Aegon Open Nottingham: Day Four Roundup - UBITENNIS
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Aegon Open Nottingham: Day Four Roundup

Joshua Coase

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Aegon Open Nottingham

The lineup was completed for the quarterfinals in both the women’s and men’s draws at the Aegon Open in Nottingham on Thursday. Three WTA seeds were looking to book their place in the last eight and two Brits were hoping to advance as they all competed in the sunshine as well as tough windy conditions at Nottingham Tennis Centre. Here is a complete roundup of all the singles results on day four.

 

WTA Roundup

Top seed Johanna Konta had little trouble in reaching the last eight at the Aegon Open after she defeated Yanina Wickmayer in straight sets 6-4, 6-1. The British number one delighted the home crowd with a superb start as she raced into a 4-0 lead hitting a number of winners. Her opponent hit back to cause some concern to the top seed as the scoreline was reduced to 4-3, but the Brit regrouped and got over the line in the first set. Having had that scare Konta went to another level in the second, swiftly establishing a 5-0 lead before finishing the match in one hour and 14 minutes.

The match of the day saw Magdalena Rybarikova come through a tough three set battle to see off fourth seed Alison Riske 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5 in a match lasting two and a half hours. The Slovakian was in full control leading by a set and 5-3 and even had a match point, but a spirited comeback from last year’s runner-up saw the American force a decider. It was Riske who went up a break of serve first in the final set but the recent champion in Surbiton recovered to keep her fine grass court form going.

The final match on Centre Court was also a thriller as fifth seed Lucie Safarova rallied back from a set down and saved two match points to see off Hsieh Su-Wei 1-6, 6-3, 7-6(7). The woman from Chinese Taipei raced through the first set in no time at all, but the Czech fought back and one break in the third game was enough to level the match at one set all. The fifth seed had the chance to serve for the match in the twelfth game but was unable to and it looked as though she was down and out when facing match points in the tiebreak at 6-5 and 7-6. Hsieh double faulted on her first match point and went long with her backhand return on the second. Another double fault unfortunately brought an end to her hopes and a disappointing end to an otherwise terrific contest.

In the only women’s match to not be played on Centre Court Maria Sakkari came back from a set down to knock out Christina Mchale 1-6, 7-6(3), 7-5 in another match which lasted two and a half hours. After a hammering in the first set, the 21-year-old from Greece regrouped to see off a player ranked 40 places above her in the WTA rankings.

ATP Roundup

Second seed Marius Copil opened up proceedings on Centre Court with a straight sets win over Reilly Opelka 6-3, 7-6(2). The Romanian broke his opponent’s serve twice in the opening set and both players had their chances to break in the second but neither could capitalise. The big-serving American saved a match point in the 10th game and was able to force a tiebreak, but Copil took control from the outset, firing down three successive aces as he ran away with the breaker to seal the victory.

Qualifier Sam Groth ended Brit Brydan Klein’s hopes with a straight sets win 6-3, 6-4 in a match which lasted one hour and five minutes. The Australian will certainly be a real threat heading into the business end of the tournament.

Bjorn Fratangelo also booked his place in the last eight with a straight sets victory over Kenny De Schepper 6-4, 6-4 in a match which last just over an hour. The American saved all six break points he faced over the course of the match and won an impressive 14 out of 17 points behind his second serve.

The all-Australian tie out on Court 1 was a longer contest which went the distance as qualifier John-Patrick Smith saw off John Millman 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-3. Ranked just under 90 places lower than his compatriot it was a fine win as Smith’s great run continues.

Looking Ahead To Day Five

It is quarterfinals day on Friday and there is a packed schedule across the grounds in the women’s and men’s draw. All four women’s matches take main stage on Centre Court with top seed Konta opening up play. Last British hope in the men’s draw Lloyd Glasspool is also due to close play on Centre against third seed Sela.

ATP Challenger

ATP announces five-week ATP Challenger calendar for 2021

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The ATP has issued a five-week schedule for the start of the 2021 ATP Challenger Tour, which is scheduled to launch on 18th January with a 125-event in Istanbul. The Turkish city celebrates its 31st consecutive year on the Challenger Tour.

 

Turkey will host three consecutive tournaments at the start of the season. Istanbul will host a hard court tournament from 18th January. The tour will move to the seaside town of Antalya, the venue of two clay tournaments on 25th January 2021 and 1st February 2021. 

The week of 25 Januray will be the first of back-to-back Challenger events in Antalya and an indoor hard-court tournament in the French town of Quimper. 

France will host two more indoor tournaments, the 125-level tournament in Orleans (1 February) and the 28th edition of Cherbourg (8 February). 

Cherbourg will be held in the same week as hard-court tournaments in Biella in Italy and Potchefstroom in South Africa. Biella will also host a 125-level tournament in the following week on 15 February. Potchefstroom will host a second consecutive tournament on 15 February. Challenger-level tournaments will feature 32 singles players and qualifying draws with 16 players. 

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ATP

Stefanos Tsitsipas cruises past Kevin Anderson to reach the third round at the Western and Southern Open in New York

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Last year’s ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised past two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson 6-1 6-3 after 69 minutes to advance to the third round at the Western and Southern Open in New York. 

 

Tsitsipas came into his match against Anderson with a a 2-1 lead in their three previous head-to-head matches in 2018. The young Greek player beat his South African rival in the Round of 16 in Estoril (6-7 6-3 6-3) and in the Rogers Cup semifinal (6-7 6-4 7-6 after saving a match point). Anderson scored his only win in the Round of 16 in Shanghai (6-4 7-6). 

“I think the fact that I kept my serve very aggressive and I remained aggressive with my groundstrokes helped a lot and I am pleased that I was able to maintain my game throughout the entire match, the same intensity. It was an excellent first set. It was great”, said Tsitsipas. 

Tsitsipas broke four times and fended off three break points he faced. Tsitsipas broke three times in a row to win the first set 6-1. At 2-2 in the second set Tsitsipas went down 0-40 on his serve. Anderson hit a forehand return, but Tsitsipas recovered with a passing shot. Tsitsipas saved three break points to hold his serve at love in the fifth game and broke serve at 15 in the eighth game after Anderson made a double fault. 

“The fifth game was crucial. Being able to come back there and maintain the focus that I focus that I needed to be back in the match and not be a break down, that was a very good effort from me. It was my fighting spirit that turned on and my service points there were incredible”, said Tsitsipas. Tsitsipas will face either John Isner or John Millman in the third round. 

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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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