Pennetta beats Vinci in the all-Italian US Open Final - UBITENNIS
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Pennetta beats Vinci in the all-Italian US Open Final




US OPEN – It has been coined the improbable final as no one saw either Flavia Pennetta (26) and the unseeded Roberta Vinci in the finals or anywhere close to it. However, both players came through the 6 previous rounds to create history of the first ever all-Italian major final. Pennetta, the more accomplished singles player took this grand stage to put on a once in a lifetime dream performance. She took the match 7-6(4) 6-2 in an hour and 33 minutes to not only rise to the top of the tennis world right now but to go out with a bang. After capturing her first major title, the 33-year-old Italian let the world know that she would soon be retiring from the professional world of tennis. Vinci, on the other hand, is still simply overjoyed at her run at this major.


In the opening games of the match, it looked as though Pennetta was dealing with the nerves of her first major final. Vinci looked comfortable after all, she took out the world’s number one in the semifinals. However, despite the nervy start, Pennetta was the one who broke first for 3-2. Vinci was having trouble holding serve in that 5th game giving Pennetta many looks at break points before one was finally converted. Pennetta consolidated the break for 4-2 but Vinci came on strong in the next few games to level the set at 4-4 and then serve strong to go up 5-4 to force Pennetta to serve to stay in the set. Pennetta sorted out her game to get back into the match and the opening set was forced into a decisive tiebreaker at 6 games all.

The winner of this breaker was vital as the winner of most of their encounters has always been decided by the one to took the opening set. Pennetta, the more experienced player in the big moments, took a 4-2 points lead. Vinci’s shots were unreliable and she rarely put Pennetta under pressure. Pennetta got up to 5-3 and then led 6-4 off another Vinci error. Now on serve, Pennetta hit a searing serve out wide which proved unreturnable for Vinci and Pennetta took the set 7-4 in the breaker, in exactly an hour.

After the match, Vinci would say that she was a bit exhausted in the first set after that massive upset over Serena Williams in the semifinals. She would add that it was a tough match facing Pennetta. The toll of the last 24 hours clearly showed in Vinci’s game in the 2nd set as she soon found herself down a double break. Vinci was able to break Pennetta for 1-4 and reduced the deficit to 2-4. Pennetta extended the lead to 5-2 and forced Vinci to serve to stay in the match. With the grey clouds circling, Vinci sensed the end was near and her game completely unraveled. She played a poor final game to be broken at love giving Pennetta the maiden major win, 7-6(4) 6-2 in an hour and half.

In the post match interview, Pennetta’s joy was unbridled. She was beaming with joy and Vinci was beyond ecstatic for her childhood friend and professional colleague biggest win in her career. This was a major moment for both players as they had never made it this far in a major in their entire professional singles career. The match statistics do not tell much of the match although Pennetta had the better numbers with 28 winners to 22 errors compared to Vinci’s 21 winners and 30 errors. Vinci would say, “I think she played better. She was more solid than me and she play much better backhand, long line, and she served better than me today.” However, the real difference in the match was that Pennetta seized the moment. She relaxed into the match and played her brand of tennis. Vinci was never really allowed to settle on this big stage. Pennetta will now play out the rest of the year and retire on a high note with her lone major title. She said that her biggest dream prior to this tournament was to win the Rome clay court title. However, winning the US Open, the last major of the year in 2015 has surpassed even her wildest expectations.


Further 23 Players In Hard Quarantine After More Positive Tests On Charter Flight

More players head into hard quarantine ahead of the first grand slam of the year.




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A further 23 players have been told that they are being placed into hard quarantine after another positive COVID-19 test on a charter flight from Abu Dhabi.


Players were notified this evening in Australia that there was a positive test on the Abu Dhabi charter flight. Although it looks it wasn’t a player who tested positive it now means 23 more players will now go into hard quarantine.

This follows the news of 24 players going into hard quarantine after two positive tests from a charter flight from Los Angeles.

It is understood from several journalists that among those who are now being placed into hard quarantine from the Abu Dhabi flight are Belinda Bencic, Maria Sakkari, Bianca Andreescu, Angelique Kerber, Marta Kostyuk, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Ons Jabeur.

Although there are only 47 players in hard quarantine so far, there is a fear that this number could rise with more COVID test results still waiting to come back.

Before the charter flights, Andy Murray, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Madison Keys and Amanda Anisimova were denied entry into Australia via the chartered flights due to positive COVID results.

The first set of tournaments in Australia are set to begin on the 31st of January with the Australian Open due to begin on the 8th of February.

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24 Players In Isolation After Positive COVID-19 Tests On Australian Open Charter Flight

It is understood that Kei Nishikori and Victoria Azarenka are among those to be affected by the latest development.




Tennis Australia has been dealt a new blow to their preparations for the Melbourne Grand Slam after it was confirmed two people tested positive for COVID-19 on one of their flights.


A member of the flight crew and one passenger who was on Flight QR793 from Los Angeles Airport have tested positive for the virus. It has been reported by journalist Pablo Amalfitano that the coach of Lauren Davis, Edward Elliot, is the passenger who has tested positive. Although he reportedly claims that the result is a false positive.

A total of 79 people were on the flight with 24 of those being players such as Kei Nishikori, Victoria Azarenka, Sloane Stephens, Alison Riske, Vaskek Pospisil and Tennys Sandgren. Sandgren did test positive prior to the fight but was given the all clear to travel after it was deemed that he was ‘viral shedding.’

Due to their possible exposure to COVID-19 Australian health officials have instructed all players to isolate for 14 days and they will not be allowed to leave their room to train in what will be a big setback to their preparations.

“The Chief Health Officer has reviewed the flight and has determined that everyone on board needs to isolate and will be confined to their rooms for the 14-day quarantine,” a leaked email sent to players read. “We know this is not how you imagined your preparations for the AO would start but our entire team is here to support you and do everything that we can to get you through this.”

News of the positive tests was first reported online by the players themselves after they uploaded a leaked email detailing what had happened before Tennis Australia had a chance to publish a statement.

“We are communicating with everyone on this flight, and particularly the playing group whose conditions have now changed, to ensure their needs are being catered to as much as possible, and that they are fully appraised of the situation,” Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley commented.
“Our thoughts are with the two people who tested positive on the flight and we wish them well for their recovery.”

Doubles specialist Artem Sitak, who was on board the plane, commented on the situation by giving an update to his followers on Instagram. The Russian-born New Zealand player is currently ranked 78th in the world and has won five ATP titles so far in his career.

“We’re all deemed close contact. I asked for a bike, so hopefully I’ll get one and stay in shape,” Sitak said. “We’ll probably be out on the 29th of January and head straight into the ATP 250 a few days after.
“Obviously not great, but that’s the risk we were all taking. They kind of warned us this was going to be at the discretion of the Australian government, Australian health authorities if something like this happened. It’s just unlucky that two of them contracted the virus.”

In a later update the 34-year-old confirmed that he has had a bike delivered to his room. |

Meanwhile, Japanese media have confirmed that all of Nishikori’s team has tested negative for the virus but the former US Open finalist will be training alone in his room.

The first series of tournaments are set to take place in Melbourne a week before the Australian Open on January 31st.

List of affected players

  • Victoria Azarenka
  • Sloane Stephens
  • Kei Nishikori
  • Tennys Sandgren
  • Nicholas Monroe
  • Santiago Gonzalez
  • Artem Sitak
  • Guido Pella
  • Alison Riske
  • Marcos Giron
  • Vasek Pospisil

Note – list is incomplete and compiled via news agencies

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Dayana Yastremska Heads To Australia Despite Doping Violation

Did the 20-year-old break the rules with her trip?




Tennis Australia says they are ‘investigating’ after it emerged that Dayana Yastremska boarded a plane funded by the governing body despite failing a drugs test.


Last week the International Tennis Federation issued a statement confirming that the Ukrainian tennis star has been issued with a provisional suspension after testing positive for the banned substance mesterolone metabolite. An anabolic agent prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency which can be used for the treatment of people with low testosterone. Yastremska was pictured boarding a plane to Australia on Thursday in a post uploaded by two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova which has since been deleted.

Yastremska has denied any wrongdoing and says she has ‘scientific evidence’ that her positive test was a result of contamination. Although she didn’t elaborate any further as to what that evidence is. The world No.29 has the right to appeal her provisional suspension but according to the latest ITF statement she hasn’t done so. One way her ban can be lifted is if the appeals board accepts her contamination argument which would allow her to play right away.

“Only a very low concentration of mesterolone metabolite was detected in my urine,” Yastremska wrote in a statement. “Given that low concentration and my negative test two weeks earlier, I have received scientific advice that the result is consistent with some form of contamination event.”

Despite Yastremska’s plea, it is unclear as to if she or Tennis Australia has broken any rules. As of January 15h the ITF still lists her as a player who is provisionally suspended from the sport. Richard Ings, who is the former chair of the Australian anti-doping agency, points out that suspended players are not allowed to participate in any activity organised by a tournament. Raising questions as to if a Tennis Australia funded plane journey counts as one of these ‘activities.’

Yastremska is currently on the Australian Open entry list and is set to be allowed to train during her 14-day quarantine like other players unless anything changes. Tennis Australia has not made a public statement but news agency AAP has confirmed that an investigation has been launched. Should it turn out that the 20-year-old is ineligible to play, it is unclear if she would be required to pay back the cost of her plane trip.

The Australian Open starts on February 8th.

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