Players Speak Out On Calls For On-Court Coaching At Grand Slams - UBITENNIS
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Grand Slam

Players Speak Out On Calls For On-Court Coaching At Grand Slams

It is time to change coaching rules at the four major tournaments?

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In the wake of a dramatic US Open women’s final that took place in September, grand slams are contemplating implementing on-court coaching in tournaments. Although some could argue that it is time to get rid of it all together.

 

Serena Williams’ infamous clash with umpire Carlos Ramos at Flushing Meadows started when she received a warning for coaching. Something the 23-time grand slam champion denied. Although her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted afterwards during an interview with ESPN that he was. Remarks that Williams later played down.

In the aftermath of the controversy, some have called for coaching during matches to be allowed in order to prevent such an incident happening again. It is currently only allowed on the WTA Tour. The governing body of women’s tennis implemented on-court coaching in 2009 in a bid to make matches more engaging for viewers. Proving a reasonable hit with both players and fans.

“It is good to have on-court coaching. I have no problems with it. But it will be OK if it is not there anymore.” World No.1 Simona Halep told reporters in Moscow. “For me it does not matter that much. But personally, for me a coach on-court helps a lot.”

Critics of the approach argue that there is no point having such a rule, if it isn’t applied throughout the entire tour. Both the Australian Open and Wimbledon have said that they are open to looking into the topic. Although it is unclear as to if it would come to fruition next year.

“We’re getting the global governing bodies — the ATP, WTA and ITF — and the grand slams together to talk about our approach to coaching,” Said Australian Open director Craig Tiley.
“I think it’s really important that it’s consistent so fans and players don’t get confused on it so hopefully in the coming weeks we are able to make an announcement on our position.”

As it currently stands, the US Open is the only only major to allow coaching from the stands. Although this is only applied to the juniors tournaments and qualifying rounds.

Former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko has previously been hit with a coaching violation at a grand slam. The Latvian was given a warning during her fourth round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Wimbledon earlier this year. Ostapenko said afterwards that she was ‘motivated and angry’ by the punishment.

“I don’t know if there is any point of using it (on-court coaching) on the WTA Tour if you can’t use it in grand slams because in grand slams you have to play on your own.” Ostapenko said during the Korean Open.
“I think they need to do same in all the tournaments. Either allow (on-court) coaching at all tournaments or no coaching at all.” She added.

What about the men?

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Should the grand slams change their policy, it would also affect the men. On the ATP World Tour the only example of on-court mentoring being used during matches was in last year’s ATP Next Gen Finals. Where players could communicate with their coaches via headset in English. An initiative that has been described as ‘uncomfortable’ by Karen Khachanov, who participated in that tournament.

“It was uncomfortable, because we had to talk to each other in English. For Koreans, for example, it was totally uncomfortable, they did not even understand each other.” Said Khachanov.
“If we have coaching, then it should be in your native language and addressed only to the player and not being broadcast to the audience.”

French Open finalist Dominic Thiem has also voiced his opposition. The world No.7 believes that it would add no extra value to the tour. Although Thiem has called for coaches to be allowed to display signals to their players from the box during matches. Something that Williams was penalised for at the US Open.

“I think on the women’s tour, it’s interesting, but I wouldn’t like to see it on the men’s tour because — I don’t know. It was a very long time now that it was very good without it, so it should stay this way.” He said.
“But what I would change is that the coach could show some signs from the box and you don’t get a penalty for that. I think this would be really good and also fine for everybody.”

Some women players have also dismissed calls for the ATP follow the same path as their female counterparts. Former world No.8 Ekaterina Makarova said such move would be ‘unnecessary’ because ‘boys are strong.’ The Russian was referring the mentality of players on the men’s tour.

The Australian Open is set to make a decision about the use of on-court coaching at their tournament later this year. Should they give it the green light, it could create a precedent for the other three grand slams to follow.

Grand Slam

Andy Murray’s Hunt For A Wimbledon Doubles Partner Sparks Interest From Women’s Elite

The chance to play alongside the former world No.1 at SW19 has attracted a lot of interest from past and present players from the WTA Tour.

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Sir Andy Murray of Great Britain is pictured during day four of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

LONDON: Andy Murray’s recent difficulty in finding a mixed doubles partner for the upcoming Wimbledon Championships has prompted a series of WTA players to offer their services.

 

The three-time grand slam champion returned to competitive tennis on Thursday at The Fever-Tree Championships. Winning his first round doubles match alongside Feliciano Lopez. After the victory, the former world No.1 confirmed that he will be playing with Pierre-Hughes Herbert at the All England Club and he is also interested in contesting the mixed doubles.

“I’ve asked singles players who had already committed to playing doubles, and they didn’t want to commit to playing in three events, which I completely understand because it’s a lot. If you have ambitions to go far in the singles, you maybe don’t want to commit to playing all three.” He said.

One of those players Murray approached was French Open champion Ash Barty, who declined his offer. The Australian is currently in the race for world No.1 and is seen as one of the favorites to claim the ladies singles title in three weeks time.

“I’m sure I will find another great partner, providing I feel good enough to play the men’s and mixed doubles. That said, I need to wait and see how I’m feeling first.” Murray wrote in a piece for the BBC.

Fortunately for Murray, the offers to play alongside him has started flying in on social media. Kirsten Flikens, who is a top 30 doubles player, was one of the first to come forward. The Belgian teamed up with Murray before at the 2006 Wimbledon championships as well as the now-defunct International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).

Barbora Strycova has already won two doubles titles on the WTA Tour this season with Hsieh Su-Wei. On Instagram, the Czech expressed her willingness to work alongside the Brit.

“I heard rumors that you got rejected a couple of times when finding a partner for mixed doubles in Wimbledon. I swear I wouldn’t do the same mistake as that.” Strycova wrote.

Elsewhere on social media, there was a couple of other light-hearted offers made.

https://twitter.com/BillieJeanKing/status/1141872812841472001

https://twitter.com/CoCoVandey/status/1141860447936585728

https://twitter.com/caseydellacqua/status/1141861486538547200

It is safe to say that Murray can easily find a partner for Wimbledon, which will get underway a week on Monday. The only question is who will it be?

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Grand Slam

Marcos Baghdatis And Iga Swiatek Among Initial Wimbledon Wildcards

Marcos Baghdatis and Iga Swiatek have received a wildcard for Wimbledon as the third grand slam of the year approaches.

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Marcos Baghdatis (@BNPPARIBASOPEN - Twitter)

Marcos Baghdatis and defending Juniors champion Iga Swiatek are among the initial wildcards for Wimbledon. 

 

The initial wildcards for Wimbledon have been announced this morning with former Wimbledon semi-finalist Marcos Baghdatis among the Men’s wildcards.

Having not played since May and not appeared on the main tour since February, Baghdatis is a surprise choice for a wildcard spot given the options.

Players such as Nicolas Mahut, Feliciano Lopez and Dustin Brown were seen as candidates for a main draw wildcard but it seems that at the moment that spot has been given to the Cypriot.

Joining Baghdatis as main draw wildcards on the men’s side is the British trio of James Ward, Jay Clarke and NCAA champion Paul Jubb.

Meanwhile on the women’s side, last year’s Women’s junior champion Iga Swiatek has been given a wildcard after her incredible rise.

Since winning the Juniors title last year, Swiatek has reached her maiden WTA final, risen to number 65 in the world and reached the fourth round at Roland Garros.

Joining Swiatek, as the British wildcards are Harriet Dart, Heather Watson and Katie Swan as there are four more spots to be announced.

As more wildcards are yet to be announced, the likes of Feliciano Lopez, Dustin Brown and Katie Boulter could still receive a main draw wildcard.

Meanwhile in the doubles event Lleyton Hewitt has once again received a doubles wildcard despite ‘retiring.’ The 2002 singles champion will team up with compatriot Jordan Thompson.

Here are the wildcards below, with the singles draws taking place a week on Friday:

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ATP

Greg Rusedski Tips Tsitsipas To Become The Next Federer

The Greek sensation has been backed to rise to the top of the world rankings.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas (photo by chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Former US Open finalist Greg Rusedski has praised Next Gen star Stefano Tsitsipas by saying he has characteristics similar to that of Roger Federer.

 

The former world No.4 believes the greek has what it takes to conquer the men’s tour. So far this season Tsitsipas has played in four ATP finals, winning titles in Marseille and Estoril. In total, he has won 32 matches on the tour this year. The joint-highest alongside Rafael Nadal. At the age of 20, he is already the first man from his country to reach the semi-final of a grand slam and crack the top 10.

“He’s so much better as a player than he was a year ago and he’s getting better,” Rusedski told Amazon Prime.
“His transitioning game coming forward, playing doubles so much more this year. I think he will be a Wimbledon champion as well as a world number one. He’s that good.”

Continuing his tribute to the world No.6, the Brit believes he plays similar to some of the stars of the game. Tsitsipas is currently 10-15 against top 10 opposition in his career and has defeated every member of the Big Three at least once. The most recent being against Nadal at the Madrid Open.

“He reminds me of a young Roger Federer. A guy who’s got that full package.” Rusedski analyzed.
“He looks a little bit like Bjorn Borg the way he walks around the court but what I like, he’s a complete player and he has this mental fortitude where he believes he belongs.”

Tsitsipas is the top seed at this week’s Fever-Tree Championships in London. He will be hoping for a strong run ahead of the Wimbledon championships, which he reached the fourth round at last year. Looking ahead to the grand slam, he is optimistic about the prospect of ending the dominance of Nadal and Co. It has been 16 years since a player outside of the Big Four (counting Andy Murray) has won Wimbledon.

“I want to be honest. I would love to see something different this year,’ he said.
‘Hopefully, it can be me, but I think it’s good for the sport to have a bit of variety, something different. It’s boring to see all these guys winning all the time. Djokovic is the reigning champion.”

Tsitsipas will play Kye Edmund in his first match at Queen’s.

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