After Criticism from Federer And Nadal, Off-Court Politics Overshadows Indian Wells - UBITENNIS
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After Criticism from Federer And Nadal, Off-Court Politics Overshadows Indian Wells

At the Masters 1000 event a war of words have broken out between some key figures.

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At a tournament that is nicknamed the ‘fifth grand slam’ of tennis, it is ironic that Novak Djokovic’s biggest battle has been off the court.

 

The world No.1 holds the position of president of the Players Council. A body set up to speak on behalf of those on the tour and give their recommendations to the board of directors. However, in recent days the group has come under heavy attack following the removal of ATP CEO Chris Kermode. A decision that has been backed by some members of the council. Although Djokovic is staying coy on what he thinks.

“I don’t want to express myself as for or against, I’m part of the council, I’m president of the council and I have responsibility, and confidentiality, that I have to be responsible to,” said Djokovic.
“By sharing that information I expose myself, and I become liable to breach of confidentiality within that structure. So I’m not willing to risk that, because I respect the governing structure.”

To add to the fiasco, the Serbian has come under fire from two of his biggest rivals. Both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have said they received a lack of communication from the body. Something Nadal said he was ‘disappointed’ with earlier this week. A sentiment echoed by Federer on Sunday during his press conference with the Swiss – German press.

“Unfortunately he [Djokovic] had no time,” said Federer. “That’s hard to understand for me … I want to know what the motive was, [and] what Kermode does not seem to have done well. I would have tended to be more for him.”

At an impasse, the war of words continues and so does the media scrutiny. The main reason for this is the lack of clarity there is. In recent months there has been talk of a new vision for the future of the sport by the council, but it has been mainly behind the scenes. Little has been said about what the selection process to replace Kermode will be. Furthermore, the secrecy of the council’s vote has raised questions about if the structure of the ATP Tour should be more transparent.

Brazilian doubles specialise Bruno Soares serves on the council. During an interview with Global Esporte, the 37-year-old said the decision to keep their vote on Kermode’s future secret was because there was a divide among the members. In other terms, the decision was a gentlemen’s agreement and not mandatory.

“I do not think the dialogue has failed. I at least talked to the vast majority of the people I represent. I think each of the Council has played its part.” Said Soares.
“Obviously it is difficult to talk to everyone, but what happens is that the subjects are always exposed, everyone is aware. If anyone has any doubts, it is up to the person to look for his representative in the Council, to ask, to ask questions and to suggest things.
“So we can not always find everyone. Me and Jamie (Murray) represent from 1st to 100th in doubles. Imagine running after 100 (tennis players) … we communicate a lot by email, but a lot of things are up to people who have an interest in looking for us.”

The Djokovic-lead council has no direct involvement in the decision to remove Kermode. Under the current structure, they debate topics and pass their feedback to the three Players’ representatives, who make the decisions. Those individuals are Tennis Channel executive David Egdes, Sportradar’s director of communications Alex Inglot and former player Justin Gimelstob.

“I think Chris (Kermode) did a great job. He was a great president in those five years that he had, now another year to complete the sixth, were two mandates.” Soares explained.
“This week, we had a meeting with the Players Council staff with the Tournament Board staff. Dialogue is increasing and this is how we will achieve our goals. In the end, everyone wants it to get better. We want the tournaments to improve, the tournaments want us to participate. It’s a business. Everyone wants to earn more, make more money. I think working together is the way to do it.”

It is only hoped that the new leader of the ATP will reunite the tour once more. Whoever that will be. Although Federer has laid out his opinion on the qualities the candidate must have.

“We need – I guess in my opinion – someone who knows the game.” He said.
“Otherwise we will lose a year to that person meeting all the people.
“We’ve had it in the past, it takes a lot of time. Yeah, a lot of work ahead of us to say the least.”

With so much drama going on, it is sometimes easy to forget about the matches that are taking place at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

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Kyle Edmund Confirms Split With Coach After Early Exit In Chengdu

It is a turbulent time for the former Australian Open semi-finalist.

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Kyle Edmund’s recent lull in form is showing no signs of letting up after he crashed out in the first round of the Chengdu Open in China.

 

The seventh seed could only win five games during his 6-2, 6-3, loss to Chile’s Christian Garin. A player ranked just one spot below him in the ATP rankings at 33rd. During the 72-minute encounter, Edmund won 50% of his service points compared to his opponents tally of 75%. He was also broken two consecutive times in both sets.

“I think it’s my best match this year on hard court for sure,” Garin told atptour.com. “Kyle is a tough opponent to face in the first round, so I’m very happy with the way I played.”

Edmund has now lost four consecutive matches on the tour dating back to the Rogers Cup in August. Something that last occurred during the European clay-court swing of the tour earlier this year. However, two of those losses were to rising star Daniil Medvedev, who has won more matches than any other ATP player so far in 2019.

Shortly after his exit from Chengdu, Edmund confirmed that he has parted ways with coach Mark Hilton. A former professional tennis player who reached the second round of the 2004 Wimbledon Championships. The two officially ended their partnership last week.

Until a replacement is found, Edmund will be guided in Asia by Colin Beecher. Beecher had worked with Edmund in the past and is the former captain of the British Fed Cup team. The 48-year-old is also currently working with Dan Evans, who is also without a permanent coach.

Evans faired better on the first day of competition in Chengdu. Taking on Chinese world No.222 Bai Yan, he battled to a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(4), victory after two-and-a-half hours of play. Evans was down a break twice in the decider before fighting back to clinch victory. He will play Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.

Evans has now recorded 36 wins in 2019 compared to 17 for Edmund. Although Edmund has been hampered by a knee issue in recent months.

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga becomes the first player to win four titles in Metz

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came back from one set down to beat Slovena’s Aljaz Bedene 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 after becoming the first player to win four titles at the Moselle Open in Metz.

 

Tsonga becomes the ninth French winner in the past eleven editions of the Metz ATP 250 tournament. Since Gael Monfils’s triumph in 2009 David Goffin and Peter Gojowczyk are the only non French players to win the Moselle Open.

Tsonga, who made his come-back from a seven-month lay-off due to a left knee injury at last year’s edition of the Metz tournament, held each of his 17 service games and dropped just four first serve points.

The first set went on serve without break points en route to the tie-break. Bedene opened up a 4-0 lead en route to winning the tie-break 7-4 after 57 minutes.

Tsonga saved the only break point of the second set which came down to the tie-break. Tsonga won the tie-break 7-4 to force the match to the decider.

Tsonga claimed the first break in the second game of the third set to race out to a 3-0 lead. Bedene saved two break points in the fourth game and one more chance in the sixth game but he he held his serve at deuce. Tsonga never looked back in his service games and closed out the match on his first championships point with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Tsonga has won 10 of his 18 trophies on French soil.

“Mentally I was very strong. I served really well when I needed to. The match was not easy at all. Aljaz was playing really well and it was a long match. I am definitely happy to win here again. It was a very difficult match. I stayed calm, focused on doing the basics well and waited for the right moment to change the rallies. ”,said Tsonga.

 Bedene beat two seeded players Gilles Simon and Benoit Paire to reach his first final since Buenos Aires last February.

“I only dropped serve twice this week, so that is probably the best serving week of my career. I had chances today, I had a set, 4-3 and a break point. He served well and I picked the wrong side, but it was close and it could have gone either way. I am disappointed. I wanted to win, but I am also happy with the week”, said Bedene.

 

 

 

 

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In-Form Daniil Medvedev Conquers St Petersburg

The world No.4 produced a dominant display to clinch his first ever ATP trophy on home soil.

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Rapidly rising star Daniil Medvedev produced an emphatic display to become the first Russian man to win the St Petersburg Open since 2004.

 

The world No.4 brushed aside Croatia’s Borna Coric 6-3, 6-1, to clinch his third ATP trophy of 2019. Medvedev was in clinical form against Coric from the onset as he dropped only eight points behind his serve and broke four times in total. The only negative to Medvedev’s performance was his unforced error count of 21, which was more than twice the number of winners he produced (nine).

“I’m really happy, my style is more to hide my emotions, but it was hard not to scream with joy,” Medvedev said during his on-court interview.
“I am really very happy, and thank you very much for your (the crowd) support, today was a full house.’
“I won’t list all the people to whom I would like to devote this victory to because even if my tennis is where I am now (in fourth place in the world), all this would have been impossible without many people.”

Sunday’s victory continues what is a remarkable run for the 23-year-old, who has reached the final of five consecutive tournaments on the ATP Tour. During the Summer Medvedev clinched his maiden Masters title in Cincinnati and then finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the US Open. He has now recorded 54 wins this season. More than any other player on the tour so far this year.

Medvedev’s surge in form is one that has impressed Coric, who was playing this week for the first time since withdrawing from the last grand slam of the season due to a back issue. St Petersburg was the first final Coric has contested since October 2018.

“Naturally, he picked up the keys to my game. He was better in absolutely everything and did everything much better than me.” Coric analyzed during his press conference.
“I tried everything I could, all the tactics and everything I could think of. Nothing more to say here. He had the answers to all my questions. He played just incredible.”

Medvedev has now won 24 out of his last 27 matches played and claimed 56 out of 68 sets played. He is the fourth Russian to win the St Petersburg title and first since Mikhail Youzhny back in 2004.

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