John Isner Hits Out At ‘Arrogant’ Lleyton Hewitt In Row Over Coach Gimelstob - UBITENNIS
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John Isner Hits Out At ‘Arrogant’ Lleyton Hewitt In Row Over Coach Gimelstob

The American No.1 has criticised calls for his mentor to be removed from the ATP Board.

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World No.10 John Isner has slammed Lleyton Hewitt’s call for his coach Justin Gimelstob to be removed from the ATP Board after he was arrested for alleged assault.

Gimelstob is under police investigation after being accused of attacking venture capitalist Randall Kaplan as he walked down the street in West Los Angeles along with his wife and child. Kaplan, who is a former friend of Gimelstob, has claimed that he was hit 50 times during the attack and has since filed for a restraining order. The former tennis player, who works as a commentator and coach, is currently on a $50,000 bail and has taken leave from The Tennis Channel.

“Justin asked Tennis Channel for a leave of absence while he works through this issue. As he is a longtime, valued member of our network family, we of course granted it to him. We believe that in today’s climate, perhaps more than ever, it’s important to recognize due process and the fact that there are multiple sides to every story. We don’t want to rush to immediate judgment, and will follow this closely as more detail comes to light.” A statement from the network reads.

As well as the assault claims, The Telegraph has since outlined a series of other incidents involving the 41-year-old. Including one occasion in 2017 where he had to be ‘restrained by players, officials and spectators’ after trying to choke an opponent at a paddle tennis tournament in America. He has also been previously accused of making homophobic remarks, as well as domestic violence against his ex-wife. Although his lawyer, Shawn Holley, has denied this in a statement sent to metro.co.uk.

“Mr. Gimelstob unequivocally and absolutely denies ever engaging in domestic violence or homophobic behaviour of any kind. Any suggestions to the contrary are false.” Said Holley.

In the wake of the controversy, former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt has called for Gimelstob to be removed from the ATP Board. Gimelstob has been part of the seven-member board since 2008 and represent players from the Americas region. He has been previously mentioned as a potential successor to ATP CEO Chris Kermode.

‘Innocent until proven guilty’

Responding to Hewitt, Isner has defended Gimelstob. A long-time member of his coaching team. During one stage of Isner’s career, Gimelstob accompanied him on the tour for a three-year period before it was halted by family issues facing the former player.

“Of course Justin is very close to me, as a friend and as a coach,” Isner told reporters on Tuesday, according to ESPN. “But even if he wasn’t, at the current time I would still support him because he’s innocent until proven guilty. We’ll know the facts soon enough. It might not be a popular opinion, but as of now, I have to give Justin benefit of doubt.”

Isner, who won his maiden Masters title in Miami earlier this year, then went on to take a swipe at Hewitt. Bringing up an incident the Australian was involved in during the 2001 US Open. Hewitt, who was 20 at the time, attracted criticism after suggesting during his match against James Blake that the official penalised him because he had a similar skin colour to Blake. He was foot-faulted twice during the third set of the match by a black linesman. Afterwards Hewitt insisted that ‘there was nothing racial said out there’ and Blake gave him the benefit of the doubt.

“I don’t think [Justin] should take a leave right now,” Isner commented on Gimelstob’s position on the ATP Board.
“We don’t know the facts yet. Hewitt doesn’t know the facts, either. He’s the guy who was involved in his own nasty situation with James Blake [at the 2001 US Open], and I’m not calling for his head, or for him to step down from working with Tennis Australia. He’s being arrogant.”

Gimelstob is out on bail until his hearing on December 12th.

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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Hubert Hurkacz beats Alexander Zverev to reach the second final of his career in Halle

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Hubert Hurkacz moved past this year’s Roland Garros finalist Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in 1 hour and 33 minutes to reach the second final of his career at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Hurkacz will be aiming to win the second title of his career at this tournament two years after his triumph. 

Hurkacz fired 17 aces and saved all four break points he faced in the first game of the opening set to clinch his fifth top 10 win on grass. The Pole won 81% of his first serve points. 

The first set went on serve en route to the tie-break. Hurkacz earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. Hurkacz his only break in the third game of the second set to win the second set 6-4. 

“I really love grass. The game suits my game and the atmosphere here, having the full crowd is incredible. It brings so much joy to the players”, said Hurkacz. 

Hurkacz improved to 1-3 in his head-to-head matches against Zverev. The Polish player will aim to clinch the ninth ATP Tour title of his career in his 11th ATP Tour final. 

Hurkacz won the Halle tournament in 2022 and reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2021. 

Zverev holds a record of 37 wins to 11 defeats this season. 

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