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Hopman Cup Could Get New Rules, Says Head Of Tennis Australia

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The 30th edition of the Hopman Cup could see the introduction of a series of new rules such as coaching during matches, according to Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley.

During a recent conference at the WestBusiness Leadership Matters event in Perth, Tiley confirmed that he is keeping an open mind about the new changes. Which would see the introduction of a shot clock on court for players to monitor their time between points and for coaching to occur at changeovers.

Both new rules are set to be implemented in January at the Australian Open. They will only be used in the in the qualifying draws. The clock will be displayed on the screen for players to make sure they keep within the 25-second limit between points.

“What we’re introducing in January is an innovative change,” Tiley said.
“Within 25 seconds the player has to start the next point. We are now visibly showing the rules.“Previously the umpire used to control it, but now it’s controlled by a clock. Coaching was barred and you got penalised for it but now we’re opening up and say you can do it.”

Earlier in the year, the US Open was the first major to implement the two new rules in their qualifying draws. More recently it was also trailed at the inaugural Next Gen finals in Milan. At the Milan tournament, a total of seven new rules was tested with some players approving of the changes.

“I think the shot clock is a good thing.” World No.4 Alexander Zverev said last month.

Borna Coric played in the Milan tournament and was a vocal critic of having a timer on the court. Arguing that it placed him under extra pressure and made him feel more tired after matches.

“I just don’t like that pressure.” Stated Coric. “I mean, it’s also good in some ways, because it does speed up the game. But I just need to get used to that so that maybe I can start my whole motion with seven or eight seconds left, not on maybe 15.”

Despite the mixed response, Tiley confirms that he is continuing to look into new ‘opportunities’ with both the ATP and WTA. There is yet to be any formal confirmation if the Hopman Cup will see the introduction of the new rules. The tournament will get underway on December 30th.

“We are looking at what other opportunities exist, leaving an open mind about it beyond that. It’s in partnership with the ATP and the WTA, so we are dealing with that now.” Tiley explained.

The Hopman Cup is a mixed tournament featuring two players per team. France’s Kristina Mladenovic and Richard Gasquet are the current champions of the event.

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Petra Kvitova set semifinal against Anett Kontaveit in Ostrava

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Anett Kontaveit upset this year’s Olympic singles gold medallist Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-3 after 74 minutes in the quarter finals of the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. Kontaveit set up a semifinal clash against two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. 

 

Kontaveit has extended her winning streak against Bencic to 2-0. The Estonian had beaten her Swiss rival in the third round of the 2020 Australian Open. 

Kontaveit scored her fourth win over a top 20 player this year. She won the second WTA title of her career in Cleveland before the US Open. 

Kontaveit hit 29 winners to just 18 unforced errors and converted five of her eight break points. Bencic produced 12 winners to 18 unforced errors. 

In the first set Kontaveit broke serve in the fourth and sixth games to race out to a 5-1 lead and earned a set point in the seventh game. Bencic fired a winner to save the set point. The Swiss player fended off another set point at 5-3. 

Bencic pulled both breaks back to get back on seve at 5-4. However, Kontaveit converted the first of her three set points. Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the third set. Kontaveit hit a backhand winner down the line to break serve for 4-2 in the sixth game. She held serve at love for 5-2 and sealed the win in the ninth game on her second match point with a crosscourt backhand winner. 

Petra Kvitova knocked out Jill Teichmann 6-4 6-4. The Czech player saved seven of the eight break points she faced. 

Kvitova saved five break points in the fourth game of the first set to hold serve for 2-2. The Czech player earned the break in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead, as Teichmann sent her forehand long. Kvitova hit her forehand to earn three set points and converted her second chance by forcing an error. 

Kvitova earned an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Teichmann broke straight back to draw to 2-2. Kvitova hit a series of backhands to get her second break in the fifth game for 3-2 and saved three break points to hold serve for 4-2. The home player earned three set points with a backhand winner at 5-4. After missing her first match point with a double fault, she converted her second chance with an unreturnable serve. 

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Iga Swiatek sets up semifinal against Maria Sakkari in Ostrava

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Last year’s Roland Garros Iga Swiatk reached the first semifinal since May in Rome with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win over Elena Rybakova after 1 hour and 41 minutes. 

 

Swiatek earned the first break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Rybakina broke back with a crosscourt backhand to draw level to 3-3. Swiatek held serve easily for 6-6 to set up a tie-break. 

Swiatek earned the first set point at 6-5 and converted her chance when Rybakina sent a backhand wide. 

Swiatek raced out to a 5-1 lead with a double break. Rybakina pulled one break back for 2-5 with a backhand down the line winner on break point. Swiatek sealed the second set 6-2 on the third match point. 

Swiatek set up a semifinal clash against Maria Sakkari, who secured a place in her sixth semifinal of the season with a 7-5 6-3 win over Tereza Martincova after 1 hour and 36 minutes. Sakkari has extended her head-to-head lead to 3-0. Sakkari has reached a career-high of world number 12 after reaching two Grand Slam semifinals at Roland Garros and at the US Open. 

Sakkari earned an early break in the first game. The Greek faced two break points in the 10th game of the first game, when she was broken at 5-4 in the first set. Sakkari converted her third break point in the 11th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Sakkari broke twice in the third and ninth games to win the second set 6-3. She has lost all her five semifinals in 2021 so far.  

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Pablo Carreno Busta moves into semifinals in Metz with a win over Holger Rune

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Pablo Carreno Busta beat Danish Next Gen rising Holger Vitus Notskov Rune 6-4 3-6 6-4 after 2 hours and 11 minutes to advance to the semifinals in Metz. Carreno Busta won 77% of his first serve points. 

 

Carreno Busta broke serve in the fifth game to win the first set 6-4. Rune bounced back by breaking serve in the second game to claim the second set 6-3. The third set went on serve until the eighth game when Carreno Busta earned a break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Rune broke straight back in the ninth game but Carreno Busta earned his second break to close out the third set 6-4.

“Rune is playing really well. He is playing really well. He is going to improve a lot in the next months. I am happy as it was a very important victory for me. When you play this kind of player, you have all the pressure to win and at the end it was a really good battle”, said Carreno Busta. 

Carreno Busta won the Olympic bronze medal, won the Marbella Open and his first ATP 500 title on clay in Hamburg. 

Rune beat Lorenzo Sonego en route to the quarter final. The young Dane is aiming to qualify for the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. 

Carreno Busta will face Gael Monfils, who eased past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-3 6-3 with four breaks after 68 minutes. The Frenchman has reached his first ATP Tour level semifinal since Dubai in February 2020. 

“At the beginning I was more comfortable but then in the second set he started to be more aggressive with the returns and I was not as comfortable then. It will be a tough match against Monfils. I will be younger in the next match. I will try to do my best. Gael is an incredible player”, said Carreno Busta. 

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