Former World No.1 Marcelo Rios Announces Comeback At The Age Of 43 - UBITENNIS
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Former World No.1 Marcelo Rios Announces Comeback At The Age Of 43

20 years after reaching the final of the 1998 Australian Open, the Chilean is eyeing a return to professional tennis.

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14 years after retiring from tennis, Marcelo Rios has outlined plans to return to the Challenger tour in 2019 with the goal of becoming the oldest ever ATP Champion.

 

Rios, who spent six weeks as world No.1 back in 1998, has told newspaper La Tercera that he has been training for a return to competitive tennis. It is understood that Rios only intends to return to action at the lower level events located in America at the moment and it is unclear if he will travel further. He currently lives in the Sarasota, Florida.

“I’ve been training with pretty high-level guys.” Rios said during an interview with La Tercera.
“There are no guys that plays badly. I’ve been getting tired and I’ve had to lose weight. I have lost 12 stone and has almost reached the weight I was when I was a player (on the tour). I’m happy, it’s something different.”

The return of the Chilean player could happen as soon as next month. A formal request for a wild card to play at the upcoming Columbus Challenger has been submitted. The tournament is hosted at the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center and will get underway on January 7th.

“There is an invitation committee, which will finally decide who gets a wild card,” said tournament director Todd Alles.

The ultimate goal of an ambitious Rios is to become the oldest ever winner of a challenger tournament. A title that is currently held by Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who won the Calgary Challenger this year at the age of 39 years and seven months.

“If I had not felt good or I had not lost weight, I would not have made the decision (to come out of retirement).” He said.
“From here to 7th January I can injure myself, because I train a lot, but I would like to do it, to get a wild card, to try it.”
“Imagine: winning a challenger at 43 is nice, whatever it may be. I feel qualified to play it and win it. If I did not feel good playing, I would not.” He added.

Rios, who turned 43 on December 26th, could become the only player to have an ATP singles ranking in the new year. Currently 39-year-old Karlovic is the oldest player in the top 1000. Further down the rankings, Spain’s Roberto Menendez is ranked 1660th at the age of 42.

During his career, Rios won 18 ATP titles and reached the final of the 1998 Australian Open. He is the first South American player to have topped the ATP rankings back in 1998 and finished in the year-end top 10 three years in a row (1997-1999). He was forced to step away from the sport at the age of 28 following a series of leg and back injuries.

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Angelo Binaghi: “The Internazionali BNL d’Italia could be held in September. It is a better period than May”

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Italian Tennis Federation President Angelo Binaghi said in an interview to Italian tennis channel Supertennis that he was confident that the 2020 edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia could take place next September as a tune-up for the French Open. The ATP Masters and the WTA Premier Masters was originally scheduled from 11th to 17th May, but it was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

“Barring major upheavels, I think that we are going to reorganise the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in September, between the middle and the end of the month. They tell me, especially the Romans, that it is an extraordinary season, the best time to play tennis. September could be better than May, when the tournament is traditionally held. Tennis is the safest sport at the time of the coronavirus pandemic. Our sport has some advantage compared to team sports. This summer we will hold the National Championhsips after many years”, said Binaghi.  

Binaghi said that he would meet Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to discuss about the possibility to attend the tournament.

Italian tennis will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Francesca Schiavone’s win at Roland Garros in 2010.

“Schiavone’s win was a big surprise. Italian tennis was not ready for this triumph. It was a big step forward, that made us aware that we could achieve any kind of result. It marked the start of a golden period for Italian tennis”.

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Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Jannik Sinner set to play in Berlin exhibition tournament

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Berlin is set to host an exhibition tournament in two parts. Twelve players will take part in this tournament, that will consist in two parts. The first part will take place on grass between 13th and 15th July. The second part will be held on hard court in a hangar near the closed Tempelhof Airport between 17th and 19th July.

 

The men’s tournament will feature 2018 ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev, this year’s Australian Open Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals Jannik Sinner.

Two-time Rome champion Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic have signed up to play in the women’s tournament.

The matches will be played behind closed doors. A super tie-break will replace the third set. There will be no electronic lines calls with no line judges to reduce the number of people on the court. The exhibition event will replace a WTA tournament in Berlin, which was scheduled on June, but it was cancelled.

A total prize money of 200000 Euros will be available.

 

 

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Injury Scare Fails To Derail Petra Kvitova From Winning ‘Bizarre’ All-Czech Tennis Event

The world No.12 speaks out about the unusual circumstances she was playing in earlier this week as she sheds light on a recent injury issue she has been dealing with.

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During what was meant to be the first week of the French Open Petra Kvitova is still winning matches albeit in very different circumstances.

 

With professional tennis still halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two-time Wimbledon champion was one of the headline acts at the CTS President’s Cup earlier this week. A Three-day event that features eight men and eight women taking part in a all-Czech tournament. Umpires and ball boys had to wear face masks and there was limited spacing for spectators to watch from the sidelines with organizers mindful of social distancing.

“The gloves, face masks, the fact nobody handed us the towels, no handshakes, that was definitely bizarre,” said Kvitova.
“And playing without people, the atmosphere was not exactly what we are used to.”

Despite the unusual circumstances, it failed to prevent Kvitova for winning the event on Thursday. During a rain-interrupted final she saw off Wimbledon quarter-finalist Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-3. Earlier in the event she also scored wins over former world No.1 doubles player Kateřina Siniaková (7-5, 6-4) and Barbora Krejčíková (7-6, 6-2).

The trio of victories came only days after there was concern if Kvitova would be able to play at all. Leading into the tournament the Czech started to feel pain in her forearm, but was later given the all clear by her doctor. Speaking to reporters, she said the pain she felt was similar to what occurred this time last year when she was forced to withdraw from the French Open.

“Two days before the start of the tournament, my forearm started to stiffen, similar to last year before the French Open,” the 30-year-old explained.
“That’s why I didn’t train on Monday. I was waiting for Mr. Kolář’s verdict, but he said that I would be able to do it (play) in some way.”

Now her first taste of competitive tennis in over three months has concluded, Kvitova has relished the experience. It is still unclear as to when the WTA Tour will resume. At present the suspension is until July 31st. In recent days both the US Open and French Open have said they are optimistic that their events will be able to go ahead later this year in some capacity.

“Given the circumstances and the pandemic, it was a wonderful tournament,” Kvitova stated.

Whilst officials ponder when to restart the sport, Kvitova plans to take some time resting her hand in order to prevent aggravating it further.

“I’ll definitely feel my hand for a few days now, but I’ll take time off, there’s no hurry,” she concluded.

In the men’s final world No.450 Michael Vrbensky, who shocked top seed Jiri Vesely in the first round, won the title.

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