ATP Basel: Main draw released, Federer starts with Kukushkin - UBITENNIS
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ATP Basel: Main draw released, Federer starts with Kukushkin



Federer is a six time winner in Basel

Federer is a six time winner in Basel



The draw for one of the two events in the penultimate week of the season has been released, and unsurprisingly Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka are the top two seeds in a tournament flooded with big names.

The event in Basel marks essentially the home event for both Federer and Wawrinka, with Federer having won the title six times, including last year’s event, where he defeated David Goffin in straight sets. Wawrinka has never won the Swiss Indoors.

Federer will start against Mikhail Kukushkin, a player who he has not dropped a set to in their previous two meetings. Philipp Kohlschreiber could prove a tricky customer in the second round, if the German can negotiate a qualifier. Federer could meet last year’s beaten finalist David Goffin as early as the quarter-finals this year. The Belgian starts against the unseeded Andreas Seppi.

Second seed Wawrinka faces Ivo Karlovic, who recently became the official record holder of aces since the ATP began collecting the data. The tall Croat has only defeated the French Open champion once in five attempts. Wawrinka could face Richard Gasquet in the quarter finals. The Frenchman beat the Swiss in an enthralling Wimbledon quarter-final in July.

Third seed Rafael Nadal is scheduled to face Wimbledon 2013 conqueror Lukas Rosol, before a potential second round encounter with Grigor Dimitrov, who starts against Sergiy Stakhovsky. Nadal is in Wawrinka’s side of the draw, with that a possible semi-final.

John Isner will face Ernests Gulbis in a rematch of the Vienna second round meeting that saw Gulbis emerge victorious. Should Isner prevail, he could face a fellow American in Jack Sock, who starts against a qualifier.

Kevin Anderson faces an interesting task. He faces young up and comer Borna Coric, who suffered a disappointingly early exit in Moscow at the hands of Evgeny Donskoy.

Swiss wildcards Henri Laaksonen and Marco Chiudinelli face Donald Young and Marin Cilic, as they look to take advantage of their singles opportunities.

Basel Main Draw:

[1] Federer-Kukushkin
Seppi- [8] Goffin

[4] Anderson-Coric
[WC] Laaksonen-Young
Gulbis- [6] Isner

[7] Cilic- [WC] Chiudinelli
Gabashvili-L. Mayer
Rosol- [3] Nadal

[5] Gasquet-Vesely
Karlovic- [2] Wawrinka


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Novak Djokovic Calls For Changes To Tennis’ Partnerships With Betting Companies



Novak Djokovic believes tournaments that are sponsored by betting companies should award at least 50 per cent of revenue generated from such deals to players. 


The world No.1 has called for an overhaul of tennis’ current policy regarding betting companies to help improve the financial situation of his peers. As it currently stands players are prohibited from having betting sponsorships on their clothes. Even though tennis is one of the most bet-on sports in the world. It’s not uncommon for governing bodies to have deals with the industry. For example, the ITF recently appointed Infront Bettor as their distributor of global data and betting streaming rights. 

Many tournaments are also sponsored by betting companies which has prompted criticism for Djokovic who is the co-founder of the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA). An association that campaigns for players to have a greater say when it comes to decision-making in the sport. 

In a recent video uploaded on the PTPA YouTube account, the 24-time Grand Slam winner says players should receive a greater share of the revenue generated from deals with betting companies if the governing bodies are not willing to change their stance on the clothing policy. 

“Personally I probably would not get a betting sponsor on my sleeve but I know that probably 95-plus percent of the players would do that,” Djokovic said. “I would support that but if that’s not allowed then what we would deserve to have is the 50 per cent of the share that the tournament gets from these sponsorship deals with betting houses.”

Some of the money generated from such arrangements goes towards player’s pension schemes. However, Djokovic has urged his peers to ‘push more’ to receive a larger proportion of the money whilst they are still playing. A full breakdown of where the money is distributed from deals with betting companies is not known. 

“I know that a pretty significant chunk goes to the player pension which is something that I always support of course but we have to remind ourselves that you only become eligible for pension when you are 50 or 55 [years old],” Djokovic said. 
“So a player that retires when he or she is 30 or 35 has to wait for 20-plus years to actually start receiving the benefits from that deal.’
“I think that it’s obvious that that’s probably one of the biggest sources of income for tennis – the broadcasting rights, the TV rights and the data – I think players are probably not either fully aware or maybe they just are not pushing enough for their fair share from the betting. They are giving much more than they are receiving. They’re literally receiving nothing from it.”

Djokovic adds that ‘awareness’ needs to be raised about the issue as there is a ‘very significant value and chunk of the money that is out there for players to get a hold of.’ 

A former member of the ATP Players Council before leaving to form the PTPA, Djokovic claims the topic of betting companies was addressed but in a somewhat different approach. 

“Whenever we would address this subject, what would normally surface in the discussion is the integrity,” he said. “It’s like ‘We’ve got to fight to make sure that the sport stays clean. We got to make sure that the players are not cheating, they’re not betting, they’re not compromised,’ which of course I support and agree with, but there’s kind of a psychological game right that you focus on that and you don’t really talk about the main issue here, that us players need to be aware of.”

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Andy Murray Sets Sights On Fifth Olympic Games



Andy Murray says he would love to have the opportunity to play at what will most likely be his last Olympic Games in Paris next year. 


The Brit is the only player in history to have successfully defended a singles title at the Games after claiming the gold medal in 2012 and 2016. He also won a silver medal in the mixed doubles alongside Laura Robson in 2012. Overall, he has made four appearances in the Olympics with his debut taking place in 2008. 

 “I’d love to play another Olympics. I’ve had thrilling experiences throughout my career at the Olympics. I’ve loved every single one I’ve been involved in,” Murray told reporters on Thursday at the Zhuhai Championships. 

Murray admits that part of his motivation to play in Paris is linked to what happened to him in Tokyo two years ago. The Games was meant to take place in 2020 but was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I was really disappointed last time. I’d gotten an injury before the tournament and I promised my partner (Joe Salisbury) I’d prioritise the doubles over singles if there was a problem. And we were very close to getting a medal in the doubles,” he said.
“We were up a set and 4-3, serving with game points in the quarter-finals and we had a really good chance and didn’t quite do it. I’d love another opportunity to play next year in Paris. It would be my fifth Olympics and most likely the last one.”

The 36-year-old is one of only three male players to have won multiple gold medals at the Olympic Games in the Open Era. The other two to do so are Rafael Nadal and Nicolas Massu.

Next year’s Olympic tennis event is being held at Roland Garros which is the venue of the French Open. 

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Caroline Garcia Books Showdown With Sakkari In Guadalajara



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France’s Caroline Garcia has reached her first tournament semi-final since March after beating Victoria Azarenka in straight sets at the Guadalajara Open. 


The world No.11 rallied to a 6-3, 6-4, win over the two-time Grand Slam champion. Garcia saved all 11 break points she faced in the match and broke Azarenka once in each set. She has become only the second player from her country to have reached the semi-final stage at five or more WTA 1000 tournaments since the format was introduced in 2009. The first to do so was Marion Bartoli. 

“I try to be aggressive, she likes to put pressure … and I try to really use my serve to start the point well, and be inside the court as fast as I can,” quoted Garcia as saying following the match. “It’s always tricky. She had a lot of break point opportunities, but I served really well at those points, so I guess I have to thank my serve.
“At the beginning of the match, I was a little bit tight, my legs were feeling heavy and everything. I managed to stay calm and try to just move as much as I can and see what I can do.”

The significance of Garcia’s latest win is that it has secured her return to the world’s top 10 next week when the rankings are updated. She has reached the quarter-finals or better in three out of her last four tournaments played. The only exception was at the US Open where she lost in the first round to China’s Wang Yafan.

Awaiting Garcia in the next round will be second seed Maria Sakkari who beat Colombia’s Emiliana Arango 6-3, 6-4. The Greek has only dropped 17 games in three matches played at the tournament so far. It is the third time in her career that she has reached the last four of a WTA 1000 event without dropping a set after Doha and Indian Wells last year. 

“Obviously today, it was a little bit windy, [Arango’s] game was tricky, I never played her,” said Sakkari. “She’s a very talented and promising player. She was playing free and she had nothing to lose, so it’s always tricky to play with someone that feels that way. Credit to her, she played a great match.”

Garcia currently leads Sakkari 3-1 in their head-to-head but lost their most recent match in Doha earlier this year. 

In the other section of the draw, Sofia Kenin has continued her recent surge in form with a 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-1, win over Canada’s Leylah Fernandez. The 2020 Australian Open champion is bidding to reach her second Tour final within as many weeks after San Diego. She is currently ranked 53rd in the world. 

“I’m very proud of myself. It means a lot to me. I’ve been putting in some hard work and it’s paying off, so I’m super proud,” Kenin said during her press conference.
“I’m just going to take one match at a time. But I like my chances (of winning the title). I’m playing some great tennis and looking forward to the next match tomorrow.” She added. 

Kenin will play underdog Caroline Dolehide who saved four match points during her 3-6, 7-6(9), 6-3, win over Martina Trevisan. 

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