Wang Qiang leads a strong Chinese quartet in Shenzhen - UBITENNIS
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Wang Qiang leads a strong Chinese quartet in Shenzhen

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World number 20 Wang Qiang will be the top Chinese player in the line-up of the Shenzhen Open next January. The field also features Zheng Saisai and Zhang Shuai, who are ranked inside the top 40, and world number 70 Wang Yafan. The four Chinese players will face a very tough field led by former Grand Slam champions Maria Sharapova and Jelena Ostapenko, last year’s top 10 Caroline Garcia, world number 13 Aryna Sabalenka, who is the highest ranked player in the field and won the biggest tournament of her career in Wuhan last September, clinched the title at the Connecticut Cup in New Haven and reached the semifinal in Cincinnati.

 

During the 2018 season Wang won two WTA International tournaments in Nanchang and Guangzhou and became the first Chinese player to reach the semifinals in Wuhan. The following week she beat Jelena Ostapenko, Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka en route to reaching the semifinals in Beijing before losing to former world number 1 Caroline Wozniacki. In Hong Kong the Chinese player rallied from 1-4 down in the third set to beat Garbine Muguruza in the semifinal en route to reaching the final, where she lost to 18-year-old Ukrainian player Dayana Yastremska. At the 2018 WTA Elite Trophy she lost to Daria Kasatkina in three sets and beat Madison Keys in three sets 1-6 6-3 6-1, but she failed to qualify for the semifinal.

In Shenzhen Wang will be looking to follow in the footsteps of her illustrious compatriot Li Na, who won the first two editions of this tournament.

“This is fantastic for tennis in China to see so many Chinese players in the main draw. In 2013 and 2014 Li Na won our first two tournaments. Maybe one of those two ladies will join her on the honour role in 2019. It is very exciting for the fans to be able to cheer on players from their own nation and we look forward to a great atmosphere around the courts. One young player is sure to attact plenty of attention and this is Aryna Sabalenka, the 20-year-old player, who has enjoyed a stunning season on the WTA season”, said Tournament Director Luiz Carvalho.

 

 

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Danil Medvedev beats Egor Gerasimov in St. Petersburg to reach his fifth consecutive final

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Danil Medvedev edged past Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov 7-5 7-5 in 91 minutes to reach the final at the St. Petersburg Open.

 

Medvedev broke serve in the 11th game to win the opening set 7-5. After a trade of breaks in the seventh and eighth games of the second set, Medvedev broke for the second time in the 11th game and served out the second set 7-5 at deuce.

The 23-year-old Russian player has become the first player since Novak Djokovic in 2018 to reach five conscutive finals. This summer he won his maiden Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati and finished runner-up to Nick Kyrgios in Washington and to Rafael Nadal in Montreal and at the US Open.

Medvedev will be bidding to become the first Russian player to win the St. Petersburg Open since Mi

“I am extremely happy to be in my first final in my home country. I came here to win the tournament, that’s what I am doing. I am looking forward to the final. Tough opponent, and hopefully a great fight tomorrow”, said Medvedev.

Medvedev set up a final against Borna Coric, who came back from one set down to beat Joao Sousa 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1. The young Croatian player has reached his first final since losing to Novak Djokovic in Shanghai in October 2018.

Sousa won the opening set 6-3 with his only break in in the fourth game. The Portuguese player saved two breaks in the second and tenth games. Coric fended off two break points to hold his serve after three deuces. Coric took the 7-5 edge in the tie-break. Coric broke three times in the first, fifth and seventh games to win the third set 6-1.

 

 

 

 

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Daniil Medvedev Scores Sponsorship Deal With BMW

The 23-year-old is set to attend a series of activities organised by the car manufacturer over the coming months.

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Daniil Medvedev’s recent surge in success on the tour seems to be also boosting his profile away from the court after he teamed up with car manufacturer BMW.

 

The world No.4 will take part in a series of activities involving the Russian branch of the BMW company in both his home country and abroad. A contract was signed earlier this week following a meeting in St Petersburg, where Medvedev is playing his latest competition on the ATP Tour. He has agreed to feature in a series of campaigns promoting the BMW M, which specialises in sports cars. No financial details of the contract have been published.

“BMW M is BMW’s fastest, most powerful and most innovative sports car. And Daniil Medvedev is the brightest and most titled Russian tennis player right now.” The director general of BMW Russia, Stefan Teuchert, said in a statement.
“On the tennis court, Medvedev demonstrates qualities typical of BMW sports cars – speed, power, intelligence and a strong character. We are glad that we managed to agree on cooperation, and we look forward to future joint projects.”

23-year-old Medvedev has triggered a surge of interest in him following his summer breakthrough. Prior to the final grand slam of the season, he reached three consecutive finals in Washington, Canada and Cincinnati. Becoming only the third man in history to do after Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi. It was in Cincinnati where he won his first Masters title. Then at the US Open, Medvedev finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal after contesting a five-set epic against the Spaniard.

https://twitter.com/DaniilMedwed/status/1174307458216538112

Medvedev will be hoping to continue his surge of form this week at the St Petersburg Open where he is the top seed. He is yet to contest an ATP final on Russian territory. However, the rising star has stated that his recent surge in success has given him extra belief on the tour.

“I have become convinced: when I am in good shape, I can beat anyone, or at least give a fight. It is most important. I seemed to know this before, but was not completely sure. Now I know this for sure.” Medvedev said during an interview with Sport Express.

According to the ATP, Medvedev has been the most successful player in indoor tournaments on the Tour within the past 52 weeks. Claiming two trophies and winning 22 matches overall. Giving him a 0.786 winning percentage.

He will open up his campaign in St Petersburg on Thursday against compatriot Evgeny Donskoy.

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Pre-Wimbledon Shake-Up Sees Birmingham Lose Premier Status And Mallorca Gain Men’s Tournament

Changes have been made to the grass-court season from 2020 onwards.

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A Premier grass-court women’s event have been moved to another country following changes made to the schedule of tournaments leading up to Wimbledon.

 

The Birmingham International, which is the only woman’s-only event held in the UK, has had their status reduced. Going from Premier level to international and subsequently dropping down from offering $1 million to $250,000 in prize money. The move comes after organisers of the event admitted they have found it financially tough to maintain the event and make a profit. Birmingham had held a premier status since 2014 with past winners including Ash Barty, Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber.

Instead the German capital of Berlin will host a new Premier event. It will take place at the Lawn Tennis Turnier Club Rot-Weiß (LTTC), which once held the German Open between 1979-2008. A clay-court tournament that was also part of the WTA Tour. However, this time round the surface will be grass. In a statement published by the LTTC, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to be a patron for the new event and there will some redevelopment of the venue in the coming months.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the absolute world-class women’s tennis on the grounds of the LTTC “Rot-Weiß” In the coming summer from 15 to 21 June 2020! Twelve years after the last German Open, our club will live up to many expectations with this worldwide international tournament.” A press release reads.

There have also been proposals for a separate WTA tournament to take place in Germany the week after Berlin in Bad Homburg. The event would replace the Istanbul Open, however, it is still subject to approval from the WTA board.

On the ATP Tour, there has been a change to one of the events taking place during the week before Wimbledon. Mallorca will now hold a 250 tournament instead of Antalya. Raising speculation about if Rafael Nadal could play in the event in the future. Nadal hasn’t played a grass-court event outside of Wimbledon since 2015, but lives in the Balearic Island.

“A strong and successful grass court season is absolutely critical to the future of grass court tennis and thus the future success of The Championships.” The chairman of the AELTC, Philip Brook, said in a statement.
“Having worked to expand the grass court season to be a meaningful gap between Roland-Garros and Wimbledon, we are pleased to be making these significant further investments into ensuring that quality grass court tournaments can be provided at all levels of the professional game for the best interests of the players and the broader tennis family.”

The 2020 grass swing of the tour will get underway during the week commencing June 8th.

Full schedule

Week 1: Nottingham (WTA International), S’Hertogenbosch (ATP 250/WTA International), Stuttgart (ATP 250)

Week 2: Berlin (WTA Premier), Birmingham (WTA International), Queen’s (ATP 500), Halle (ATP 500)

Week 3: Mallorca (ATP 250), Eastbourne (WTA Premier) – TBC: Bad Homburg (WTA International)

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