With 16 ATP titles between them, tennis fans could be forgiven for assuming the match-up between Richard Gasquet and Florian Mayer was yet another ATP final. However, the pair were actually playing in the Szczecin Challenger in Poland.
The pair played a close final with Gasquet emerging the winner 7-6, 7-6. It is the first time that Gasquet has won back-to-back matches at any tour level since reaching the semi-finals at Eastbourne (l.to Monfils.) The Frenchman then endured a rotten summer with opening round losses at both Wimbledon and the US Open.
This tournament has given him more match wins than he had accumulated since Eastbourne, and gives him such much needed confidence. After surviving a tough quarter-final with Guido Andreozziv (winning 4-6, 7-6, 6-4,) Gasquet found another level and did not drop another set in the tournament.
Mayer pulled off an impressive straight sets win against Jerzy Janowicz, before struggling against a resurgent Jurgen Zopp.
The Gasquet-Mayer match-up was the pair’s 8th, and their first since 2013. It was also the first time they had met on the clay.
It was also a great tournament for Jurgen Zopp, as the Estonian reached the semi-finals. The former Top 100 player beat the struggling Casper Ruud in the first round before wins over Yannick Maden and Dustin Brown.
The Szczecin is one of the most high-profile in the Challenger circuit. It belongs in the elite tier of events, offering 125 ATP points to the victor, and nearly £18,000 in prize money.
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.
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)
The Ilkley Trophy Celebrates Five-Year Landmark And Is Ready For A Bigger Event
Ubitennis speaks with tournament director Charlie Maunder about the the goals and future aspirations of the British tennis tournament.
The Ilkley Trophy has celebrated this year the fifth edition of the Challenger Tournament combined with a women’s ITF World Tour 1000 event with another successful event that has brought to Yorkshire a number of world-class tennis players looking to conquer the winner’s prize that comprises a highly coveted main draw wild card for the Wimbledon Championships. This year’s winners, Dominik Koepfer and Monica Niculescu, secured the ultimate award at the end of two entertaining three-set finals played in front of a sold-out crowd that has taken advantage of a very fortunate week of weather to enjoy some fine tennis.
Created in 2014 contextually to the extension of the grass court “season” from two weeks to three weeks, the Ilkley Trophy has gone from strength to strength, steadily growing year after year to establish itself not only as the most important grass court tournament in the Challenger circuit, but also as a marquee event in Yorkshire’s summer calendar. The organizing committee, led by the Manager of the Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, Charlie Maunder, who also doubles up as Tournament Director, has managed to create a really unique atmosphere that everyone seems to enjoy.
Before the final day of the tournament, we have managed to spend a few minutes with Charlie (everyone calls him this way), who we have been told is not too comfortable with media, preferring to let his work speak for himself, but in this case he was kind enough to talk to us. Or he was just cornered by his fellow team members and given no choice… we will never know.
How do you think this edition went?
This is the best year we have had. And so far, we have been able to say it every year, each year we have jumped up a couple of steps. This year has been a lot smoother, with a lot less stress. All the organization, all the contingencies, everything worked well, the team has done it before, we have a lot of familiar faces. The courts held up really well, where we are sitting now [just behind Centre Court] just 12 weeks ago was under water because of a flood, so it has been a tough preparation that required us to remain focused all the way through. The feedback I have received is very positive: players, officers, spectators, everyone seems to have had a great time, we have created a real atmosphere around the event.
What kind of resources is the club dedicating to the organization of this event?
There is a small team of club employees, two-three of us, who work at setting up the tournaments, with the cooperation of the volunteers who make up most of the operations team. We meet once a month throughout the year to coordinate our efforts, but most of all we have managed to put together a really great team of volunteers that come back year after year, 150 to 200 volunteers between club members, students coming back from university, the all swarm us every year to meet the demands of organizing this event. Without volunteers it would be impossible for us to deliver what we deliver, so credit to these people.
How many spectators will you have this week?
We will have something between 13,000 to 15,000 spectators. We have been sold out Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday was also a big day, after a wet Monday, Paul Jubb helped us draw a big crowd on Centre Court on a weekday, so numbers are fantastic.
Do you benchmark yourselves against other tournaments, either Challengers or higher-level events, both in the UK or overseas?
No, not really. We looked around to learn a few things, but we just try to be Ilkley as best as we can be. We put on a festival for the members, we try our best to give the players the best experience we can offer. When you try to be someone else, I believe you set yourself up for failure, we just want to be quite unique, and I think we have achieved that: the buzz and the atmosphere around here is quite different.
This event is at the highest possible level in the ATP Challenger Tour and at the highest possible level in the Women’s ITF World Tour: is there any appetite to go further?
We are the new kid on the block, we are here, we are delivering and we want to push ourselves to go wherever this might take us. It’s a fine balance because we are at a level that the members of our club really enjoy: I am both the Tournament Director and the Club Manager and at the moment I have a very good control of the event, and we like that. We are open to challenge ourselves and try something bigger, we like the combined event, and we wouldn’t say no should the opportunity present itself.
There is a week “for sale” on the ATP Tour at the moment: it would be the week after your current slot. Are you aware of it?
Yes, I am.
Have you thought about applying?
The next week is a tough week because it’s the week immediately before Wimbledon and it is at the same time as the Wimbledon ‘qualies’. We need to be aware of the amount of tennis that we would have with that new date compared to what we have now: the two ‘Challengers’ we are hosting now showcase great tennis players, there is the romance of a potential wild card for Wimbledon. You have to be sure what you give up, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but we could do that as well: I am not afraid to do a back to back!
Have you thought of organizing other events throughout the year?
We have looked at different things, but the nature of the club is a members’ club, it’s key that we don’t take too much time away from the members and their ability to play on their courts. We have to be careful not to turn this facility into just a tournament venue, because our members and their families need to come first.
But the two things should not necessarily be mutually exclusive. Everybody in the world of tennis knows that Alexander Zverev loves Yorkshire and Yorkshire’s accent: the videos of him interacting with Johanthan Pinfield at Roland Garros have become viral. Have you thought of organizing and event to get him up here, or any other player for that matter?
We do need to look at how we attract the bigger names, it’s something we are missing out a little bit. Of course, we get wild card request, normally they go to the Brits [through the LTA]: potentially it would be nice to have a ‘club wild card’, an invite we can dispose of at our leisure so that we can attract a player that maybe hasn’t gotten in at Queen’s or wants to play a bit more on grass.
What was the biggest challenge that you faced this year?
Nothing major, nothing detrimental. I believe the big improvement we need to look into is how we would handle the eventuality of playing the final rounds indoor, should the weather not cooperate. At the moment we have no facilities to host spectators in our indoor courts, and we don’t really have a way to easily accommodate 800-900 people, so this is one aspect that we will need to improve for the next editions.
ATP Challenger: Entry Lists For Canberra, Columbus, Da Nang LIVE
In the second week of the season, three tournaments in three different continents will be played on the Challenger Tour.
Canberra (Australia), Columbus (USA) and Da Nang (Vietnam) will be “Challenger 80” events, with large main draws and only one round of qualifying, following to the 2019 reform. Roberto Carballes Baena, Marcel Granollers and Illya Marchenko headline the entry lists.
Canberra (AUS, Hard), entry list:
73 Carballes Baena, Roberto (ESP)
86 Hurkacz, Hubert (POL)
89 Vesely, Jiri (CZE)
OUT Darcis, Steve (BEL)
91 Ivashka, Ilya (BLR)
167 Polmans, Marc (AUS)
OUT Giustino, Lorenzo (ITA)
OUT Brown, Dustin (GER)
OUT Clezar, Guilherme (BRA)
235 Duckworth, James (AUS)
OUT Kwon, Soonwoo (KOR)
275 Chung, Yunseong (KOR)
276 Benchetrit, Elliot (FRA)
278 Li, Zhe (CHN)
OUT Banes, Maverick (AUS)
303 Brkic, Tomislav (BIH)
308 Wu, Di (CHN)
310 Lamasine, Tristan (FRA)
OUT Altamirano, Collin (USA)
329 Smith, Roy (AUS)
332 Olivo, Renzo (ARG)
334 Wang, Tak Khunn (FRA)
OUT Gojo, Borna (CRO)
342 Grenier, Hugo (FRA)
344 Harris, Andrew (AUS)
346 Barrios Vera, Marcelo Tomas (CHI)
347 Kelly, Dayne (AUS)
OUT Vukic, Aleksandar (AUS)
OUT Ellis, Blake (AUS)
355 Xia, Zihao (CHN)
OUT Saville, Luke (AUS)
372 Huesler, Marc-Andrea (SUI)
OUT Caruana, Liam (ITA)
404 Lo, Chien-hsun (TPE)
409 Klein, Brydan (GBR)
412 Grills, Jacob (AUS)
ITF20 Zhurbin, Alexander (RUS)
ITF59 Doumbia, Sadio (FRA)
OUT Lock, Benjamin (ZIM)
OUT Niklas-Salminen, Patrik (FIN)ITF130 Sinclair, Colin (NMI)
ITF146 Bortolotti, Marco (ITA)
WC Frawley, James (AUS)
WC Addison, Aaron (AUS)
WC Mousley, Bradley (AUS)
WC Evans, Tom (AUS)
WC Bosancic, Thomas (AUS)
OUT Tseng, Chun Hsin (TPE)
OUT Beale, Jeremy (AUS)
OUT Giner, Marc (ESP)
WC Vuradin, Lucas (AUS)
OUT Pla Malfeito, Jaume (ESP) ITF211
OUT Look, Michael (AUS) ITF228
OUT Fancutt, Thomas (AUS) ITF271
OUT Rochette, Laurent (FRA) ITF297
Alt Chazal, Maxime (FRA) ITF303
OUT Orlov, Vladyslav (UKR) ITF401
OUT Purcell, Rhett (NZL) ITF538
Alt Romios, Matthew Christopher (AUS) ITF575
Alt Verbeek, Sem (NED) ITF610
1. Okamura, Issei (JPN) ITF611
2. Shropshire, Samuel (USA) ITF638
3. Addison, Aaron (AUS) ITF786
4. Frawley, James (AUS) ITF818
IN Blancaneaux, Geoffrey (FRA) 421
IN Simon, Tobias (GER) 427
OUT Nielsen, Frederik (DEN) 434
OUT Kypson, Patrick (USA) 453
IN Bourchier, Harry (AUS) 464
IN O’Connell, Christopher (AUS) PR470
IN Tseng, Chun Hsin (TPE) 486
IN Fancutt, Thomas (AUS) 495
OUT Krainik, Pavel (CAN) 496
IN Nys, Hugo (FRA) 511
IN He, Yecong (CHN) 527
IN Gao, Xin (CHN) 560
OUT Kirkin, Ergi (TUR) 568
IN Gille, Sander (BEL) 576
OUT Rochette, Laurent (FRA) 586
OUT Trusendi, Walter (ITA) 624IN Giner, Marc (ESP) 628
IN Look, Michael (AUS) 663
OUT Pla Malfeito (ESP) 664
Columbus (USA, Hard Indoor), entry list:
OUT Marchenko, Illya (UKR)
OUT Galan, Daniel Elahi (COL)
243 De Bakker, Thiemo (NED)
244 Peliwo, Filip (CAN)
248 Gombos, Norbert (SVK)
251 Ignatik, Uladzimir (BLR)
OUT Cid Subervi, Roberto (DOM)
254 Giraldo, Santiago (COL)
OUT Aragone, JC (USA)
257 Zapata Miralles, Bernabe (ESP)
258 Novikov, Dennis (USA)
262 Bonzi, Benjamin (FRA)
263 King, Kevin (USA)
264 Elias, Gastao (POR)
265 Serdarusic, Nino (CRO)
266 Bourgue, Mathias (FRA)
268 Hernandez-Fernandez, Jose (DOM)
270 Tatlot, Johan (FRA)
271 Mager, Gianluca (ITA)
272 Vilella Martinez, Mario (ESP)
273 Ojeda Lara, Ricardo (ESP)
274 Broady, Liam (GBR)
280 Coria, Federico (ARG)
282 Oliveira, Goncalo (POR)
283 Uchida, Kaichi (JPN)
284 Taberner, Carlos (ESP)
285 Couacaud, Enzo (FRA)
286 Miedler, Lucas (AUT)
287 King, Evan (USA)
288 Grigelis, Laurynas (LTU)
293 Choinski, Jan (GER)
294 Safranek, Vaclav (CZE)
295 Griekspoor, Scott (NED)
300 Pavic, Ante (CRO)
301 Collarini, Andrea (ARG)
OUT Setkic, Aldin (BIH)
OUT Wu, Yibing (CHN)
OUT Heller, Peter (GER)
ITF11 Reboul, Fabien (FRA)
ITF14 Souza, Joao (BRA)
ITF23 Jomby, Tom (FRA)
ITF25 Sels, Jelle (NED)
OUT Sels, Jelle (NED)
ITF30 Menezes, Joao (BRA)
ITF36 Brouwer, Gijs (NED)
Q Mertens, Yannick (BEL) ITF53
OUT Ortega Olmedo, Roberto (ESP) ITF54
OUT Gomez, Emilio (ECU) ITF64
OUT Guinard, Manuel (FRA) ITF90
OUT Hoyt, Evan (USA) ITF98
1. Cressy, Maxime (USA) ITF100
2. Bangoura, Sekou (USA) ITF113
OUT Petit, Gabriel (FRA) ITF127
OUT Glasspool, Lloyd (GBR) ITF1353. Kocevar-Desman, Tom (SLO) ITF186
IN Giron, Marcos (USA) 309
IN Gonzalez, Alejandro (COL) 313
IN Blanch, Ulyses (USA) 314
IN Kozlov, Stefan (USA) 317
IN Ortega-Olmedo, Roberto (ESP) 320
IN Millot, Vincent (FRA) 322
1. Torpegaard, Mikael (DEN) 331
Da Nang (VIE, Hard), entry list:
96 Granollers, Marcel (ESP)
OUT Bhambri, Yuki (IND)
OUT Myneni, Saketh (IND)
292 Viola, Matteo (ITA)
296 Mukund, Sasi Kumar (IND)
297 Kwiatkowski, Thai-Son (USA)
299 Yang, Tsung-Hua (TPE)
OUT Sarkissian, Alexander (USA)
OUT Valkusz, Mate (HUN)
321 Song, Evan (USA)
324 Fanselow, Sebastian (GER)
327 Takahashi, Yusuke (JPN)
OUT Safiullin, Roman (RUS)
338 Tokuda, Renta (JPN)
339 Piros, Zsombor (HUN)
340 Nagal, Sumit (IND)
343 Muller, Alexandre (FRA)
354 Boluda-Purkiss, Carlos (ESP)
356 Escoffier, Antoine (FRA)
359 Ochi, Makoto (JPN)
360 Yevseyev, Denis (KAZ)
366 Wu, Tung-Lin (TPE)
367 Nam, Ji Sung (KOR)
369 Gabashvili, Teymuraz (RUS)
371 Altmaier, Daniel (GER)
376 Hassan, Benjamin (GER)
OUT Sakamoto, Pedro (BRA)
380 Jahn, Jeremy (GER)
383 Bega, Alessandro (ITA)
385 Durasovic, Viktor (NOR)
391 Bai, Yan (CHN)
393 Kadhe, Arjun (IND)
396 Lenz, Julian (GER)
397 Sekiguchi, Shuichi (JPN)
402 Balaji, N. Sriram (IND)
408 Hossam, Youssef (EGY)
ITF16 Bonadio, Riccardo (ITA)
OUT Tiurnev, Evgenii (RUS)
ITF33 Samper-Montana, Jordi (ESP)
ITF38 Kim, Cheong-Eui (KOR)
ITF39 Shimizu, Yuta (JPN)
WC Ratiwatana, Sonchat (THA)
WC Vujic, Stefan (AUS)
WC Trinh, Linh Giang (THA)
WC Hazawa, Shinji (JPN)
WC Nguyen, Daniel (USA)
OUT Shimizu, Yuta (JPN)
OUT Kravchuk, Konstantin (RUS)
OUT Denolly, Corentin (FRA)
OUT Mertens, Yannick (BEL) ITF53
OUT Rinderknech, Arthur (FRA) ITF83
OUT Ly, Nam Hoang (VIE) ITF96
OUT Dougaz, Aziz (TUN) ITF103
OUT Imai, Shintaro (JPN) ITF104
OUT Furness, Evan (FRA) ITF122
1. Celikbilek, Altug (TUR) ITF132
2. Niki, Takuto (JPN) ITF178
IN Granollers, Gerard (ESP) 415
IN Avidzba, Alen (RUS) 416
IN Trongcharoenchaikul, Wishaya (THA) 420
OUT Blancaneaux, Geoffrey (FRA) 421
IN Rinderknech, Arthur (FRA) 423
OUT Simon, Tobias (GER) 427
IN Denolly, Corentin (FRA) 428
IN Rawat, Sidhart (IND) 433
IN Ly, Nam Hoang (VIE) 436
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