Lukas Rosol knocks out Jo Wilfried Tsonga to reach the quarter finals in Vienna - UBITENNIS
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Lukas Rosol knocks out Jo Wilfried Tsonga to reach the quarter finals in Vienna

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Lukas Rosol knocked out last week’s Shanghai Masters 1000 finalist Jo Wilfried Tsonga by 6-4 3-6 6-1 to reach the quarter finals at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. Rosol won for the first time after three defeats against Tsonga, who won the Austrian tournament in 2011. After this defeat Tsonga lost ground in the battle for one of the remaining two spots for the ATP Finals.

Tsonga dropped his serve to go down 4-5 in the first set. Rosol held his serve to win the first set on the next game. Tsonga won the second set by 6-3 to force the match to the third set. Rosol cruised to 6-1 with a series of winners.

“The surface was slow, but it’s not an excuse because you have to adapt to different conditions and to different surfaces. I won’t be playing until Paris Bercy. I now have time to rest. I will return home to prepare well for Paris Bercy. I hope to be more consistent in 2016. I didn’t play enough to win. I tried but things did not work for me. I am not sad for not qualifying for London. ”, said Tsonga

It was a day of mixed fortunes for French tennis as Gael Monfils beat Italian Paolo Lorenzi 6-4 6-4 to set up a quarter final against Rosol.

The match started with three consecutive breaks in the first three games. Monfils broke serve in the first game to 15 but Lorenzi broke back in the next game to 30. Lorenzi made a double fault on the break point to drop serve again to 15. Lorenzi missed two break points for 3-3. Monfils held his serve on the third chance and pulled away to 4-2 with an ace. Lorenzi won his service game with a winner and an ace for 4-5. Monfils served out for the set to love for 6-4.

Lorenzi made three double faults to drop his serve in the third game to trail 1-2. In the next game the Italian player broke back to draw level to 2-2 with a down the line backhand.

In the seventh game Monfils broke serve to 30 with a backhand passing shot to take the lead with 4-3. Monfils served out for the match at 5-4 and held his serve to love to clinch the win.

Spanish star David Ferrer, who is currently ranked eighth in the ATP Ranking and is top seed in Vienna, brushed aside his compatriot Guillermo Garcia Lopez with 6-1 6-1 to boost his chance to qualify for the ATP Finals in London. Ferrer broke serve five times and hit five aces. Thanks to his 49th win in 2015 Ferrer has reached his 12th quarter final this season. Ferrer won four titles this season but missed most of the summer season with an elbow injury

Ferrer fended off two break points at the start of the first set before converting five of his break point chances.

“I have pressure but I am in a good position. There is more pressure on the others”, said Ferrer

Ferrrer will face Italian Fabio Fognini who beat Radek Stepanek 6-1 6-4. Fognini held his first service game before breaking serve in the second game for 2-0. Fognini got a double break to cruise to 6-1 after Stepanek made four break points. Fognini broke serve in the ninth game to take the 5-4 edge before serving out for the match in the next game.

Ferrer has a 15-0 winning record against Fognini.

Kevin Anderson fought back from a set down to edge past Jiri Vesely with 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-5. Anderson earned two set points on Vesely’s serve but the Czech player forced it to the tie-break. Vesely took the first set with 7-4. Anderson bounced back winning the second set with 6-3 before saving break points at 5-5 in the decider. The South African player held his serve before breaking on the final point of the match to reach his third quarter final this season after a two-hour and 30-minute battle. Anderson hit 15 aces to bring his total to 980 this year.

Anderson will face Steve Johnson who battled past Jerzy Janowicz 6-4 6-7 (7-9) 6-4. Johnson fended off the two break points and fired 20 aces to Janowicz’s 23. Janowicz drew level by winning the tie-break in the second set with 9-7 but Johnson went up a break to win the third set.

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Novak Djokovic Signs Up For Doubles Tournament Amid Growing Speculation Of US Open Attendance

Does this latest development mean the world No.1 will for certain play in New York?

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Fears that every member of the Big Three could miss the US Open have been eased after it emerged that Novak Djokovic has put his name down to play in an additional event in the country.

 

The world No.1 has entered into the doubles draw of the Western and Southern Open where he is set to play alongside compatriot Filip Krajinovic. This year’s tournament has been relocated from Cincinnati to the Billie Jean Tennis Center in New York due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will take place a week before the US Open gets underway.

Djokovic is yet to give a definitive answer about whether or not he would be playing at this year’s Grand Slam amid a series of top names pulling out over travelling and health concerns. Rivals Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka have opted to miss the event. Meanwhile, on the women’s tour Ash Barty, Kiki Bertens and Elina Svitolina have officially withdrawn.

Last week Serbian website Sport Klub said that a decision would be made ‘soon.’ A recent concern raised by Djokovic and other players was quarantine issues. There has been assurances that players will not have to self-isolate upon arrival but there has been less clarity about their return to Europe. However, these concerns have recently been eased following an announcement by the Italian government. Italy will hold the next Masters 1000 event two weeks after the US Open ends.

“In order to allow all national and international sport competitions planned on Italian soil to take place, whether they are organized by National Federations, sport disciplines or institutions associated or recognized by CONI [Italian Olympic Committee], if those competitions require the participation by athletes, coaches and helpers arriving from countries that would not permit their entry into Italy or for whom a quarantine period would be required, these people would need to verify their health status through a PCR test the results of which will need to be included in the declaration as per Article 5, Comma 1, and verified by the commercial carrier as per Article 7. This test shall be performed no later than 48 hours before the arrival in Italy and in order to be admitted into Italy, these people shall be in possession of a document certifying the negative result to that test and including their personal data for inspection. In case of a negative result of the test, each component of the delegation will be allowed to take part to the intended sport competition on Italian soil, provided they follow the specific health protocol put in place by the organizers of said event.” The latest government guidelines state.

Prior to the five-month break of tennis due to the pandemic, Djokovic started 2020 unbeaten by winning 18 matches in a row. He claimed titles at the ATP Cup, Australian Open and Dubai Tennis Championships. He currently leads the ATP rankings by 370 points ahead of his nearest rival Rafael Nadal.

The US Open will start of August 31st.

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COVID-19 Not The Only Reason Behind Rafael Nadal’s Decision To Skip US Open

The reigning US Open champion outlines his reasons for not playing at the event this year.

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World No.2 Rafael Nadal has spoken out about his decision to miss this year’s US Open amid ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The Spaniard is currently the only top 10 player on the men’s Tour to have pulled out of New York for a reason other than injury despite being the reigning champion. In a statement Nadal said the COVID-19 situation is ‘very complicated worldwide’ and is not under control. Referring to a recent surge of cases in some parts of America, which has recorded more deaths related to the virus than any other country.

Although Nadal admits that it isn’t just the pandemic that has contributed towards his decision to miss the event. It is also the quick turnaround of switching from hard-court to the clay with the French Open just taking place a few weeks after. Nadal has won more ATP titles on the clay than anybody else in the Open Era.

The health situation is the first basic inconvenience when making my decision,” Nadal said.
“The situation seems not in full control, so in this case, after consulting with my team, we decided to skip the US Open.
“Second, the schedule is challenging after many months without competing.
“Going from hard-court to clay, with hardly any time for preparation, is dangerous for my body and my future.”

Nadal is aiming to clinch a record 13th French Open later this year to become the first player – male or female – in history to have won the same Grand Slam that many times. Victory would also see him level Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 major singles titles.

“The situation is as it is, and my spirit was not high enough to travel to New York and compete,” he said.
“If I am going to compete, all my senses have to be focused on competition to perform at my best, and it would have been difficult to achieve that.”

The only concern for Nadal will be the lack of match play he will have leading up to Roland Garros. Due to the cancellation of the Madrid Open, the only Masters 1000 event taking place on the clay will be the Italian Open. Which will start a week prior. There is also an ATP 250 event taking place in Kitzbuhel, but he is not on the entry list at present.

Writing in his column for El Pais, former coach Toni Nadal said he was optimistic that the lack of matches would not have an impact on his nephew.

“I just hope that, in Rafa’s case, his results at Roland Garros are not compromised by an inactivity of so many months,” Toni commented.

Despite opting not to defend his US Open title, Nadal will not suffer a rapid points loss in the rankings due to a recent change in the rules. A player’s ranking is now decided based on their 18 best tournament performances over a 22-month period instead of 12 months. The increase was triggered following the five-month break in the sport because of COVID-19.

Nadal’s last taste of competitive tennis was at the Mexican Open in February. At the tournament he clinched his 85th ATP title without dropping a set in five matches played.

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No Quarantine For Players Ahead Of Australian Open, Says Tournament Director

The Melbourne major has pledged to protect players and maintain their prize money payout despite the threat from COVID-19.

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The head of the Australian Open has revealed plans for a series of ‘bio-secure bubbles’ which will protect players and enable them to travel to the country without having to go through quarantine.

 

Craig Tiley says he is optimistic that the Grand Slam will go ahead as scheduled despite the current rise of COVID-19 cases in the state of Victoria where the tournament is held. On Wednesday morning the regional government announced a record 21 deaths within 24 hours, as well as 410 new cases. On August 2nd metropolitan Melbourne was placed into a six-week lockdown.

Speaking to Reuters, Tiley said officials plan to implement a total of five bubbles across the country which players will be based in. A similar concept to what will be used later this month at the US Open. It is unclear as to what the exact conditions will be but they will be opened from the end of December onwards.

“We’re going to open our bio bubble from the first of December and players can come at any time,” he told Reuters.
“When the players arrive, our expectation is they’re not going to be in a hotel for 14 days like the current requirements are. We’ll have an exemption within this bio-secure bubble.
“We’ve said every year that we’re the ‘happy slam’. But now we’re saying we’re the ‘very safe and happy slam.’

The bubbles will be based in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne with its aim being to allow players to get used to conditions in the region.

There are still some unanswered questions when it comes to the tournaments taking place in the lead up to the Australian Open and how the players will remain in these bubbles. For example, this year’s inaugural ATP Cup took place across three cities in the country with players having to travel between them.

Rebranding his event as the ‘very safe and happy slam,’ Tiley says he is optimistic that up to 400,000 fans would be able to attend. Working out as roughly half the attendance compared to this year. Although he does have various scenarios in place which includes the possibility of holding the Australian Open behind closed doors for the first time in history.

“We’ve established a strategy and an operational plan for all our fans and how they will be positioned around the site,” he said.

There are also no plans for a reduction in prize money next year, despite the negative economic impact caused by the pandemic. It is estimated that Tennis Australia will have their turnover and revenue drop by a double-digit percentage.

“I’m optimistic and positive that we’ll have an event and it’ll be in Melbourne,” said Tiley.
“It will have some crowds and it’ll be the beginning of kind of getting back to the way we were.”

The 2021 Australian Open is set to get underway next January.

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