Unpredictability Is Good For Women’s Tennis, Says Victoria Azarenka - UBITENNIS
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Unpredictability Is Good For Women’s Tennis, Says Victoria Azarenka

The former world No.1 doesn’t think ‘everybody will be ever satisfied’ when it comes to the WTA Tour.

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The openness of the women’s tour is something that makes the sport more exciting for fans, according to two-time grand slam champion Victoria Azarenka.

 

With the exception of a few players such as Serena Williams, the WTA tour has seen many struggled for consistency throughout the season. This year four different women won grand slam titles for the second time in a row. In the Premier events, 12 different players triumphed at 21 different tournaments. Petra Kvitova was the only player to have won a Premier-level event four times this season.

“There is a part of it that’s exciting,” Azarenka said during an interview with stuff.co.nz.
“Over the last 15 years or so, the generations have changed a couple of times, from when I came on the tour and now I feel like a veteran.
“Although when I came on the tour Serena [Williams] was there and today she’s still here. So there are a couple of players that have lasted and it’s the same with [Maria] Sharapova.
“So there’s a bit of that and there are players who’ve come up who are maybe not as consistent throughout the year, but can definitely show a big game and big potential.”

Some argue that women’s tennis can’t win. With the continuous criticisms concerning the lack of consistency, Azarenka believes that if it was the opposite, some would brand the sport ‘boring.’ For example, between 1991-1993 all of the major titles were won be either Monica Seles or Steffi Graf.

“When we had one person winning a lot of grand slams, people were saying it’s boring and always the same person. I don’t think everybody will ever be satisfied, because in the men’s tennis that’s been happening for the last 15 years.” Explained Azarenka.

On the men’s tour it is a different story with fans relishing the dominance of the Big Four. A group made up of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray. Between them they have won 54 grand slam tournaments since the 2003 Wimbledon Championships.

Azarenka will start her new season at the ASB Classic in New Zealand. She is on the verge of breaking back into the top 50 for the first time since becoming a mother. This year Azarenka has won 17 out of the 29 matches she has played on the tour.

“”I’ve been working hard for the last 10 or so weeks. I’ve definitely put a lot of work in and now it’s time to perform.” She said.
“I’m not at the competitive tournament mindset just yet, because it’s a little too early, but I’m looking forward to seeing after all the work I’ve put in, what’s going to come out of that.”

The upcoming tournament will be the second time Azarenka has played in New Zealand and the first since 2006.

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Maria Sharapova will miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo

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Maria Sharapova is set to miss the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, as she has committed to play the World Team Tennis at Orange County Breakers in the United States from 28 to 29 July during the same week as the Tokyo event.

 

“I am excited to be back with the Breakers again. The competition in World Tennis is always strong and I am looking forward to playing in team format again”, said Sharapova.

Before the US Open 2019 the five-time Grand Slam champion appointed new coach Riccardo Piatti in her team.

Sharapova has announced that she will be playing in several exhibition matches like the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi, the Hawaii Open and the Kooyong Classic before the Australian Open.

 

 

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Stan Wawrinka, Daniel Medvedev, Fabio Fognini and Gael Monfils set to highlight the Diryah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia

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Stan Wawrinka, Gael Monfils, Danil Medvedev and Fabio Fognini are set to take part in the Diryah Tennis Cup, the first ever professional tennis tournament, which takes place from 12 to 14 December 2020.

 

Diriyah is a UNESCO World Tennis Heritage Site will host a hard-court tournament at the Diryah Arena, where the boxing match between Anthony Joshua and Antony Ruiz took place last weekend.

The exhibition tournament will feature Stan Wawrinka, Gael Monfils, Danil Medvedev, Fabio Fognini, David Goffin, Lucas Pouille, John Isner and this year’s Australian Open semifinalist Lucas Pouille.

Medvedev is the highest ranked player in the Saudi Arabia tournament. The Russian player won four titles in Sofia, Montreal and St. Petersburg and Shanghai and reached the final at the US Open finishing runner-up to Rafael Nadal.

“Saudi Arabia will be a big part of my preparation for the new season. The heat and the conditions will be similar to Australia. It will be a great test for us. It’s in our preseason, so we will want to get that match time in to prepare for the new season. The fans should expect us to fight hard like in any tournament. It will be competitive and hopefully they will be lots of fans coming to support us there. Hopefully I can play some great tennis, help the country raise awareness of the sport and inspire people to play. Looking at the players confirmed it’s a really great field. I have heard a lot of good things about Saudi Arabia. I am excited to promote tennis there especially as it’s the first tournament”, said Medvedev.

Wawrinka won three Grand Slam tournaments at the 2014 Australian Open, at 2015 Roland Garros and at the 2016 US Open. This year the Swiss player finished runner-up to Gael Monfils in Rotterdam and to Andy Murray in Antwerp. Wawrinka reached the French Open quarter final. He upset Novak Djokovic in the US Open fourth round before losing to eventual finalist Danil Medvedev. He ended the season ranked world number 16.

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Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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