Martina Navratilova Blasts The ITF Over Treatment Of Women’s Tennis - UBITENNIS
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Martina Navratilova Blasts The ITF Over Treatment Of Women’s Tennis

The tennis legend has told reporters that she is ‘not happy’ about the current level of equality in tennis.

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Former world No.1 Martin Navratilova has hit out at the International Tennis Federation over their management of the Fed Cup.

 

The multiple grand slam champion has accused the governing body of prioritising men’s tennis over their female counterparts. Taking a swipe at their decision to go ahead with changes to the Davis Cup first. Later this year the 119-year-old competition will host a week-long final on a neutral ground in Madrid for the first time in history. A move that has split opinion within the sport. It has been given the green light following a $3 billion financially backing by Kosmos over the next 25 years.

“Clearly we don’t have it (gender equality) at the moment because the ITF changed the format of the Davis Cup and never gave the women a second thought.” Navratilova told a group of reporters in Melbourne earlier this week.
“We are an afterthought. I’m not happy about that.”

In August the ITF announced a $3.7 million increase in prize money for the Fed Cup this year. Elevating the overall prize money to $7.5 million for the 16 teams participating in the World Group and World Group II. There has also been a timetable launched concerning a revamp of the competition with the possibility of a 16-team final being held in one city. Similar to that of the new Davis Cup.

Despite the pledge, Navratilova believes there are still issues concerning equality. In the current ITF Board of Directors, only three out of the 14 members are women. One of which includes vice-president Katrina Adams. Meanwhile, only three out of the 10 members of the WTA Board of directors are female.

“Men are on the boards of the big corporations, the boards. They have money at their disposal and they are much more likely to throw it at male athletes, than female athletes.” Navratilova claims.
“So we have a lot of inequality to overcome overall.”

It is tough to compare the fairness of endorsement payouts between the two genders in tennis. The men’s tour has the luxury of the ‘Big Four.’ A group of individuals that have dominated the sport for more than a decade. Meanwhile, women’s tennis has had the dominance of Serena Williams, but is more unpredictable. Highlighted by the fact the last eight grand slam titles have been won by different players.

One example of Navratilova’s point is a report conducted by Forbes magazine last summer. In it, they list the 10 highest paid tennis players between June 2017 – June 2018. Looking solely at endorsements, Williams was the only woman to break the $10 million mark. In comparison, five men surpassed the benchmark.

Players endorsements (June 2016-2017)
Roger Federer – $65M
Kei Nishikori – $33M
Rafael Nadal – $27M
Novak Djokovic – $22M
Serena Williams – $18M
Andy Murray – $10.5M
Caroline Wozniacki – $6M
Grigor Dimitrov – $6M
Sloane Stephens – $5.5M
Garbine Muguruza – $5.5M

Despite the disparities, Navratilova points out that that there have been significant improvements since she was playing on the tour. Pointing out the huge prize money pool at this year’s WTA Finals, which will be a record $14 million.

“Women’s tennis is growing right now. For example, at the season ending tournament, the women are getting a lot more money than the guys. In some ways we are doing better, but there is still inequality.” She said.
“It’s the same on the commercial level. We’re inching up there, but there is a long way to go.”

Equal prize money has been in force at every grand slam since the 2007 Wimbledon Championships.

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Italy leads 2-0 against Romania in Billie Jean King Cup Play-off

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Italy leads 2-0 over Romania in the Billie Jean King Cup by BNP Paribas Play-off against Romania in Cluj-Napoca.

 

World number 111 Elisabetta Cocciaretto beat debutant Irina Bara 6-1 6-4 to give Italy a 1-0 lead in the first tie. Cocciaretto cruised through to a 6-1 lead. Bara bounced back by taking a 3-0 lead in the second set, but Cocciaretto won six of the next seven games to claim a straight-set win. 

Italy took a 2-0 lead after last year’s Roland Garros quarter finalist Martina Trevisan battled past Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2 2-6 7-6 (7-5) after 3 hours and 7 minutes after saving two match points. The third set featured 10 breaks in 12 12 games. Trevisan won four consecutive games from 2-2 with two breaks to win the first set 6-2. 

Buzarnescu went up a double break to take a 3-0 lead and never looked back to claim the second set 6-2. 

The third set started with four consecutive breaks. Both players held their serve in the fifth and sixth games. Trevisan saved missed two match points at 4-5 15-40 to hold serve. Buzarnescu did not close out the match after serving after serving at 6-5. Both players traded breaks in the next two service games to send the match to the tie-break, which featured six mini-breaks in the first ten points. Trevisan won the final two points from 5-5 to take a thrilling tie-break 7-5.

“I fought for every ball, even if I did not feel very well in the latter stages of the match. This fighting spirit brought me the victory”, said Trevisan. 

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Andrey Rublev reaches his second consecutive Masters 1000 semifinal after three-set win over Rafael Nadal in Monte-Carlo

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Andrey Rublev battled past Rafael Nadal 6-2 4-6 6-2 on Court Rainier III after 2 hours and 32 minutes at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters to move into his second consecutive Masters 1000 semifinal. Rublev beat Nadal for the first time in his career. 

 

Rublev played his second hard-fought match one day after beating Roberto Bautista Agut in almost three hours. 

Rublev equalled the biggest result of his career on clay and reached his second consecutive Masters 1000 semifinal after Miami.

“I don’t know what to say. I cannot imagine being in the situation of Rafa, knowing that you are the best player on clay and you have the pressure every time. I think it must be incredibly tough every time. I am in shock with the way he is playing under the pressure and that is why he is a legend”, said Rublev. 

Rublev saved eight of the twelve break points and earned seven break points. The Russian player got three breaks to cruise through to a 6-2 lead. 

Rublev started the match with an immediate break in the first game, as Nadal made a double fault. Nadal broke back at love in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Rublev converted his third break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Nadal netted a forehand to drop serve, as he was serving at 2-4. Rublev served out the first set 6-2 after 38 minutes, as Nadal sprayed a forehand. 

Rublev went up a set and a break in the first game, as Nadal sent a backhand wide. The 2021 Rotterdam winner saved a break point in the fourth game for 3-1 and earned three break points in the fifth game. Nadal fended them off for 2-3. Rublev saved four break points to open up a 4-2 lead. 

Nadal saved a break point with a forehand winner in the seventh game. The Spaniard broke back to draw level to 4-4 and held serve at 30 in the ninth game to open up a 5-4 forcing Rublev to serve to stay in the set. Nadal claimed his second consecutive break to seal the second set 6-4  after 74 minutes forcing the match to the third set. 

Rublev got a break in the first game before wasting two game points. Nadal broke straight back, as Rublev netted a forehand. Rublev broke serve for the sixth time in the third game to take a 2-1 lead and consolidated the break with a forehand down the line winner to open up a 3-1 lead. Rublev broke at 15 to race out to a 4-1 lead with a forehand winner and held serve with an unreturned serve in the seventh game. Rublev served out the match at 5-2 setting up a semifinal against Casper Ruud. 

“Casper is playing really well. I have known him for a long time. He is an amaziong player player and every match against him was dramatic. We had really great rallies and a really great level of tennis. It is going to be super tough. He is in great shape. He finished today much earlier than me. We will see what is going to happen tomorrow. I will try to recover as best as I can and to do my best tomorrow”, said Rublev. 

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Casper Ruud advances to his second Masters 1000 semifinal

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Casper Ruud beat defending champion Fabio Fognini 6-4 6-3 to reach the second Masters 1000 semifinal of his career. 

 

Fognini saved a break point in the second game to hold serve at deuce in the second game. Ruud fended off four break points in the fifth game and held his next two service games. Fognini dropped his serve at 4-5 to lose the first set after wasting a 40-15. 

Ruud went up an early break at love in the second game of the second set to take a 2-0 lead. Fognini had to save three break points in the fourth game before breaking serve in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. 

Ruud rallied from 15-40 down on Fognini’s serve to break serve at deuce in the eighth game earning his chance to serve out the match. The Scandinavian player sealed his win on his first match point in the 10th game after a net cord error from Fognini. 

Last September Ruud beat another Italian star Matteo Berrettini to reach the Masers 1000 semifinal in Rome. He became the highest-ranked player and the first ATP Tour champion from Norway by winning the 2020 Buenos Aires title, surpassing his father Christian Ruud, who peaked at number 39 after reaching the 1995 Bastad final. He advanced to Grand Slam fourth round for the first time at the 2021 Australian Open. 

“It was a tough match today. It has been a great week for me so far. I have beaten good players and today was a very big challenge. Fabio is the defending champion here and he plays very tricky. He can hit winners from anywhere and you really need to be ready for anything to come at you. I was happy with the way I was able to stay steady and make him play an extra ball here and there to force an error out of his play. It’s a nice feeling to be in the semifinals”, said Ruud. 

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