Teenager Sabalenka Secures Fed Cup History For Belarus - UBITENNIS
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Teenager Sabalenka Secures Fed Cup History For Belarus

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Aryna Sabalenka (zimbio.com)

The absence of two-time Australian Open Victoria Azarenka has been proven irrelevant after Belarus completed a shock 3-1 win over the Netherlands to reach their first Fed Cup semifinal.

 

Belarus was level with their Dutch rival after the opening day, but the closeness between the two started to unravel on Sunday. World No.128 Aliaksandra Sasnovich fired 19 winners to give her country a 2-1 lead after a comprehensive 6-3, 6-4, win over Kiki Bertens. The triumph ends Bertens eight-match winning streak in Fed Cup singles matches. The Dutch player last lost in the tournament was to Anna Karolína Schmiedlová in 2015.

“I’m very happy,” Sasnovich said.
“I knew how to play against Bertens after watching yesterday’s Aryna (Sabalenka) match with her. That match boosted my self-confidence a great deal.”

Tasked with trying to take her country into their first Fed Cup semifinal was 18-year-old Aryna Sabalenka, a player who is yet to break the world’s top 100. Facing the significantly more experienced Michaella Krajicek, Sabalenka, who produced an impressive 35 winners, recovered from a 2-4 deficit in the first set to triumph 7-6(5), 6-4.

“It’s unbelievable! It’s an incredible feeling,” Sabalenka said.
“We all acted as a single unit and that was the key to our success. I failed to recover completely after yesterday’s match with Kiki Bertens and experienced some problems with my serve. But everything ended well.”

Belarus only has four players ranked inside the top 300 on the WTA Tour, one of which is in the top 100 (Azarenka at 19th). In the semifinals, they will play either Switzerland or France. Belarus has never played France in the Fed Cup, but trails 1-2 in their head-to-head against the Swiss team.

Full results

Day 1
Kiki Bertens (Netherlands) beat Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) 3-6 7-6(6) 6-4          
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Belarus) beat Michaella Krajicek (Netherlands) 4-6 6-3 6-2 

Day 2
Aryna Sabalenka (Belarus) beat Michaella Krajicek (Netherlands) 7-6(5) 6-4        
Aliaksandra Sasnovich (Belarus) beat Kiki Bertens (Netherlands) 6-3 6-4

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REPORT: Japanese Tennis Association To Lose One Billion Yen In 2020

The loss of a key men’s event in the country has resulted in millions of dollars being loss in revenue.

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Venue of the 2019 Mens Japan Open (image via https://twitter.com/rakutenopen)

The cancellation of a premier tennis event in Japan due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is set to have a massive financial impact on the country’s governing body.

 

Last month organisers made the decision to scrap the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships this year amid fears of a second wave of the virus in October when the it is set to take place. The tournament is currently categorised as an ATP 500 event and has been held annually since 1973. In 2019 Novak Djokovic won the tournament for the first time in his career without dropping a single set throughout. Other previous winners also include Roger Federer (2006), Rafael Nadal (2010) and Andy Murray (2011).

“Given concerns about a second wave of the infection both in Japan and overseas, we came to the anguished conclusion that we had to cancel,” organisers said in a statement.

It has been estimated that as a result of the move, the Japanese Tennis Association (JTA) will lose millions of dollars in revenue. National news agency Kyodo has estimated the loss to be at least 1 billion Yen ($9.4 million) based on this event alone and no others.

JTA executive director Naohiro Kawatei told Kyodo that moving athletes in and out of the country is problematic due to the current situation. Tokyo has recently raised it’s Coronavirus alert level to the top of a four-point scale after there have been more than 100 new daily cases of the virus in the city for six days in a row. Furthermore, The Bank of Japan has revised down their growth forecasts.

“In addition to players coming from overseas, it is the responsibility of organizers to facilitate their departure, so there are some differences between our sport and others,” said Kawatei.

At present the women’s top tournament in the country is still on the 2020 schedule. The Pan Pacific Open, which is classed as a Premier event, is currently set to take place during the week commencing November 2nd.

Recently the Asian swing of the tennis season has been thrown into jeopardy after the Chinese General Administration of Sports recommended that no sports events take place in the country unless they are related to Olympic qualification. Although sports federations, including both the ATP and WTA, are seeking clarity from officials before they make their next move. China is usually where the majority of Asian tennis events are played, including the WTA Finals.

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Official: No Swiss Indoors In 2020 Due To COVID-19

Roger Federer’s home event was set to take place between October 26th and November 1st.

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By Emil Evtimov

The ATP 500 Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel won’t happen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The organizers of the Swiss Indoors already hinted a couple of weeks ago that the tournament in Roger Federer’s hometown was unlikely to happen due to the Coronavirus and the financial impact from the restrictions on spectator capacity.

This year’s edition would have been the 50th anniversary of the tournament, but is now out of the ATP calendar. Organizers are already making plans for the 2021 edition between 23 and 31 October.

“Dear tennis friends, As a result of the Corona pandemic, the world’s third largest indoor tournament has been definitively cancelled,” a statement issued by the tournament reads.
“The ATP has now formally approved the request to cancel the Swiss Indoors Basel, after the tournament management of the Swiss Indoors had already declared in mid-June that it would be irresponsible and unfeasible to hold the tournament in view of the medical, social and economic uncertainty.”

Founded by Roger Brennwald, the Swiss Indoors had been held every year since 1970. It became an event on the Grand Prix Circuit in 1977 and has been classed as a ATP 500 tournament since 2009. 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, who is a former ball boy at the event, has won the title a record 10 times.

The latest development leaves another big question mark on the remainder of the 2020 season. ATP president Andrea Gaudenzi spoke frankly during an interview with Sky Sport Italia and admitted that he is still unsure of what the final quarter of the calendar will look like.

“We have no idea how the Asian swing or the European indoor season could go. It might sound obvious, but I can’t predict how the virus will affect us going forward, there are too many variables to consider,”  he said.

As of today, the ATP Tour should restart on 14 August with the Citi Open in Washington, followed by the Cincinnati Masters and US Open. After that the tour goes to Europe for a mini clay season with the two Masters (Madrid and Rome) and Roland Garros.

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Matteo Berrettini unsure about playing at the US Open

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Matteo Berrettini admitted in an interview to the Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport that he will take his time before making his final decision on playing at the US Open in New York or not.

 

The US Open organizers received the green light from New york Governor Andrew Cuomo to proceed with the Grand Slam event, which will take place from 31st August to 13th September at Flushing Meadows.

“Not just me, actually. The situation is complex. There are many questions that need to be answered. People organising the US Open and these other tournaments have to be answered whether we have quarantine issues if we travel to the USA. First of all, I think about my healthand decide what I will do. If the conditions are good, I could play bot the US Open and the French Open, but we have to wait and see. We don’t know what will happen. We don’t know what will happen. A virus like this has never come along, so we don’t know what will happen. I understand it is difficult to solve all problems in a short period of time, but it is still too early to decide. Many players have asked for clarifications that have not yet arrived. Many players have for clarifications that have not arrived yet. I want to have more certainties than the current ones to be able to make my choice with the right serenity”, said Berrettini.

Berrettini reached the second round at the Australian Open in his only official tournament before being sidelined by an injury problem in the following two months. The world number 8 and last year’s US Open semifinalist is sure that Novak Djokovic had good intentions when he decided to organize the Adria Tour. He announced that the money raised at the Adria Tour would be donated to charities.

“Honestly, I don’t feel like questioning Djokovic for that matter. In general, he has always worked well and in everyone’s interest. In the circumstance he made a mistake and for the image of tennis it was a backlash which I hope does not affect the next decisions”, said Berrettini.

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