The Threat Of Terrorism And The Everyday Reality For Tennis Players - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Hot Topics

The Threat Of Terrorism And The Everyday Reality For Tennis Players

Published

on

As Belgium recovers from the latest terrorist catastrophe to hit Europe, an all too familiar scenario is facing  tennis players around the world.

 

On Tuesday morning  a series of bombings struck Zaventem airport and the Maalbeek metro station, leaving at least 34 people dead and over 270 injured. The attack, claimed by the so-called Islamic State, comes four months after the November’s Paris attacks, where 130 people were killed.

The terror threat has deterred many from traveling, however, for tennis players they have no choice in the matter. Djordje Djokovic, the brother of Novak, was on his way to Zaventem airport before his plane was diverted due to the explosions.

The latest incident has reminded the world that an attack could take place anywhere, even at the heart of Europe. This worrying, but true statement in one which was also recently said by world No.1 Serena Williams.

“It’s just a really dangerous time in the world right now,” Williams said during questions with the media in Miami.
“You can be anywhere in the world and something can happen. We should all have to be kind of on alert. No city is safe at this point. You have to be alert.”

Terrorist threats at tennis tournaments is nothing new facing the sport. In 2001 the USA Fed Cup team withdrew from their final against Spain following the aftermath of the September 11th attacks. More recently, in the lead-up to the 2015 Davis Cup final, Brussels raised their terror threat to its highest level following intelligence reports of an attack. Fortunately the final went on without incident. This year the Slovenian Fed Cup team have withdrawn from an upcoming Fed Cup tournament in Egypt due to security fears.

Richard Gasquet and Ana Ivanovic were two players caught up in the 2015 Paris Attacks. They were both in the Stade de France watching a football match as they heard the explosions outside the stadium. Gasquet spoke about his experience during an interview with L’equipe.

“The match had started. We heard two explosions. I had even before heard some unbelievable sounds in les Parcs au Princes but this was obviously something else. It was not a sound, it was really a blast.” He said in November 2015.

Regardless of the terror fears, many people have refused to give in to fear. Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber was another to speak about the terrorism threat this week. The German have dismissed her own fears about being caught up in an attack.

“Sometimes you are thinking you travel every week,” Kerber said.
“Sometimes it seems hard. But at the end, you have no choice.”

For tennis players, whether they are world No.1 or No.100, traveling the world to tennis tournament is a necessity for them to make money. They have no option but to keep on with their everyday life. The fight against Islamic extremism is ongoing, but life can’t grind to a halt. A viewpoint which is shared by Carla Suarez Navarro.

“It’s sad to hear about the events in Brussels. You never know what is going to happen,” she said.
“We have to enjoy life because you never know what’s going to come.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Focus

Stan Wawrinka Explains ATP Cup Absence And Olympics Situation Ahead Of Basel

Stan Wawrinka has explained why his Olympic dream is in doubt as he prepares to start his campaign in Basel.

Published

on

Stan Wawrinka (@usopen - Twitter)

Stan Wawrinka has explained why he is absent from the ATP Cup line-up as he begins his campaign in Basel on Wednesday. 

 

The three-time grand slam champion enters his home tournament in Basel having lost a three set final to a resurgent Andy Murray in Antwerp.

Despite the loss Wawrinka has been on a momentum swing himself having reached the US Open and Roland Garros quarter-finals this season.

Although this year has been a success, the Swiss’ 2020 calendar remains a mystery having been absent from Switzerland’s team for the ATP Cup next year.

Speaking to puntodebreak.com, Wawrinka explained his decision to not participate in the cup competition in January as well as questions over his Olympic eligibility, “I have a contract with the Doha tournament, which takes place at the same time as the ATP Cup,” Wawrinka explained.

“I would like to play it (Olympics). The desire is there, but now I have to adjust my calendar for 2020 with my team. I don’t know what criteria are required to get a Wild Card.” 

The 34 year-old is not the only one requiring a wildcard to enter the Olympics with Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori amongst others relying on the same rule.

Meanwhile Wawrinka is preparing for his first match in Basel, where he doesn’t have the best record having never reached the final.

A first round match against Pablo Cuevas awaits on Wednesday and he admitted his tension when performing in front of a home crowd,“In Basel I have always been a little tense, too hesitant,” he admitted.

“Correcting that and winning my first round match against Pablo Cuevas on Wednesday depends on me. It is not the tournament that suits my style of play and that is why, although I have played some good matches here, I do not have such a good performance.”

If Wawrinka wants to reach his maiden Swiss Indoors final, he will potentially have to go through Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.

That dream last eight match is a long way away though as Wawrinka will have to go through Pablo Cuevas and the winner of Frances Tiafoe against Dan Evans.

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

‘I Want Back In’ – Nick Kyrgios Returns To Davis Cup With Key Backing From Captain Hewitt

Former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt explains why the fiery player is back in the team after a 18-month absence.

Published

on

Nick Kyrgios (image via www.twitter.com/usopen)

Nick Kyrgios’ past disagreements with Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt has seemingly been resolved after the Australian was included in this year’s nomination for the finals in November.

 

The former top 20 player haven’t featured in the team tournament since February 2018. His absence has been partly due to a spat with his team captain, as well as injury. Earlier this year Kyrgios took a swipe at Hewitt’s support for compatriot Alex de Minaur in a social media post that he later deleted. He was then not included in Australia’s clash with Bosnia and Herzegovina after failing to meet ‘cultural standards.’

Whilst the partnership hasn’t always been perfect, the two have found a mutual agreement. It started earlier this year when Kyrgios sent a message to Hewitt saying that he wanted to return back to the Davis Cup. That paved the way for discussions to take place in Indian Wells as they resolved their differences.

“I got a message (from him) saying ‘mate, I want to get back in the team’,” Hewitt told reporters on Tuesday. “The great thing is, he has a great relationship with all the players as well. It’s kind of about him wanting to be a part of the team and do the right things day in day out.’
“For me, I’d much rather have him on my team.”

Kyrgios is currently serving a six-month probation concerning his behaviour on the ATP Tour. During that period, if he commits any more major offences he faces the prospect of being banned for 16 weeks and a $25,000 fine. The penalty was issued following a string of offences he conducted in the Cincinnati Open in August, which resulted in him being hit with a $113,000 bill.

The 24-year-old is renowned for his fiery temperament on the tour, as well as his string of wins over high-profile players such as Novak Djokovic. Hewitt has insisted that Kyrgios’ recent antics shouldn’t exclude him from the Davis Cup.

“Nick’s a different character and I understand that and we’re not always going to put everybody in the same box.” He explains.
“You’ve got to deal with different personalities in all kind of sports, and I feel like I know Nick as well as anyone.
“I feel like on the Davis Cup court he’s done everything I’ve need in the past whenever he’s been a part of the team. He hasn’t put a foot wrong, he’s out there picking up balls, half coaching and encouraging other players.
“There’s a lot of things he does in a team environment that I actually think we’ll see the best of him.”

Kyrgios has represented his country in nine Davis Cup ties since 2013. Winning nine out of 15 matches played. In 2017 he played in Australia’s semi-final clash with Belgium, which they lost 3-2.

Few can dispute the talent of the current world No.30, however, he has recently missed a series of tournaments due to a shoulder injury. Nevertheless, Hewitt believes his player will be back to full fitness in time for the team competition.

“That has even been the sacrifice over the last couple of weeks, pulling out of the tournaments as well,” Hewitt said.
“After the Laver Cup he did have a shoulder-collar bone slight injury, which he’s pretty much over now, but he had to take a few weeks out, and he felt like if he kept playing that as going to jeopardise his chances of playing Davis Cup.
“He called me at the time about that and we thought that was the best situation. He comes in a little bit underdone, but fortunately he’s a guy that can go out there and light it up when he needs to.
“With this format there’s a lot of unknowns as well, but he’s the kind of guy this format will really suit.”

The Davis Cup finals will take place in Madrid between November 10-17. Australia has been drawn in Group D with Belgium and Colombia. Besides Kyrgios, de Minaur, Jordan Thompson, John Millman and doubles specialist John Peers have also been selected.

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

Roger Federer Hails Andy Murray’s Comeback Triumph

The Swiss maestro shares his thoughts about the return of one of his rivals.

Published

on

20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer has said it is ‘great’ to see former world No.1 Andy Murray returning back to winning ways after the Brit ended his two-year title drought on Sunday.

 

Murray battled back from a set down to defeat Stan Wawrinka in the final of the European Open in Antwerp. The tournament was only the seventh singles draw he has played since undergoing a second hip operation. He has been troubled by the injury since 2017 and even admitted earlier this year that he was contemplating retiring from the sport due to persistent pain. Murray now plays with a metal rod in his hip joint

“Andy’s achievement was great,” Federer told reporters in Basel on Monday.
“I was a little bit torn, since he beat Stan (Wawrinka) in the final, but it was a great way for him to come back.”

Federer has paid tribute to Murray’s perseverance throughout his return to competitive tennis. The Brit started his comeback in June by playing only in doubles tournaments before making the switch to singles in August at the Winston Salem Open. He has now won nine out of his past 12 matches.

“He’s been playing to try and get close to his old level,” the world No.3 commented.
“It’s nice to see Andy healthy again. I remember in the locker room of the Australian Open.’
“It was very confusing for him and for all of us. I’m extremely happy for him.”

The two have clashed 25 times on the ATP Tour since 2005. It is Federer who leads their head-to-head 14-11 and has won their five most recent meetings. However, it is their encounter in the final of the 2012 Olympic Games that he particularly remembers.

“Last time I didn’t feel I had the crowd fully behind me was probably back in 2012 in London at the Olympics against Murray.“ He said.

In that encounter it was Murray who prevailed after losing to his Swiss rival just weeks beforehand in the Wimbledon final. Murray is the only man in history to win two consecutive Olympic men’s singles titles.

Federer is currently competing in the Swiss Indoors, where he is bidding to win a record 10th title. He kicked-off his campaign on Saturday with an emphatic straight-sets win over Peter Gojowczyk. The match was Federer’s 1500th on the tour.

In the second round, Federer will play either Dusan Lajovic and Radu Albot.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending