Bernard Tomic To Skip Australian Open Wildcard Playoff - UBITENNIS
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Grand Slam

Bernard Tomic To Skip Australian Open Wildcard Playoff

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Former world No.17 Bernard Tomic is in danger of missing the main draw of the Australian Open for the first time since 2008 after electing to skip a wildcard playoff event.

Tomic, who has fallen down to 142nd in the world rankings, would have been the top seed in the draw. Which features 16 Australian players fighting it out with the eventual winner securing a place in the first grand slam of 2018. Tomic must now play in the qualifying competition a week prior to the Melbourne major to have any chance of reaching the main draw.

The 25-year-old had been urged to play in the tournament by Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt. Hewitt and Tennis Australia’s Head of Performance, Wally Masur, opted not to provide Tomic with a wildcard into the Australian Open. Instead giving the pass to Thanasi Kokkinakis.

“He’s had a tough year and he needs matches and he’s got to put himself out there on the line to have a crack at making the Open.” Hewitt told The Herald Sun last month.
“We all know the kind of tennis he can play but he has to get back to that level and he also needs to commit to the sport as well and we won’t be making any more wildcard decisions until we see what happens in the playoffs.”

Hewitt’s comments follow what has been a poor season on the tour for Tomic. Overall, he has managed to win 11 out of 31 main draw matches. Out of those 11 victories, only three of them occurred after the Wimbledon Championships. His best results were reaching the quarterfinals of events in Eastbourne and Istanbul.

John Newcombe recently urged Tomic to take a break from the sport amid his lull in form. Newcombe, who won seven grand slam titles during his career, believes the Australian need to take time away and evaluate what he wants to do in the future.

“I think Bernie needs to step away from the game for three or four months and really think about: is this (tennis) what he wants to do?” Newcombe told Fox Sports Australia.
“And if this is what he wants to do, then he needs to find the best trainer he can find and get himself properly fit.
“It’s not too late but unless he gets himself fit, it’s never going to happen. It’s that simple.”

There has been no comment from Tomic regarding his decision to miss the wildcard playoff.

Santillan and Rodionova to head play-offs

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In Tomic’s absence, 20-year-old Akira Santillan will be the top seed. Santillan is currently ranked 145th in the world and won his first Challenger earlier in the year in Winnetka, USA. He will be joined by Alex Bolt, Alex de Minaur and John-Patrick Stewart. Sam Groth, who is set to retire from the sport next year, will also feature in the draw.

“The men’s field is a mix of some really impressive young guys who will be keen to make their mark, alongside established and experienced players,” Hewitt told tennis.com.au.
“The Play-off format will replicate the Australian Open, with best-of-five-set matches giving the players a real feel for Grand Slam conditions. We’ve seen some tough battles over the years and I’m looking forward to watching all the boys in action next week.”

In the women’s draw, Arina Rodionova will be bidding to reach the main draw of the major for the fourth time in her career. The 27-year-old is the top seed and the only players ranked inside the top 150 at 119th in the world.

“We’ve got some really strong players such as Arina Rodionova, who has traditionally performed well at this event. Arina had a strong finish to her year, ending up just outside the top 100, so she’ll be highly motivated,” Fed Cup captain Alicia Molik said about the women’s draw.

Destanee Aiava, who has won two ITF titles during 2017, will be aiming to reach the main draw for the second year in a row. Aiava has risen over 200 places in the WTA rankings since the start of the year. Other entrants include Anastasia Rodionova, Jaimee Fourlis and Sara Tomic (sister of Bernard).

Full list of entrants

Men
(145) Akira Santillan (Qld)
(192) Alex Bolt (SA)
(210) Alex de Minaur (NSW)
(219) John-Patrick Smith (Qld)
(245) Sam Groth (Vic)
(264) Dayne Kelly (Vic)
(273) Omar Jasika (Vic)
(278) Andrew Whittington (Vic)
(300) Maverick Banes (Qld)
(313) Bradley Mousley (SA)
(322) Marc Polmans (Vic)
(334) Jason Kubler (Qld)
[WC] (341) Christopher O’Connell (NSW)
[WC] (494) Andrew Harris (Vic)
[WC] (523) Luke Saville (SA)
[WC] (673) Blake Ellis (Qld)

Women
(119) Arina Rodionova (Vic)
(153) Destanee Aiava (Vic)*
(322) Jaimee Fourlis (Vic)*
(344) Tammi Patterson (Vic)
(349) Kimberly Birrell (Qld)
(372) Naiktha Bains (Qld)
(376) Zoe Hives (Vic)
(390) Anastasia Rodionova (Vic)
(394) Olivia Tjandramulia (Qld)
(424) Astra Sharma (WA)
(466) Sara Tomic (Qld)
(485) Alison Bai (ACT)
[WC] (555) Michaela Haet (NSW)
[WC] (581) Belinda Woolcock (Vic)
[WC] (618) Alexandra Bozovic (NSW)*
[WC] 18s Australian Championship girls’ runner-up
*Currently playing the 18s Australian Championships

Grand Slam

US Open Leads The Way In Grand Slam Sponsorship Deals, Says Study

An insight into the multi-million dollar business of grand slam tennis.

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Five out of the 10 most expensive rights deals in grand slam tennis belong to the US Open according to a report published by a global intelligence service.

 

SportBusiness has valued the American major as having deals worth in excess of $67 million. Their findings are based on ‘industry sources’ and takes into account only rights fees and not ‘account value.’ Besides the US Open, Wimbledon and the Australian Open have two deals that have made the top 10. Meanwhile, Roland Garros only has one, but it is the second highest.

The top deal regarding the US Open is a $20 million yearly agreement with JP Morgan Chase. A financial services company that is ranked as one of the largest banks in the world in terms of assets. They have been a prime sponsor since 2005 and reportedly signed a new three-year deal in 2018. The US Open also has high-value deals, with Emirates ($17M), American Express ($10M), Mercedes-Benz (10M) and Rolex ($10M).

Currently the richest grand slam in terms of sponsorship revenue, it comes as no surprise that this year’s US Open Prize money is also a record for the majors. The pool will be worth $57 million with both the men’s and women’s singles champion taking home $3,850,000. An increase of $50,000 compared to last year. Runners-up will each receive $1,900,000.

Elsewhere, the French Open benefits heavily from their partnership with banking group BNP Paribas. A deal worth $17.5 a year. Roland Garros has the second highest share of the total grand slam revenue after the US Open, but there is little to separate them. SportsBusiness concludes Flushing Meadows leads with a 29% share, followed by the French Open with 28% and Australian Open with 27%. The only notable difference is that Wimbledon lags behind at 16%. However, Wimbledon’s revenue exceeded $50M for the first time this year.

Another notable trend identified by SportsBusiness is the growing presence of Chinese investments. A series of new deals this year included the Australian Open scoring a $14.1M deal with beverage company Luzhou Laojiao. Meanwhile, Wimbledon joined forces with their first ever Asian sponsor Oppo in a deal worth $11M. Later this year, China will host the WTA Finals for the first time in its history with a record prize money pool of $14M. Double of what was on offer last year at the year-end tournament in Singapore.

List of the 10 most expensive grand slam deals

  1. JP Morgan Chase and the US Open ($20M)
  2. BNP Paribas and the French Open ($17.5M)
  3. Emirates and the US Open ($17M)
  4. Kia Motors and the Australian Open ($14.1M)
  5. Luzhou Laojiao and the Australian Open (14.1M)
  6. Rolex and Wimbledon (12.3M)
  7. Oppo and Wimbledon ($11M)
  8. American Express and the US Open ($10M)
  9. Mercedes-Benz and the US Open ($10M)
  10. Rolex and the US Open (£10M)

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Grand Slam

How Many Points Are Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer And Co. Defending Until The US Open?

The full breakdown of how many points every member in the top 20 on the men’s tour have to defend over the coming weeks.

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It has been just over a week since Novak Djokovic won his 16th major title at Wimbledon, but the focus has already switched to the final grand slam of the season.

 

The US Open will begin during the final week of August. Held at Flushing Meadows in New York, the tournament will have the biggest prize money pool in grand slam history. Totalling to an amount of more than $57 million. Between now and then, players will be battling to defend their rankings points on the North American hard courts with this time of the year being more crucial for some than others.

Under the current ranking format, any points a player wins at a tournament are theirs until the following year. Then they have the chance to defend those points. For example Djokovic is the current Cincinnati Open champion and won 1000 points in 2018. Therefore, this year, he is defending 1000 points in the tournament.

Regning US Open champion Djokovic has the most points to defend during this period with his tally being 3090 points. In fact, the world No.1 in the only person in the top 20 defending more than 2000 points. A true testament to his consistency last year.

Roger Federer potentially has the chance to reclaim the world No.2 spot from Rafael Nadal depending on how both men perform. The Swiss player has 780 points at stake, compared to 1720 for his rival. However, Federer will only play one tournament prior to New York compared to two for Nadal. He will miss the Roger’s Cup in Canada in order to have a longer rest period.

At the other end of the spectrum, Gael Monfils only has 90 points to defend. This time last year the Frenchman was struggling with injury and retired from his second round match at the US Open due to his wrist.

Here is a full breakdown of the amount of points the top 20 players are defending from now until the end of the US Open:-

Ranking (as of 23/7/19)
Player
 2018 performance
Points Defending
1 Novak Djokovic  – R3 Rogers Cup
– Cincinnati Champion
– US Open champion
3090
2 Rafael Nadal – Rogers Cup champion
– SF US Open
1720
3 Roger Federer – Cincinnati Finalist
-R4 US Open
780
4 Dominic Thiem -QF Hamburg
-R2 Kitzbuhel
-R2 Rogers Cup
-QF US Open
460
5 Alexander Zverev – Washington champion
– QF Rogers Cup
– R2 Cincinnati
-R3 US Open
780
6 Stefanos Tsitsipas -SF Washington
-Rogers Cup finalist
-R1 Cincinnati
-R2 US Open
835
7 Kei Nishikori -QF Washington
-R1 Rogers Cup
-R2 Cincinnati
-SF US Open
865
8 Karen Khachanov -R2 Washington
-SF Rogers Cup
-R3 Cincinnati
-R3 US Open
540
9 Daniil Medvedev -R2 Washington
-R3 Rogers Cup
-R1 Cincinnati
-Winston Salem champion
-R3 US Open
510
10 Fabio Fognini -Bastad champion
-Los Cabos champion
-R2 Gstaad
-R2 Rogers Cup
-R2 US Open
590
11 Kevin Anderson -SF Rogers Cup
-R3 Cincinnati
-R4 US Open
630
12 Juan Martin del Potro -Los Cabos finalist
-QF Cincinnati
-US Open finalist
1530
13 Roberto Bautista Agut -Gstaad finalist
-R1 US Open
160
14 John Isner -Atlanta champion
-R2 Washington
-R3 Rogers Cup
-R1 Cincinnati
-QF US Open
710
15 Borna Coric -R2 Gstaad
-R2 Rogers Cup
-R2 Cincinnati
-R4 US Open
270
16 Nikoloz Basilashvili – Hamburg champion
-R1 Kitzbuhel
-R2 Winston Salem
-R4 US Open
700
17 Marin Cilic -QF Rogers Cup
-SF Cincinnati
-QF US Open
900
18 David Goffin -QF Washington
-R1 Rogers Cup
-SF Cincinnati
-R4 US Open
640
19 Gael Monfils -R2 Hamburg
-R2 US Open
90
20 Matteo Berrettini -R2 Bastad
-Gstaad champion
-QF Kitzbuhel
-R3 Winston Salem
-R1 US Open
345

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Tim Henman Backs Djokovic To Break Federer’s Grand Slam Record

The former world No.4 shares his views about the two tennis legends.

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Former British No.1 Tim Henman believes Novak Djokovic is in a strong position to win more major titles than Roger Federer before he retires from the sport.

 

The world No.1 recently defeated Federer in a five-set epic at Wimbledon to clinch his 16th grand slam title. Placing him third on the all-time list behind Rafael Nadal (18) and Federer (20). Djokovic has won four out of the past five grand slam tournaments. The only exception occurred at the French Open where he lost in the semi-finals to Dominic Thiem.

Speaking to sports agency Omnisport during a HSBC event that took place earlier in the week, Henman believes age is on Djokovicv’s side in his bid to break the record of his Swiss Rival. Out of the Big Three the Serbian is the youngest at 32. Nadal is a year older at 33 and Federer turns 38 later this year.

“It’s going to be very interesting to watch,” said Henman.
“He’s five years younger than Federer so he’s got much more time on his side.
“The level of play that Djokovic is at right now, it really wouldn’t surprise me if he did overtake Federer in the future.”

Shortly after his latest win, Djokovic stated that he has no intention of retiring anytime soon. Citing inspiration from Federer and his ability to continue playing at his age. Giving him more than enough time to become the most decorated singles player in grand slam history on the men’s tour.

“Roger hopes to inspire people to keep going at 37,” he said. “I’m one of them. The fact that they have made history of this sport motivates me as well, inspires me to try to do what they have done, what they’ve achieved, and even more.”

Besides the dominance of Djokovic, Henman also said that nobody should be writing off Federer yet. The world No.3 had two match points to win the Wimbledon trophy for a record ninth time, but failed to convert.

“I don’t think so. I think it’s very difficult to write these guys off that are playing at such a high level.” Henman replied when asked if Wimbledon was Federer’s last shot at grand slam glory.
“Federer’s not going to be around forever but I think it’s important we all enjoy him while he’s still playing.”

Djokovic is set to return to action next month at the Rogers Cup in Canada. Meanwhile, Federer will not be returning to competition until the Cincinnati Open, which takes place after the Canadian Masters 1000 event.

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