Adrian Mannarino eases into Noumea semi-finals, Omar Jasika continues fine form in Happy valley - UBITENNIS
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ATP Challenger

Adrian Mannarino eases into Noumea semi-finals, Omar Jasika continues fine form in Happy valley

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Omar Jasika is in excellent form (Image via Zimbio.com)

As the first week of the ATP Challengers approaches the business end of the tournaments, only the players in strong form will progress into the semi-finals.

 

Noumea:

(1) Adrian Mannarino defeats (5) Kenny De Schepper 64 61. The all French affair was dominate by Mannarino, breaking five times in stats that make poor reading for De Schepper. Standing at 6’8, the Frenchman struggles to win many free points on serve, and in fact hit more double faults than aces in this encounter, three aces to five double faults. Mannarino won nearly 50% of points on his opponent’s first serve, and nearly 75% against the second in a complete mismatch.

Alejandro Falla defeats Tristan Lamasine 64 63. A real surprise. Falla may have been a finalist at this event last season, but it was the only time that the Colombian impressed in 2016. with his ranking languishing around no.270 in the world, only a title here will be enough to maybe see Falla get entry into Australian Open qualifying. Lamasine will be disappointed that he was not able to back up his impressive wins against Dennis Novikov and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nikola Milojevic defeats (8) Mathias Bourgue 36 76 75. If there is a surprise performer in Noumea this week, then Milojevic certainly is that player. The Serbian already took down Bourgue’s compatriot Quentin Halys, and produced a stunning comeback in the second and third sets to shock the eighth seed. A timely run of form for the twenty-one year old.

(2) Roberto Carballes Baena defeats Adrian Menendez Maceiras 76 36 61. Unseeded Menendez Maceiras put up an excellent fight against his fellow Spaniard, ignoring a ranking disparity of nearly one hundred players to fight hard in the first and second sets. Carballes Baena took control of the first set tiebreak, only dropping the single point, and after losing the second set, cruised through the third.

Happy Valley: Note the Happy Valley Challenger is only now at the quarter-final stage. These match summaries represent the overnight second round matches from the bottom half of the draw.

Omar Jasika defeats Alex Bolt 63 63. The teenager continued his surprising good form. After edging Norbert Gombos in the first round, his win over fellow Australian Bolt was far more convincing. Breaking three times, and not facing a single break point against his own serve, the Aussie who many have claimed has excellent talent may be finally beginning to fulfill it. His ranking will not see him get into Australian Open Qualifying on his own merit, but one or both of these players are likely to be afforded wildcards into qualifying.

(4) Peter Polansky defeats Daniel Brands 76 64. This match was always going to be tight on the scoreboard, owing to Brands massive serve. Despite this, Polansky was still able to break three times in two sets (he surrendered two of his own to keep the scores close. Polansky has done well since returning from injury and is perhaps my second favourite for the title.

(8) Marton Fucsovics defeats Ivan Ivashka 64 63. The eighth seeded Hungarian continues to quietly make his way through to the last eight. A potentially tricky tie against a young opponent who has started to show his talent, very well negotiated.

Bangkok: (Again second round):

(1) Yuichi Sugita defeats Marsel Ilhan 62 64. A good win for the top seed against a former Top 100 opponent. Ilhan’s form had fallen dramatically across 2016, and has not started 2017 much better, soundly beaten by the Japanese.

Jeremy Jahn defeats (6) Di Wu 63 36 64. A seed fall as Jahn, more familiar in the European Futures and occasional Challengers, rose to the occasion to defeat China’s Wu. As things stand, this could represent the single biggest tournament success for Jahn.

Blaz Kavcic defeats Amir Weintraub 64 61. The Slovenian eased into the quarter-finals, defeating the Israeli for the loss of just five games. Weintraub had won a previous meeting in the 2014 Davis Cup over five sets, but was soundly beaten in Thailand.

Christian Garin defeats (2) Denis Istomin 36 64 75. The shock of the draw to date. Istomin has immense pedigree as a former regular inside the Top 100, and looked well placed to reach the quarter-finals after winning the first set. Garin however, though better known for his exploits on clay, rallied to drop his serve just once over the final two sets, shocking the second seed.

 

 

ATP

2020 US Open: ATP Players Presented With Three Options, Decision Time Approaches

The USTA explained their working hypotheses: Cincinnati would come at the expense of the qualifying tournament. All players to be hosted in a hotel at JFK airport

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No ground-breaking news were revealed on Wednesday during the conference call organized by the ATP for all its players. Almost 400 members participated to the call, where CEO Andrea Gaudenzi and Chairman Massimo Calvelli presented the various options on the table for the US Open and the Cincinnati Masters 1000.

 

The newly appointed US Open Tournament Director, Stacey Allaster, was invited to present the three options available:

  • The US Open and the Masters 1000 to be played at Flushing Meadows, but this would require the cancellation of the qualifying tournament and the downsizing of the doubles draw to 24 couples;
  • The cancellation of Cincinnati with the US Open maintaining the qualifying draw and a full-size doubles event;
  • The cancellation of both Cincinnati and the US Open.

The US Open prize money will be maintained at 95% of 2019 levels, which still means an increase over 2018; the cancellation of Cincinnati would result in a 2 million dollar saving for the USTA, and the money would likely be distributed among the players who were not allowed to compete in the qualifying tournament.

All players and allowed entourage will be hosted at the TWA Hotel, located near Terminal 5 at JFK Airport. The hotel, opened in May 2019, has been build repurposing the iconic Eero Saarinen building that was Trans World Airlines’ terminal between 1962 and 2001. All 512 rooms will be occupied by players and staff of the US Open, and the property claims to be the hotel with the biggest gym in the world.

The distance between the hotel and Flushing Meadows would be comparable to the distance from the traditional Manhattan hotels, but obviously the ambiance would be significantly different, since players would most likely be “prisoners” of the TWA hotels during their days off and outside their practice sessions.

It has been revealed that each player would be able to designate up to two members of his staff to accompany him, provided these two members share a room at the TWA hotel and only one of them travels with the player to Flushing Meadows.

Players would now need to evaluate the options and communicate their preference to the USTA. ATP President Gaudenzi confirmed during the call that players unwilling to travel to New York would not be penalized ranking-wise should the tournament go ahead.

A final decision is expected by 15 June.

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ATP Challenger

Ten Top-100 Players To Play Indian Wells Challenger Before The Master 1000

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The tournament is part of the Oracle Challenger Series and gives a good chance to get ready for the BNP Paribas Open.

 

The Indian Wells Challenger has been played since 2018 in the venue of the BNP Paribas Open: the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Southern California. The event has a prize money of $162.480 and offers 125 ATP points to the singles and the doubles champions.

This year, the singles draw shows a huge line-up with all the 16 seeds ranked in the top-117 and names like those of Ugo Humbert, Lucas Pouille, Jannik Sinner and Frances Tiafoe. All the seeded players have a bye and start their campaign in the second round, but many high level first round matches are still on the line.

On Monday, former Australian Open semifinalist Hyeon Chung is set to play his first match of the season, as he faces Thai-Son Kwiatkowski on Stadium 5, while Jack Sock will play against 25 year-old Kaichi Uchida. Other interesting match-ups involve Akira Santillan against fellow 22 year-old Michael Mmoh and Mischa Zverev against JC Aragone.

Two qualifying-draw matches will be played as well, with 39 year-old Stephane Robert and Gage Brymer facing respectively doubles specialists Sem Verbeek and Hunter Reese. The winners will advance to the main draw and will meet Maxime Cressy, who comes from a title and a final in Canada in the last two weeks, and Roberto Marcora.

World’s number 7 Alexander Zverev will surprisingly play doubles with his brother Mischa: they are the 3rd seeds and will play against Sebastian Korda and Mitchell Krueger. The American pair of Nicholas Monroe and Jackson Withrow is at the top of the draw.

 

Indian Wells Challenger, main draw:
Ugo Humbert [1, FRA] bye
Kaichi Uchida (JPN) vs Jack Sock (PR, USA)
Michael Redlicki (USA) vs Zhe Li (CHN)
Evgeny Donskoy [13, RUS] bye
Denis Kudla [11, USA] bye
Maxime Janvier (FRA) vs Bradley Klahn (USA)
Q vs Maxime Cressy (USA)
Jannik Sinner [6, ITA] bye
Cameron Norrie [3, GBR] bye
Roberto Marcora (ITA) vs Q
Keegan Smith (USA) vs Ryan Peniston (GBR)
Marcos Giron [14, USA] bye
Salvatore Caruso [10, ITA] bye
Thai-Son Kwiatkowski (USA) vs Hyeon Chung (KOR)
Liam Broady (GBR) vs Brandon Nakashima (USA)
Yuichi Sugita [7, JPN] bye
Frances Tiafoe [8, USA] bye
Akira Santillan (AUS) vs Michael Mmoh (USA)
Mischa Zverev (GER) vs JC Aragone (USA)
Gregoire Barrere [9, FRA] bye
Christopher O’Connell [15, AUS] bye
Brandon Holt (WC, USA) vs Sebastian Korda (USA)
Mitchell Krueger (USA) vs Dudi Sela (ISR)
Radu Albot [4 WC, MDA] bye
Steve Johnson [5, USA] bye
Govind Nanda (WC, USA) vs Marc Polmans (AUS)
Blake Mott (PR, AUS) vs Mackenzie McDonald (USA)
Taro Daniel [12, JPN] bye
Peter Gojowczyk [16, GER] bye
Marius Copil (ROU) vs Raymond Sarmiento (PR, USA)
Noah Rubin (USA) vs Danilo Petrovic (SRB)
Lucas Pouille [2, FRA] bye

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ATP

Roger Federer Calls For Further Increases In Prize Money For Lower Ranked Players

The former world No.1 shares his opinion on the financial rewards players are receiving.

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Roger Federer, pic from twitter @USOpen

20-time grand slam champion has stated that the focus on prize money needs to switch from the top level to the lower level on the ATP Tour.

 

Federer, who has made more than $126 million during his career, has praised the financial support that has been given to him and his rivals over the years. However, he believes that more needs to be done. Earlier this week it was reported that a petition to boost prize money has been put into place and has been signed by numerous ATP players. The petition reportedly calls for a profit-sharing model to be implemented at all ATP and grand slam tournaments.

There is no information about who has signed this petition and the ATP has remained silent on the issue. Meanwhile, 38-year-old Federer believes the focus on the fight regarding prize money needs to switch direction.

“When I started and won my first Grand Slam in Australia, I don’t remember what the prize money was. I thought it was around 450,000 maybe for the winner and now we’re at 3.6 (million) maybe.” He said during his US Open press conference on Wednesday.
“I think it was important for us just to be able to raise winners’ prize money and come up with that so we can rival also other sports like golf and others so we have a higher prize money for the winners.’
“That went up very quickly, very drastically, which is great. But then it became too big between the winner and first-round loser. So we have that more organized nowadays.”

According to official statistics, 34 men have earned over $1 million in prize money so far this season (as of August 26th 2019). However, players outside the top 100 earned more than 50% less ($455,00 or less). Meanwhile, winners at this year’s US Open will take home $3.85 Million. That equates to what just over 65 players would get for losing in the first round ($58,000 each).

“I do believe the challenger players and also maybe qualifying and second-round loser should get more.” Said Federer. “So I think if there should be increases it shouldn’t be at the top anymore. I feel like we have reached a pretty good level there.’
“I think that’s going to be what we’re going to fight for.’
“It would be nice if the players could also survive on the challenger tour in the lower ranks and not just at the very top.” He added.

Federer’s comments come after he recently returned back to the ATP Player Council, which is headed by Novak Djokovic. He joined to the 10-member panel after months of political tension among the players. With some disagreeing over the decision to remove ATP CEO Chris Kermode from his position. Nadal has also returned back to the council.

“Being back on the council is good because I get all the information. I think that is important for me to give a proper opinion. It also brings Novak, Rafa, and me closer together, naturally, to be in a room.” Explained Federer.

At the US Open world No.3 Federer disposed of Damir Dzumhur in four sets. He will play Dan Evans or Lucas Pouille in the next round.

2019 US Open prize money breakdown

Winner: $3,850,000 (£3.14m)

Runner-up: $1,900,000 (£1.55m)

Semi-finalists: $960,000 (£782,000)

Quarter-finalists: $500,000 (£407,000)

Round of 16: $280,000 (£228,000)

Round of 32: $163,000 (£132,000)

Round of 64: $100,000 (£81,000)

Round of 128: $58,000 (£47,000)

 

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