, reaching the same league of its “brothers” of France, England, and United States. Moreover, since the AO is the first Slam, it has the privilege of pointing out, every year, the names of the two players that could aim at the Grand Slam. In short: the ones who win Melbourne can keep dreaming, the others have to wake up and get back to reality.

The one beginning next Monday will be 103rd edition of the event; from 1905 to 1921 the tournament had only men’s singles and doubles draws, while from the following year on there was the add of women’s singles and doubles draws and of mixed doubles. This last one, however, was suspended between 1970 and 1986, while the tournament wasn’t played at all during the two world wars (1916-18 and 1941-45) and in 1987, in order to offset the two editions played in 1977, when the date of the event was moved from January to December.

Melbourne has become the official location of the AO since 1972 (in the legendary Kooyong Stadium, on grass, until 1986), while previously other four Australian cities (Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide) held the event; instead, in 1906 (Christchurch) and in 1912 (Hastings) the tournament was played in New Zealand.

The player with the most titles is the Australian Adrian Quist with thirteen (three in singles and ten in doubles), in front of Jack Crawford and John Bromwich with eleven each. On the women side, Margaret Smith Court (21) precedes her compatriots, also Australian, Nancy Wynne Bolton (20) and Thelma Coyne Long (18). Looking only at singles titles, men’s ranking sees Roy Emerson ahead with 6 titles, and then 5 players tied at the second place: Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Jack Crawford and Ken Rosewall all with 4 wins each. For the girls, Margaret Smith is out of reach having won it an amazing 11 times, 7 of which in a row from 1960 to 1966; following Ms. Smith Court there are Nancy Wynne Bolton (6), Daphne Akhurst and, more recently, Serena Williams with 5 titles. Ken Rosewall is the player with the longest timespan between his first and last title (20 years, from 1953 to 1972); Roger Federer is the one with the highest number of matches won in singles (73), and Andre Agassi the player with the highest winning percentage, always in singles, with 90.5% (actually Connors has a percentage of 91.6%, but on a total of 12 matches, against the 53 played by Agassi). Regarding women, Nancy Wynne won her last title 14 years after her first one (1937-1951), but Smith Court has a crazy record of 60 matches won and only 3 losses, for a winning percentage that is slightly above 95%; Monica Seles follows with a record of 43-4 (91.5%). Ken Rosewall is, simultaneously, the youngest and oldest winner in singles: he was 18 in 1953 and 37 in 1972. The oldest winner on the women side is Thelma Coyne Long, 35 in 1954, while the youngest is Martina Hingis, 16 in 1997, although Mirjana Lucic in 1998 won the doubles at the age of 15 and 10 months. The longest final in the men’s field was played in 1927, when Gerald Patterson defeated Jack Hawkes 3-6 6-4 3-6 18-16 6-3, for a grand total of 71 games. Since the introduction of the tiebreaker, the longest final has been the one between Djokovic and Nadal in 2012 with 55 games played. Among women, in 1930 Daphne Akhurst defeated Sylvia Harper by a score of 10-8 2-6 7-5, 38 games, three more than the 1981 match between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert, ended up with the win of Navratilova 6-7 6-4 7-5. Talking about the shortest finals by number of games played, there are three in the men’ s side and two in the women’s: 1923 O’Hara Wood-St.John 6-1/6-1/6-3; 1926 Hawkes-Willard 6-1/6-3/6-1 e 2003 Agassi-Schuettler 6-2/6-2/6-1; 1962 Smith Court-Lehane 6-0/6-2, 1994 Graf-Sanchez Vicario 6-0/6-2. Three are the players that have been able to get the title without being seeded: the Australians Mark Edmondson (1976) and Chris O’Neil (1978) and the American Serena Williams in 2007. Bob Giltinan (December 1977) and Christine Matison (1978) are, instead, the qualifiers who got further in the draws, both losing in the semifinals. Finally, it happened seven times in both the men’s and the women’s draws that the final winner had to save one or more match points before getting to the singles titles. Here in detail:

MEN – Gerald Patterson saved 5 match points in the fourth set (four at 12-13 and one at 15-16) in the final of 1927 against Jack Hawkes: Dinny Pails prevented John Bromwich the joy of the title in the final of 1947; Rod Laver saved a match point down 4-5 in the fourth set of the final of 1960; John Newcombe saved three match-points in the fifth set of the semifinal won against his compatriot and doubles partner Tony Roche; Johan Kriek defeated Paul McNamee in the semifinals of 1982 surviving a match point in the fifth set; Stefan Edberg saved two of them down 4-5 in the third set of the last sixteen in 1985; his opponent, up two sets in that match, was the Australian Wally Masur. Finally, in 2005, Marat Safin had to save a match point down 5-6 in the tiebreak of the fourth set against Federer in the semifinals; the Russian player ended up winning 9-7 in the fifth set.

WOMEN – In 1923 Margaret Molesworth defeated Sylvia Lance in the semifinal 36 64 86 saving a match point in the third set; Mary Carter won the final of 1956 over Thelma Coyne Long 36 62 97, whom had a match point in the final set; in the semifinals of 1991 Monica Seles saved a match point to Mary Joe Fernandez in the semifinal; she went on to win 9-7 in the decisive; in the dramatic final of 2002 Martina Hingis found herself 4 times only one point away from the title, before collapsing to nerves and tiredness against the American Capriati: Jennifer survived a first time down 64 53 40-30 and Hingis on serve, twice down 6-5 for the Swiss (30-40 and Ad) and the last time down 7-6 in the tiebreak. Capriati won 9-7 that tiebreak and, after the pause, won the final set with a categorical 62. Serena Williams became twice the champion of the AO after being on the brink of defeat, always in the semifinals: in 2003 she saved two match points in the third set (down 5-2) against Kim Clijsters, before defeating her 7-5, and two years later Maria Sharapova blew three chances on serve (two of them consecutive, on 40-15) at 5-4 in the last set, and ended up losing 26 75 86. Finally, just last year, the Chinese Na Li managed to get past the third round against Lucie Safarova, defeating her 16 76 63 after saving a match point (a backhand out of few centimeters) down 61 65 30-40.

LAST YEAR – Two new faces have lifted the Australian Open trophies. Chronologically, the first was has been Na Li, already unfortunate finalist both in 2011 (when Clijsters came back down a set and a break), and in 2013 (when instead she lost in three against Vika Azarenka, after falling down a couple of times during the final). Dominika Cibulkova, unexpected finalist (20th seed), held for a set, the first one lost at the breaker, before giving up in the second (lost 60). The tournament had already lost two of its three main favorites in the last sixteen (Serena Williams defeated by Ivanovic and Sharapova by Cibulkova), while Victoria Azarenka (not in her best condition) managed to get only one round further, being then defeated by Radwanska with a resounding bagel in the final set. Impressive also the path of the young Canadian Bouchard, who got to the semifinals coming out from Errani and Vinci side of the draw (both out in the first round) and defeating Ana Ivanovic in the quarters.

In the men’s draw there was the exploit of Wawrinka, at his first triumph in a Major after a career lived almost entirely in the shadow of Federer. “Stan the Man” got quite easily to the quarters, where he scored the first upset, defeating the three times AO champion Novak Djokovic after five exciting sets (97 in the fifth). In the semifinals the Swiss ended in his favor the difficult match against Tomas Berdych, winning two of the three tie-breakers (63 67 76 76), and in the final he managed to defeat pressure when, up two sets on a Nadal in sorrow for his recurrent back problems, he stumbled towards the finish line letting the Spanish come back in the game, then closed 63 in the fourth. Wawrinka is the first player able to defeat both Nadal and Djokovic in the same Slam and he is also the first one since 1993 (when Bruguera won the Roland Garros defeating Sampras and Courier) to win a major by beating the first two seeds. For the rest, the tournament has been extremely regular until the quarters, reached by seven of the eight top seeds (except from Del Potro, defeated by Bautista Agut, in turn beaten by Dimitrov). In the semifinals Nadal improved his head-to-head record against Federer to 23-10, to whom the new tactical variants suggested by his new coach Stefan Edberg brought two nice wins against Tsonga and Murray.

SINGLES FINALS

Men

1905 Rodney Heath-Arthur Curtis 46 63 64 64

1906 Anthony Wilding-Francis Fisher 60 64 64

1907 Horrie Rice-Harry Parker 63 64 64

1908 Fred Alexander-Alfred Dunlop 36 36 60 62 63

1909 Anthony Wilding-Ernest Parker 61 75 62

1910 Rodney Heath-Horrie Rice 64 63 62

1911 Norman Brookes-Horrie Rice 61 62 63

1912 Jim Parke-Alfred Beamish 36 63 16 61 75

1913 Ernest Parker-Harry Parker 26 61 63 62

1914 Arthur O’Hara Wood-Gerald Patterson 64 63 57 61

1915 Gordon Lowe-Horrie Rice 46 61 61 64

1919 Algemon Kingscote-Eric Pockley 64 60 63

1920 Pat O’Hara Wood-Ron Thomas 63 46 68 61 63

1921 Rice Gemmell-Alf Hedemann 75 61 64

1922 James Anderson-Gerald Patterson 60 36 36 63 62

1923 Pat O’Hara Wood-Bert St.John 61 61 63

1924 James Anderson-Bob Schlesinger 63 64 36 57 63

1925 James Anderson-Gerald Patterson 119 26 62 63

1926 Jack Hawkes-Jim Willard 61 63 61

1927 Gerald Patterson-Jack Hawkes 36 64 36 1816 63

1928 Jean Borotra-Jack Cummings 64 61 46 57 63

1929 Colin Gregory-Bob Schlesinger 62 62 57 75

1930 Gar Moon-Harry Hopman 63 61 63

1931 Jack Crawford-Harry Hopman 64 62 26 61

1932 Jack Crawford-Harry Hopman 46 63 36 63 61

1933 Jack Crawford-Keith Gledhill 26 75 63 62

1934 Fred Perry-Jack Crawford 63 75 61

1935 Jack Crawford-Fred Perry 26 64 64 64

1936 Adrain Quist-Jack Crawford 62 63 46 36 97

1937 Viv McGrath-John Bromwich 63 16 60 26 61

1938 Donald Budge-John Bromwich 64 62 61

1939 John Bromwich-Adrian Quist 64 61 62

1940 Adrian Quist-Jack Crawford 63 61 62

1946 John Bromwich-Dinny Pails 57 63 75 36 62

1947 Dinny Pails-John Bromwich 46 64 36 75 86

1948 Adrian Quist-John Bromwich 64 36 63 26 63

1949 Frank Sedgman-John Bromwich 63 62 62

1950 Frank Sedgman-Ken McGregor 63 64 46 61

1951 Richard Savitt-Ken McGregor 63 26 63 61

1952 Ken McGregor-Frank Sedgman 75 1210 26 62

1953 Ken Rosewall-Merv Rose 60 63 64

1954 Merv Rose-Rex Hartwig 62 06 64 62

1955 Ken Rosewall-Lew Hoad 97 64 62

1956 Lew Hoad-Ken Rosewall 64 36 64 75

1957 Ashley Cooper-Neale Fraser 63 911 64 62

1958 Ashley Cooper-Mal Anderson 75 63 64

1959 Alex Olmedo-Neale Fraser 61 62 36 63

1960 Rod Laver-Neale Fraser 57 36 63 86 86

1961 Roy Emerson-Rod Laver 16 63 75 64

1962 Rod Laver-Roy Emerson 86 06 64 64

1963 Roy Emerson-Ken Fletcher 63 63 61

1964 Roy Emerson-Fred Stolle 63 64 62

1965 Roy Emerson-Fred Stolle 79 26 64 75 61

1966 Roy Emerson-Arthur Ashe 64 68 62 63

1967 Roy Emerson-Arthur Ashe 64 61 64

1968 Bill Bowrey-Juan Gisbert 75 26 97 64

1969 Rod Laver-Andres Gimeno 63 64 75

1970 Arthur Ashe-Dick Crealy 64 97 62

1971 Ken Rosewall-Arthur Ashe 61 75 63

1972 Ken Rosewall-Mal Anderson 76 63 75

1973 John Newcombe-Onny Parun 63 67 75 61

1974 Jimmy Connors-Phil Dent 76 64 46 63

1975 John Newcombe-Jimmy Connors 75 36 64 76

1976 Mark Edmondson-John Newcombe 67 63 76 61

1977(jan) Roscoe Tanner-Guillermo Vilas 63 63 63

1977(dec) Vitas Gerulaitis-John Lloyd 63 76 57 36 62

1978 Guillermo Vilas-John Marks 64 64 36 63

1979 Guillermo Vilas-John Sadri 76 63 62

1980 Brian Teacher-Kim Warwick 75 76 63

1981 Johan Kriek-Steve Denton 62 76 67 64

1982 Johan Kriek-Steve Denton 63 63 62

1983 Mats Wilander-Ivan Lendl 61 64 64

1984 Mats Wilander-Kevin Curren 67 64 76 62

1985 Stefan Edberg-Mats Wilander 64 63 63

1987 Stefan Edberg-Pat Cash 63 64 36 57 63

1988 Mats Wilander-Pat Cash 63 67 36 61 86

1989 Ivan Lendl-Miloslav Mecir 62 62 62

1990 Ivan Lendl-Stefan Edberg 46 76 52 ret.

1991 Boris Becker-Ivan Lendl 16 64 64 64

1992 Jim Courier-Stefan Edberg 63 36 64 62

1993 Jim Courier-Stefan Edberg 62 61 26 75

1994 Pete Sampras-Todd Martin 76 64 64

1995 Andre Agassi-Pete Sampras 46 61 76 64

1996 Boris Becker-Michael Chang 62 64 26 62

1997 Pete Sampras-Carlos Moya 62 63 63

1998 Petr Korda-Marcelo Rios 62 62 62

1999 Yevgeny Kafelnikov-Thomas Enqvist 46 60 63 76

2000 Andre Agassi-Yevgeny Kafelnikov 36 63 62 64

2001 Andre Agassi-Arnaud Clement 64 62 62

2002 Thomas Johansson-Marat Safin 36 64 64 76

2003 Andre Agassi-Rainer Schuettler 62 62 61

2004 Roger Federer-Marat Safin 76 64 62

2005 Marat Safin-Lleyton Hewitt 16 63 64 64

2006 Roger Federer-Marcos Baghdatis 57 75 60 62

2007 Roger Federer-Fernando Gonzalez 76 64 64

2008 Novak Djokovic-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 46 64 63 76

2009 Rafael Nadal-Roger Federer 75 36 76 36 62

2010 Roger Federer-Andy Murray 63 64 76

2011 Novak Djokovic-Andy Murray 64 62 63

2012 Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal 57 64 62 67 75

2013 Novak Djokovic-Andy Murray 67 76 63 62

2014 Stan Wawrinka-Rafael Nadal 63 62 36 63

Women

1922 Margaret Molesworth-Esna Boyd 63 108

1923 Margaret Molesworth-Esna Boyd 61 75

1924 Sylvia Lance-Esna Boyd 63 36 64

1925 Daphne Akhurst-Esna Boyd 16 86 64

1926 Daphne Akhurst-Esna Boyd 61 63

1927 Esna Boyd-Sylvia Lance Harper 57 61 62

1928 Daphne Akhurst-Esna Boyd 75 62

1929 Daphne Akhurst-Louie Bickerton 61 57 62

1930 Daphne Akhurst-Sylvia Lance Harper 108 26 75

1931 Coral Buttsworth-Marjorie Crawford 16 63 64

1932 Coral Buttsworth-Kathrine Le Mesurier 97 64

1933 Joan Hartigan-Coral Buttsworth 64 63

1934 Joan Hartigan-Margareth Molesworth 61 64

1935 Dorothy Round-Nancy Lyle 16 61 63

1936 Joan Hartigan-Nancye Wynne 64 64

1937 Nancye Wynne-Emily Westacott 63 57 64

1938 Dorothy Bundy-Dorothy Stevenson 63 62

1939 Emily Westacott-Nell Hall Hopman 61 62

1940 Nancye Wynne-Thelma Long 57 64 60

1946 Nancye Wynne-Joyce Fitch 64 64

1947 Nancye Wynne-Nell Hall Hopman 63 62

1948 Nancye Wynne-Marie Toomey 63 61

1949 Doris Hart-Nancye Wynne 63 64

1950 Louise Brough-Doris Hart 64 36 64

1951 Nancye Wynne-Thelma Long 61 75

1952 Thelma Long-Helen Angwin 62 63

1953 Maureen Connolly-Julia Sampson 63 62

1954 Thelma Long-Jenny Staley 63 64

1955 Beryl Penrose-Thelma Long 64 63

1956 Mary Carter-Thelma Long 36 62 97

1957 Shirley Fry-Althea Gibson 63 64

1958 Angela Mortimer-Lorraine Coghlan 63 64

1959 Mary Carter-Renee Schuurman 62 63

1960 Margaret Court-Jan Lehane 75 62

1961 Margaret Court-Jan Lehane 61 64

1962 Margaret Court-Jan Lehane 60 62

1963 Margaret Court-Jan Lehane 62 62

1964 Margaret Court-Lesley Turner 63 62

1965 Margaret Court-Maria Bueno 57 63 52 ret.

1966 Margaret Court-Nancy Richey wo

1967 Nancy Richey-Lesley Turner 61 64

1968 Billie jean King-Margaret Court 61 62

1969 Margaret Court-Billie Jean King 64 61

1970 Margaret Court-Kerry Reid 61 63

1971 Margaret Court-Evonne Goolagong 26 76 75

1972 Virginia Wade-Evonne Goolagong 64 64

1973 Margaret Court-Evonne Goolagong 64 75

1974 Evonne Goolagong-Chris Evert 76 46 60

1975 Evonne Goolagong-Martina Navratilova 63 62

1976 Evonne Goolagong-Renata Tomanova 62 62

1977(jan) Kerry Reid-Dianne Fromholtz 75 62

1977(dec) Evonne Goolagong-Helen Gourlay 63 60

1978 Chris O’Neill-Betsy Nagelsen 63 76

1979 Barbara Jordan-Sharon Walsh 63 63

1980 Hana Mandlikova-Wendy Turnbull 60 75

1981 Martina Navratilova-Chris Evert 67 64 75

1982 Chris Evert-Martina Navratilova 63 26 63

1983 Martina Navratilova-Kathy Jordan 62 76

1984 Chris Evert-Helena Sukova 67 61 62

1985 Martina Navratilova-Chris Evert 62 46 62

1986 Hana Mandlikova-Martina Navratilova 75 76

1988 Steffi Graf-Chris Evert 61 76

1989 Steffi Graf-Helena Sukova 64 64

1990 Steffi Graf-Mary Joe Fernandez 63 64

1991 Monica Seles-Jana Novotna 57 63 61

1992 Monica Seles-Mary Joe Fernandez 62 63

1993 Monica Seles-Steffi Graf 46 63 62

1994 Steffi Graf-Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 60 62

1995 Mary Pierce-Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 63 62

1996 Monica Seles-Anke Huber 64 61

1997 Martina Hingis-Mary Pierce 62 62

1998 Martina Hingis-Conchita Martinez 63 63

1999 Martina Hingis-Amelie Mauresmo 62 63

2000 Lindsay Davenport-Martina Hingis 61 75

2001 Jennifer Capriati-Martina Hingis 64 63

2002 Jennifer Capriati-Martina Hingis 46 76 62

2003 Serena Williams-Venus Williams 76 36 64

2004 Justine henin-Kim Clijsters 63 46 63

2005 Serena Williams-Lindsay Davenport 26 63 60

2006 Amelie mauresmo-Justine Henin 61 20 ret.

2007 Serena Williams-Maria Sharapova 61 62

2008 Maria Sharapova-Ana Ivanovic 75 63

2009 Serena Williams-Dinara Safina 60 63

2010 Serena Williams-Justine Henin 63 36 62

2011 Kim Clijsters-Na Li 36 63 63

2012 Victoria Azarenka-Maria Sharapova 63 60

2013 Victoria Azarenka-Na Li 46 64 63

2014 Na Li-Dominika Cibulkova 76 60

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Injury-Hit Borna Coric Reacts To First Grand Slam Win In 16 Months

The Croat admits he was unsure how his shoulder would hold up in his opening match at Roland Garros.

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Borna Coric - US Open 2020 (via Twitter, @usopen)

Borna Coric said he is relieved that his body managed to hold up during his opening win at the French Open on Sunday.

 

The former world No.12 spent almost three hours on the court before defeating Spain’s Carlos Taberner 3-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1, in what was his first Grand Slam match of any kind since the 2021 Australian Open. Paris is only the seventh tournament Coric has played in since returning to the Tour following a year-long absence due to shoulder surgery. The 25-year-old is yet to win back-to-back matches this season.

It does feel great. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of my shoulder because I’ve never been in the fourth set, fifth set (of a match) for one-and-a-half years,” said Coric.
“So it was also kind of worrying for me, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how I’m going to feel and how my whole body is going to behave in those later sets. Obviously I’ve been practicing it, but it’s really never the same.”

Impressively the Croat produced a total of 54 winners against 39 unforced errors in his latest match in the French capital. Furthermore, he won 76% of his first service points and 53% of his second.

“The last few weeks haven’t been very easy, I lost many tight matches. I mean, I was also quite happy with my tennis, but I was just losing,” he reflected.

Coric was once tipped to be the future of men’s tennis after rising quickly up the ranks at a young age. In 2014 he was the youngest player to end the season in the top 100 and a year last he was the youngest to do so in the top 50. He has recorded a total of nine wins over top five players, including Roger Federer, as well as winning two Tour titles.

In the second round at Roland Garros Coric will take on the formidable Grigor Dimitrov who has been ranked as high as third in the world. He will enter the clash as the underdog given his ongoing comeback from injury. At present Coric’s principal focus is on his body but that will change in the coming weeks.

Until Wimbledon my health needs to come first and after Wimbledon I can kind of try to switch in my mind so I can start playing more and more tournaments. I can train more and I can focus more on the tennis rather than on my shoulder,” he explains.

Coric has reached the third round of the French Open on four previous occasions.

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Roger Federer’s Team8 Considering Bid To Buy Cincinnati Masters Rights From USTA

The potential move has gained support from one former world No.1 player who says ‘it is nice to see responsible names’ in the mix to buy the prestigious event.

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Roger Federer Wimbledon 2021
Roger Federer (SUI) playing against Adrian Mannarino (FRA) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

It is understood that sports and entertainment company Team8 which was co-founded by Roger Federer is looking into potentially submitting an application for ownership of the Cincinnati Masters, according to two sources.

 

Sports business publication Sportico and Steve Weissman from The Tennis Channel have both reported that the business is among a number of interested parties who want to buy the event that is best known as the Western and Southern Open. In February this year it was confirmed that the USTA is selling their 93.8% stake in the tournament for a ‘nine-figure sum.’ It is understood that the organization doesn’t want the event to be relocated from Cincinnati in part of any deal.

“The USTA’s Board of Directors believes now is the right time to explore potential strategic options and alternatives in order to optimize the long-term growth of the tournament and take the tournament to the next level,” the USTA said in a statement published by tennis.com.

The USTA brought the rights to the men’s event back in 2009 for $12.5M and has since spent an additional $65M. Whilst Cincinnati is a combined tournament, the ongoing negotiations only apply to the men’s section. The women’s tournament is overseen by Octagon management.

Neither Federer or a member of Team8 have commented on the reported plans. The company was founded by the 20-time Grand Slam champion and his agent Tony Godsick back in 2013. Since then they have been involved in the creation of the Laver Cup, became a ‘major investor’ in the Universal Tennis system and are a ‘strategic investor and partner’ to On Running.

Should Team8 become the new owners, questions may arise about conflicts of interest with Federer still being an active player on Tour. The 40-year-old is currently sidelined from action due to a knee injury but is aiming to stage a comeback at the Swiss Open later this year. However, former world No.1 Andy Roddick has given his full backing to the possible takeover.

“In the world of tennis, where conflicts of interest know no bounds at all, Roger can do this. He has, obviously, been a great steward for the game and has created an incredible relationship with the fans in the city of Cincinnati. You’d like to see it stay in the tennis family with someone who actually knows and loves our sport.” Roddick told The Tennis Channel.

Federer has won the Cincinnati Masters a record seven times in his career.

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Daniil Medvedev ‘Happy To Play Wimbledon’ If Ban Is Lifted

The world No.2 says he is willing to speak with other players about the situation ahead of his return to action following surgery.

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Daniil Medvedev (RUS) in action against Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Daniil Medvedev says he is still hopeful that he might be able to play at this year’s Wimbledon Championships should officials at The All England Club decide to change their stance.

 

At present the reigning US Open champion will not be allowed to play at the grass court major due to his nationality. Officials at the Grand Slam have confirmed that Russian and Belarussian players have been banned from the event due to the war in Ukraine. Ian Hewitt, who is the chairman of The AELTC, said the action was taken in order to prevent ‘the propaganda machine of the Russian regime’ from potentially benefiting from their players’ success.

The ban is a controversial move for the sport which until now had a united approach when it came to allowing those players participate in tournaments but only as neutral athletes. Former Wimbledon champions Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokopvic and Andy Murray have all expressed some degree of opposition to the decision. Meanwhile, the ATP and WTA are considering the possibility of removing the allocation of ranking points at the event.

Speaking about the ban ahead of this week’s Geneva Open, Medvedev acknowledges that it is a ‘tricky situation’ but is still hopeful that a u-turn could occur which would allow him to play. The 26-year-old has made four main draw appearances at Wimbledon with his best result being a run to the fourth round last year.

“There has been a lot of talk around it. I just tried to follow what’s happening because I don’t have any decisions to make. It’s right now about Wimbledon itself, the ATP, maybe the British government is involved,” news agency AFP quoted Medvedev as telling reporters in Switzerland.
“It’s a tricky situation and like every situation in life, you ask 100 players, everybody’s going to give a different opinion.
“I can play: I’m going to be happy to play in Wimbledon. I love this tournament.
“I cannot play: well, I’m going to try to play other tournaments and prepare well for next year if I have the chance to play.”

The former world No.1 has been among a group of Russian players who have previously called for peace in the region. Although none of them have gone as far as publicly condemning the actions of their government. Something which has drawn criticism from Ukraine’s Elina Svitoliva.

“I had some time to follow what is happening, yeah, it’s very upsetting,” Medvedev commented on the war.

Geneva will be the first event Medvedev has played in since reaching the quarter-finals of the Miami Open. He took time away from the Tour to undergo hernia surgery but has confirmed he intends to play at next week’s French Open despite his lack of match play on the clay.

During his time at those events, the tennis star says he is more than happy to speak with other players about the Wimbledon ban should they want to.

“Since I haven’t been on the tour, I haven’t talked to any of them face to face. It was the first time when I came here on Saturday when I can talk to players, and if they start talking about this, we can discuss,” he said.
“I don’t know exactly what’s happening, what’s going to happen, if there are going to be more decisions made.
“Same about Wimbledon. I don’t know if this decision is 100 percent, and it’s over.”

Granted a bye in the first round, Medvedev will start his Geneva campaign against either Richard Gasquet or John Millman.

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