Slovak Olympic Dreams Diminished! Martin Klizan Withdraws and Dominika Cibulkova Cancels Flight To Rio - UBITENNIS
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Slovak Olympic Dreams Diminished! Martin Klizan Withdraws and Dominika Cibulkova Cancels Flight To Rio

It seems that Slovakia must say ‘goodbye’ to their Olympic dreams and medal ambitions. Slovak No. 1 Martin Klizan has already confirmed his withdrawal, while Cibulkova is flying to Slovakia to consult with her doctor about the participation.

Jakub Bobro

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Martin Klizan, the recent winner of the ATP 500 tournament in Hamburg, has made the decision to not come to Rio. As the main reason he stated Zika fears, as many other tennis players before him.

 

“I am not exactly sure what are the medical consequences of Zika. Repellents should supposedly protect you, and we are supposed to wear long sleeved t-shirt, which isn’t ideal. I don’t believe that the situation in Rio will be alright. I am cautious about my health, especially when I am returning from a long break. I don’t plan to get ill now. It just worries me. The conditions in Rio aren’t what we Europeans are used to,” said Klizan in an interview for Czech website, Tennis Arena.

Other than receiving a lot of criticism and even death threats from some “fans”, Klizan was criticized for his withdrawal by Karol Kucera. The former World No. 6. has openly criticized Klizan in a Facebook status, giving him a lecture about representation and other issues.

The World No. 30 Martin Klizan was also supposed to play doubles, receiving an ITF Final Qualification Place to play alongside with Andrej Martin. Martin, who last week reached an Umag final and broke the Top 100, was not long in jeopardy about his Olympic chances. ITF almost immediately granted the Final Qualification Place to him and a doubles specialist Igor Zelenay. The Slovak Tennis Federation also requested a Final Qualification Place in singles for Andrej Martin, who is currently 5th in the waiting list for the Olympic glory.

The other Slovakian player with Olympic doubts is world No.10 Cibulkova. Speaking shortly after her 2-6 0-6 loss to Eugenie Bouchard, Cibulkova has admitted that she is currently struggling with ongoing health problems.

“[Bouchard] played very well, so she won. However I have had health problems since the tournament in Stanford. I was supposed to fly to Rio from here, but I am not fit, so I have to go back to Slovakia, where I will visit my doctor, to find out what’s going on. I hope that I will be alright to play the Olympics, but it doesn’t look too well.”

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Dominic Thiem rallies from one set down against Roberto Bautista Agut to reach the final at Thiem’s 7 in Kitzbuhel

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Dominic Thiem came back from losing the first set to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-2 en route to reaching the final at the Thiem’s 7 tournament. Thiem earned two breaks in the third and fifth games to race out to a 4-1 lead. Bautista Agut got both breaks back in the sixth and eighth games to draw level to 4-4 forcing the match to the tie-break. The Spanish player won the tie-break 7-5 to take the opening set.

 

Thiem slowly found his rhythm again in the second set and earned two break points in the fourth game but he was not able to convert them. The home star dropped only two points on his serve until the end of the second set and converted two of the three break points to clinch the second set 6-2.

Thiem earned a break in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead and held on his next service games. The tournament organizer sealed the third set 6-2 with his double break with a blistering return on the match point in the eighth game securing his spot in the final. Thiem will face either Andrey Rublev or Matteo Berrettini in the final.

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Former Roland Garros champions and five top 20 players to highlight a great edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo

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The Ladies Open WTA International in Palermo will be the first tournament to be held next August since last February.

 

The Italian tournament will feature a great line-up which includes two confirmed past Roland Garros champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Ostapenko and five top 20 players. There is a good chance that 2018 French Open and 2019 Wimbledon champion Simona Halep could be added in the field.

“We are glad about Simona Halep’s great interest in Palermo Ladies Open. We will be waiting for her at the Country Club for an historic edition of the Palermo tournament. We have been in contact with Halep’s manager for some time. We have been talking for days about her potential participation in Palermo. She is one of the best players in the world and her presence would contribute to make an already high-level tournament extrahordinary. We will leave our doors open to her for as long as possible, as well as for other top ten players that will want to resume their season in Palermo”, said tournament’s CEO Oliviero Palma.

The other stars who have signed up to the Ladies Open are 2019 Roland Garros champion Marketa Vondrousova, two Grand Slam semifinalists Elise Mertens (2018 Australian Open) and Anastasija Sevastova (2018 US Open), Aryna Sabalenka (winner at the Wuhan Open in 2018 and 2019, WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai in 2019 and Doha in 2020) and Elina Rybakina (winner in Hobart and finalist in St. Petersburg and Dubai in 2020), Dayana Yastremska (winner of three tournaments in Hong Kong in 2018, Thailand and Strasbourg in 2019).

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Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova lift the titles in Perugia

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Lorenzo Sonego and Liudmila Samsonova won the Zzz Quill Tennis Tour in Perugia. Sonego followed up his Italian title won the previous week in Todi with a 3-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 win over Croatia’s Viktor Galovic (world number 269 and number 7 seed) in the final of the Perugia tournament.

 

“Galovic started very well. It was difficult to adjust to his game and improve during the match. I maintained the right attitude and I managed to win the title. I enjoyed two fantastic weeks in Todi and Perugia. This confirmed my good work in training in the past two weeks. I gave my best and I am confident for the rest of the season”, said Sonego.

World number 117 Liudmila Samsonova won the women’s title came back from one set down to beat world number 307 Stefania Rubini 4-6 6-4 7-6 (8-6) in the women’s final after saving two match points.

“I won a very tough final with a lot of ups and downs. I am happy that I played many matches. It was one of my goals on the eve of the tournament. I showed that I am able to keep the level of my tennis high, when I play focused”, said Samsonova.   

 

 

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