British Duo Murray And Bedene Weigh In On Dan Evans’ Doping Suspension - UBITENNIS
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British Duo Murray And Bedene Weigh In On Dan Evans’ Doping Suspension

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Dan Evans (zimbio.com)

Andy Murray has backed the punishment handed to Davis Cup teammate Dan Evans after he was suspended from the tour for a failed drugs test.

 

On June 23rd Evans held a press conference in which he confirmed that he tested positive for the prohibited substance cocaine. The positive sample was provided on April 24th by Evans during the Barcelona Open. He is now provisionally suspended from the sport until the ITF anti-doping body completes their investigation. In a worst case scenario, the Brit could be banned for up to four years.

Evans spoke with Murray the night before his press conference, but it is unknown what the two discussed or if Evans told him about his failed test before hand. Murray is known for his tough stance against doping in sport and supported Maria Sharapova’s recent suspension. In 2015 he also called for tournaments to redirect some of their prize money into making the anti-doping programme more robust.

Shortly after his first round win at Wimbledon, the world No.1 stated in his press conference that Evans deserves the suspension due to his doping violation.

“The rules are very clear. He broke those rules, and deserves his suspension.” Said Murray.
“However long that’s going to be, I don’t know. But it’s going to be a pretty long, long period, I’d imagine.”

“In what was looking like going to be the best few years of his career, he got himself into a position to play in all the big events. You know, he’s going to have a few years away from the game now. You make your decisions. He’s obviously made a really, really bad one there.”

‘I hope he finds help’

Aljaz Bedene, who defeated Ivo Karlovic in his first round match, said that he hoped the situation would make Evans’ a stronger person. The world No.58 had previously been criticised by Evans, who questioned his status as a British player. Bedene switches allegiance from Slovenia to Britain in 2015.

“I don’t think he really believes he is British either.” The player from Birmingham said in May.

Despite the criticism, Bedene has no hard feelings against Evans. Addressing the suspension, he hopes the 27-year-old will receive help following the failed drugs test.

“I only hope the best will come out of it for Dan because if you take drugs, you obviously are either in a bad environment or you got some not issues.” Said Bedene.
“I’ve never taken any drugs. I don’t know how bad you have to feel to take it. I hope he finds help, and hopefully he comes back.”

Evans’ downfall occurred just four months after he achieved a ranking best of 41st in the world. At the start of the year he reached the final of the Sydney International.

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Simona Halep Casts Doubt On Planned Resumption Of Tennis This Summer

The world No.2 sees a silver lining to what is currently a bleak situation in the world due to covid-19.

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Reigning Wimbledon champion Simona Halep has admitted that she doesn’t believe that professional tour will resume during the early part of the summer.

 

There has been no tournaments since the last week of February due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The latest tennis victim of the virus was Wimbledon, who was forced to scrap their event for the first time since 1945. Shortly after Wimbledon’s announcement, the ATP and WTA issued a joint-statement in which they said no more events will be played until at least July 13th. Although Halep fears that the suspension will be extended further in the coming weeks.

“In my opinion it’s going to be longer than July.” She told Eurosport’s Tennis Legends vodcast. “We hope for US Open but it’s not sure because New York is struggling now. I don’t really know how it’s going to be after being off tournaments for so many months. We’ve never been in this situation so I think it’s going to be new to everybody. And I will struggle for sure. I will struggle to get back to the rhythm.”

At present the United States Tennis Association (USTA) has insisted that they are pressing ahead with plans to host the US Open on the schedule dates of August 24th – September 13th. Although the Billie Jean Tennis Center, which is the venue of the New York major, has been transformed into a temporary 350-bed hospital to treat those with covid-19.

“At this time the USTA still plans to host the US Open as scheduled, and we continue to hone plans to stage the tournament.” The USTA said in a statement issued on April 1st.
“The USTA is carefully monitoring the rapidly-changing environment surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, and is preparing for all contingencies.
“We also rely on the USTA’s Medical Advisory Group as well as governmental and security officials to ensure that we have the broadest understanding of this fluid situation.
“In all instances, all decisions made by the USTA regarding the US Open will be made with the health and well-being of our players, fans, and all others involved in the tournament.”

At the time the suspension began with the cancellation of Indian Wells, Halep was already sidelined from the tour due to injury. The two-time grand slam champion has been suffering from a foot injury, which she appears to have now recovered. Currently in lockdown in her home country of Romania, the 28-year-old is pressing ahead with her training routine as well as she can.

“Everything is closed but you are able to run outdoors. So, I am doing the running and the training outside, from the bloc. And then in the house I work on my core and my other exercises. So, every day I am working and I feel fit yes.” Halep said of her current training.
“It’s the longest period that I haven’t touched a racket. Not the ball, the racket – since Dubai. And I want to keep it that way for one more month.” She added.

Last month Halep made a donation of medical equipment to hospitals in Bucharest to help them in their fight against the virus. In Romania there have been more than 3000 cases of covid-19 with at least 116 deaths, according to government figures.

In the midst of the crises, the former world No.1 does see a silver lining. The prospect of having to wait another year to defend the Wimbledon title has added some fuel to the fire for Halep and her team.

“I am now the defending Champion for two years. So, I have to live with that for one more year so that’s a good thing again. I am excited that I will be able to play the first match on Tuesday I think on Center Court. So, I really want to make this experience. It’s going to be great for sure.” She concluded.

Before the tour was halted, Halep started 2020 by winning 10 out of 12 matches played. In February she won her 20th WTA title at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

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Alexander Zverev: “The situation with the coronavirus is tough for me because I would have hardly any points to defend”

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Alexander Zverev said that the suspension of the ATP Tour due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic will not help him as he would have the chance to win a lot of points in the spring and summer months. The ATP froze the ranking until 13th July during the tour suspension.

 

Last year Zverev lost the Acapulco final against Nick Kyrgios before losing in the third round at Indian Wells and in the second round in Miami. He did not convert one match point against Nicolas Jarry in the Barcelona second round and two match points against Christian Garin in the quarter finals in Munich. He lost to Matteo Berrettini in the second round in Rome, but he bounced back by winning the final in Geneva against Garin. He reached the quarter finals at Roland Garros before losing to Novak Djokovic in three sets.

During the grass season Zverev advanced to the quarter finals in Halle before losing to David Goffin in Halle, but he lost to Jiri Vesely in the opening round at Wimbledon and to his compatriot Dustin Brown in the opening round in Stuttgart.

Earlier this year Zverev reached his first Grand Slam semifinal of his career at the Australian Open before losing to Austria’s Dominic Thiem. He ended his career-long 15-match win streak of his friend Andrey Rublev in the Australian Open fourth round. Zverev lost to Tommy Paul in the second round.

“The situation is tough for me because I played very badly in 2019 for a long time and I have hardly any points to defend this year. Now I could collect a lot, but I can’t and I am stuck in the seventh place”, said Zverev.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas: “I will miss Wimbledon and I can’t wait to 2021”

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Stefanos Tsitsipas said that the Wimbledon cancellation news was just an April fool after organizers of the famous British tournament called off their Grand Slam event due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and public health concerns.

 

Tsitsipas made his debut at Wimbledon in 2017 and reached the fourth round in 2018. He lost to Stefano Travaglia in the opening round at Wimbledon last year, but he bounced back winning the ATP Finals in London.

This year Tsitsipas won the Marseille title for the second consecutive year and lost the Dubai final against Novak Djokovic in Dubai. He lost to Milos Raonic in the third round at the Australian Open. At the inaugural edition of the ATP Cup in Australia he beat Alexander Zverev and lost to Denis Shapovalov and Nick Kyrgios.

Tsitsipas was the first Greek player to break into the top 5 and the first player from his country to reach a Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open in 2019. Last year he scored the biggest win of his career against Novak Djokovic in Shanghai and won three titles in Marseille and Estoril. He finished runner-up to Roger Federer in Dubai and to Dominic Thiem in Beijing.

“I went to bed thinking this was all a bad April fools joke but I woke up today to find that Wimbledon is actually cancelled. I will miss this special event and I can’t wait to 2021. Stay home. Stay sane”, wrote Tsitsipas in a Twitter post.

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