Petra Kvitova Confirms Return, Halep Races Towards Fittness - UBITENNIS
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Petra Kvitova Confirms Return, Halep Races Towards Fittness

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Petra Kvitova will return at Roland Garros (zimbio)

On Roland Garros media day, Petra Kvitova expressed her excitement at returning back to tennis at Roland Garros.

 

The former Wimbledon champion had her press conference scheduled at 2.30pm local time in which she confirmed that she will play her first match of 2017 after the knife attack she suffered in December. In her press conference she said that she won ‘the biggest fight’ of her life. She also added that she was excited and ‘that she is in the draw’.

She also spoke about the weird feeling of picking up the racquet for the first time, saying ‘it felt very weird, I didn’t feel much. When I 1st picked up the racket I said no. This is not my racquet. This is not my hand.’ She also revealed there is no pain in the hand and that she will be nervous when it comes to her first round match with Julia Boserup. Should Kvitova make the fourth round she could face top seed Angelique Kerber.

Cause For Concern Halep?

Can Simona Halep fight off an ankle injury to mount title challenge? (Zimbio)

However one person that might not be looking for her first match is third seed and former finalist Simona Halep. Despite a good clay court season with a title in Madrid and a finalist in Rome, she did roll her ankle against Elina Svitolina in Rome and is a doubt for Roland Garros. The Romanian confirmed that she will have another ultrasound before her first round match against Jana Cepelova.

Roland Garros starts on Sunday.

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Andrey Rublev wins opening match of the Thiem’s 7 in Kitzbuhel

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This year’s Doha and Adelaide Andrey Rublev rallied from losing the first set to beat Jan-Lennard Struff 3-6 6-4 15-13 in the opening match of the Thiem’s 7 exhibition tournament in Kitzbuhel.

 

Struff broke Rublev in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Rublev broke straight back, but Struff earned another break to clinch the first set 6-3. There were only two break points in the second set. Rublev earned the crucial break to win the second set 6-4 forcing the match to the decisive super tie-break. Rublev earned two match points at 9-7, but he did not convert any of them. Struff earned a match point as he was leading 10-9 and got two more chances to win the match at 12-11 and 13-12, but he did convert them. Rublev won the final three points to clinch the tie-break 15-13.

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Kitzbuhel set to host the Thiem 7 tournament

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The famous Austrian alpine ski resort of Kitzbuhel hosts the exhibition tournament Thiem 7 organized by world number 3 and this year’s Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem from 7 to 11 July 2020.

 

The tournament features 2019 US Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini, 2019 Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut, 2018 Paris Bercy champion Karen Khachanov, this year’s Doha and Adelaide champion Andrey Rublev, Jan-Lennard Struff from Germany, Casper Ruud from Norway and Dennis Novak from Austria.

The eight players were split in two groups. The Group IFA features Thiem, Rublev, Struff and Ruud. Berrettini, Bautista Agut, Khachanov and Novak have been drawn in the Soccercoin Group.

The format is similar to the ATP Finals in London. In the semifinals the respective group leaders face the group leaders of the other group.

In the third set there will be only one match tie-break up to 10. The semifinals will be held on Friday at 13.30 am and 15.00 pm.

“It’s just fantastic to be here again. I am really looking forward to seeing the other players again. Most of them, I have not met most of them since March at Indian Wells”, said Thiem.  

 During the first day four matches will be held. Rublev will play against Struff in the opening match. Thiem will open his campaign against Ruud. Berrettini will clash against Novak. Khachanov will meet Bautista Agut in the final match of the opening day.

Thiem won the Kitzbuhel ATP 250 tournament last year.

“It was the first time I saw a bit in the organization calling the players and asking if they were coming, which was a lot of fun. Of course it is also the first time in Kitzbuhel since the emotional triumph last year. My father Wolfgang is there as a sporting director and many Kitzbuhelers are behind the project”, said Dominic Thiem.  

In Kitzbuhel 500 spectators will be allowed for each session to respect all hygiene and protective measures. There are tickets for all days. There is a day and and an evening session.

“I learnt the lesson from the Adria Cup in Belgrade. The respect of all protocols will be very strict for the 500 spectators allowed in each session”, said Thiem.

 

Thiem will travel to Berlin for the next exhibition tournament in Berlin, which will be played on grass.

 

“It will be interesting because it is on the lawn”, said Thiem.

 

After a week off Thiem will start his preparation for next  Cincinnati Masters 1000 and the US Open.

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Roger Federer Eyeing Olympic Glory At The Age Of 39 In 2021

The Swiss tennis star isn’t ready to step away from the sport just yet.

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20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has vowed to play at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after undergoing two surgeries on his knee.

 

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January. Since then he had twice undergone arthroscopic surgeries which is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems with the joints. Federer announced shortly after having the procedure done for a second time that he will not be returning to the Tour again this year.

Despite the setbacks, the 38-year-old has vowed to return to action at the start of 2021 with Olympic glory one of his main targets. He is already a two-time Olympic medallist after winning gold in the men’s doubles back in 2008 followed by silver in the singles draw at the 2012 London Games.

“My goal is to play Tokyo 2021. It’s a wonderful city. I met my wife in my first Olympics in 2000. It’s a special event for me,” Federer said on Monday during the launch of ‘The Roger’ shoe with Swiss brand ON.
“I had two surgeries and I can’t hit at the moment, but I’m very confident I will be totally ready for 2021.
“I do miss playing in front of the fans, no doubt. Now, I think if tennis comes back we know it won’t be in a normal way where we can have full crowds yet.”

Federer will be 39 when he returns to action, but is yet to speculate as to when he may close the curtain on his record-breaking career. He is currently the second oldest man in the top 200 on the ATP Tour after Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who is 41.

Besides the Olympics, the Swiss Maestro is also setting his eye on Wimbledon where he has claimed the men’s title a record eight times. However, he hasn’t won a major title since the 2018 Australian Open. The Grass-court major has been cancelled this year for the first time since 1945 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of course I miss Wimbledon, of course I would like to be there currently playing on Centre Court for a place in the second week,” he said.
“Clearly, one of my big goals, and that’s why I do recovery work every day and work so hard, and why I’m preparing for a 20-week physical preparation block this year, is because I hope to play at Wimbledon next year.”

Even though he is not playing for the rest of the year, Federer incredibly still has a chance of qualifying for the ATP Finals due to recent changes in the rankings calculations. Due to the pandemic, players are now allowed to use their best results at 18 tournaments based on a 22-month period instead of 12 months. Something that could enable him to remain inside the top eight until the end of 2020 depending on how his rivals fair.

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