Challenger Tour: Defending champion Aljaz Bedene the only seed remaining in Irving, big win for Jared Donaldson - UBITENNIS
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Challenger Tour: Defending champion Aljaz Bedene the only seed remaining in Irving, big win for Jared Donaldson

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Bedene ensured his title defence remains on course with a close win over Frances Tiafoe

Defending champion Aljaz Bedene is now the only seed still standing in the Irving Challenger, though the fourth seed was given a massive scare by young American Frances Tiafoe, eventually prevailing 7-6, 3-6, 7-6.

 

The Briton was forced to go to three sets for the second straight match (Bedene defeated Dmitry Tursunov in three sets in the second round). The British world no. 51 was matched by Tiafoe in the first, as they traded breaks before the higher-ranked player won the tiebreak 7-5. Far from being deterred, Tiafoe took heart from his strong performance, breaking early in the second, and survived a Bedene recovery to level the score at a set apiece. Both men struggled to put their first serves in play, with neither able to average above 50% over the course of the match. It ultimately came down to the fact that Bedene proved marginally better on second serve, allowing the 2015 winner to edge another tiebreak to reach the semi-finals.

His opponent will be another American teen in Jared Donaldson. The right-hander produced a dominant display to defeat fellow young gun Andrey Rublev 6-4, 6-1. Donaldson broke at five-four in the first set, and served out for the lead. Donaldson missed a chance to break in the game of the second set. It would turn out to be the only game that Rublev would win in the second, as Donaldson raced through the next six games without reply. If Donaldson could continue his fine form this week, he could push much closer to the Top 100 with a maximum of 125 points on offer for the winner this week.

Marcel Granollers, a former Top 20 star, dismissed third seed Lukas Rosol in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2. In a match littered with unforced errors from the thirty-year old Czech, Granollers managed to maintain respectable numbers from his side of the court to reach the semi-finals.

His opponent will be either Ivan Dodig, the big-serving Croatian, or Diego Schwartzman, an Argentinian who has proven more at home on clay than on hard-courts.

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Jannik Sinner sets Pizza Challenge to raise funds against Covid-19

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Last year’s Next Gen Finals champion Jannik Sinner set Pizza Challenge to raise funds against Covid-19.

 

The Italian player announced the news that he will donate 10 Euros alongside Starwing Sports for every photo of a pizza that resembles himself or any past or present Italian figure to raise funds for medical supplies in Italy during the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to help fight the spread of the virus.

Sinner is currently training in Monte-Carlo during the break due to the coronavirus pandemic. Last February Sinner reached his first ATP 500 quarter final in Rotterdam after scoring the biggest win of his career against world number 10 David Goffin. He earned his first Grand Slam main draw win of career against Max Purcell at the Australian Open.

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Novak Djokovic agrees with the decision to postpone the Olympic Games

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This year’s Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic agrees with the decision of the International Olympic Committee and Japan’s authorities to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games until 2021.

 

The decision of postponing the Olympics was announced on 24th March through a joint statement made by the President of the International Olympic Thomas Bach and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe.

Djokovic, who had prepared a pair of shoes inscribed with the words “Tokyo 2020”, thinks that the health of the people around the world is much more important.

“I am sad that the Olympic Games are postponed, but I am sure that it’s the right decision for the health of everyone involved. Let’s look forward to Tokyo 2021. Although the situation looks horrible in some parts of the world, I think that humanity in some parts of the world, Novak Djokovic thinks that humanity with get through it and can profit from it”, said Djokovic.

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Ana Ivanovic Helps Buy Ventilators In Coronavirus Crisis

Former world number one Ana Ivanovic has bought 35 ventilators for her country.

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Former grand slam champion Ana Ivanovic has helped her country buy ventilators as the coronavirus pandemic increases. 

 

As sport in general stops in order to do their bit to stop the coronavirus pandemic from increasing, former tennis star Ana Ivanovic has continued to lead by example.

The former tennis star has continued her charitable work by buying 35 ventilators as part of work being done by UNICEF Serbia to fight off the crisis.

According to their website, UNICEF also helped buy protective equipment worth over half a million dollars as this pandemic continues to destroy people’s lives.

In a statement, UNICEF said it was crucial to show solidarity amidst of this crisis, “One of the key elements of UNICEF’s global mandate is to respond to emergency situations with its expertise and operational experience,” UNICEF said in a press release.

“UNICEF in Serbia, by its rapid response, is contributing to efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the lives of children, young people and their families. Solidarity in difficult times is crucial in order to tackle the challenges we all face together.”

These facilities that were bought by the former world number one could mean that a number of lives are saved despite the deadly virus continuing its path of destruction. So far there are over 499,000 cases of the coronavirus world wide with 22,000 deaths.

As for tennis, the ATP and WTA world tours will not resume until the 7th of June at the earliest with Wimbledon to make a decision on its tournament next week.

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