Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal face a tough draw in Monte-Carlo - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal face a tough draw in Monte-Carlo



Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal lead the main draw in the 113th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters 1000 tournament, which traditionally kicks off the European clay season.


Nadal claimed his 11th Monte-Carlo title last year and went on to win Barcelona, Rome and his 11th trophy at Roland Garros. Djokovic won two titles in 2013 and 2015. Stan Wawrinka broke the dominance of Nadal and Djokovic when he won in 2014 beating Roger Federer in an all-Swiss final.

The Draw Ceremony was held in the Mediterrenean gardens of the Monte-Carlo Bay and Resort, the official tournament hotel.

Djokovic, who won the Monte-Carlo title twice in 2013 and 2015, will start his Monte-Carlo campaign against either Phillip Kohlschreiber or Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round in the top half of the draw. Kohlschreiber in the second round. Kohlschreiber upset Djokovic at Indian Wells last month. If Djokovic overcomes the first hurdle, he could face either 2016 Monte-Carlo finalist and this year’s Rotterdam champion Gael Monfils or this week’s Marrakesh semifinalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the third round. Djokovic is projected to meet either 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals Stefanos Tsitsipas or Danil Medvedev in the quarter final. Tsitsipas beat Djokovic in their only head-to-head match at last year’s Rogers Cup. This year’s Indian Wells champion and 2018 Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem or Karen Khachanov loom as potential Djokovic’s rivals in the semifinal. Thiem has been drawn in the top half and will start against either Slovakia’s Martin Klizan or a qualifier before a possible third round clash against David Goffin, who leads 7-3 in his 10 head-to-head matches against the Austrian player.

Rafael Nadal, who skipped Miami to prepare for the European clay season, has been drawn in the bottom half and will face a tough second round clash against either John Millman or this year’s Doha champion Roberto Bautista Agut. Nadal is on a collision course for a potential third round against this year’s Miami semifinalist Denis Shapovalov or Grigor Dimitrov. Nadal’s potential quarter final rivals could be Marin Cilic, 2014 Monte-Carlo champion Stan Wawrinka or 2018 Roland Garros semifinalist Marco Cecchinato.


Alexander Zverev has been drawn in the bottom half and could face a very tough second round match against this year’s Miami semifinalist Felix Auger Aliassime in the second round. The young German player, who lost to Jaume Munar in Marrakesh, is on a collision course against last year’s finalist Kei Nishikori or Borna Coric in the quarter final and could meet Nadal in the semifinal.


The draw features intriguing first round matches like Borna Coric vs Hubert Hurkacz (this year’s Indian Wells quarter finalist), Kyle Edmund vs Diego Schwartzman and Stan Wawrinka vs Lucas Pouille.


“This has always been a very special place for me. I watched all of the great champions here as a kid, so it was always a dream for me to be here”, said Nadal during the draw ceremony.  




REPORT: Japanese Tennis Association To Lose One Billion Yen In 2020

The loss of a key men’s event in the country has resulted in millions of dollars being loss in revenue.



Venue of the 2019 Mens Japan Open (image via

The cancellation of a premier tennis event in Japan due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is set to have a massive financial impact on the country’s governing body.


Last month organisers made the decision to scrap the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships this year amid fears of a second wave of the virus in October when the it is set to take place. The tournament is currently categorised as an ATP 500 event and has been held annually since 1973. In 2019 Novak Djokovic won the tournament for the first time in his career without dropping a single set throughout. Other previous winners also include Roger Federer (2006), Rafael Nadal (2010) and Andy Murray (2011).

“Given concerns about a second wave of the infection both in Japan and overseas, we came to the anguished conclusion that we had to cancel,” organisers said in a statement.

It has been estimated that as a result of the move, the Japanese Tennis Association (JTA) will lose millions of dollars in revenue. National news agency Kyodo has estimated the loss to be at least 1 billion Yen ($9.4 million) based on this event alone and no others.

JTA executive director Naohiro Kawatei told Kyodo that moving athletes in and out of the country is problematic due to the current situation. Tokyo has recently raised it’s Coronavirus alert level to the top of a four-point scale after there have been more than 100 new daily cases of the virus in the city for six days in a row. Furthermore, The Bank of Japan has revised down their growth forecasts.

“In addition to players coming from overseas, it is the responsibility of organizers to facilitate their departure, so there are some differences between our sport and others,” said Kawatei.

At present the women’s top tournament in the country is still on the 2020 schedule. The Pan Pacific Open, which is classed as a Premier event, is currently set to take place during the week commencing November 2nd.

Recently the Asian swing of the tennis season has been thrown into jeopardy after the Chinese General Administration of Sports recommended that no sports events take place in the country unless they are related to Olympic qualification. Although sports federations, including both the ATP and WTA, are seeking clarity from officials before they make their next move. China is usually where the majority of Asian tennis events are played, including the WTA Finals.

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Official: No Swiss Indoors In 2020 Due To COVID-19

Roger Federer’s home event was set to take place between October 26th and November 1st.




By Emil Evtimov

The ATP 500 Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel won’t happen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The organizers of the Swiss Indoors already hinted a couple of weeks ago that the tournament in Roger Federer’s hometown was unlikely to happen due to the Coronavirus and the financial impact from the restrictions on spectator capacity.

This year’s edition would have been the 50th anniversary of the tournament, but is now out of the ATP calendar. Organizers are already making plans for the 2021 edition between 23 and 31 October.

“Dear tennis friends, As a result of the Corona pandemic, the world’s third largest indoor tournament has been definitively cancelled,” a statement issued by the tournament reads.
“The ATP has now formally approved the request to cancel the Swiss Indoors Basel, after the tournament management of the Swiss Indoors had already declared in mid-June that it would be irresponsible and unfeasible to hold the tournament in view of the medical, social and economic uncertainty.”

Founded by Roger Brennwald, the Swiss Indoors had been held every year since 1970. It became an event on the Grand Prix Circuit in 1977 and has been classed as a ATP 500 tournament since 2009. 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, who is a former ball boy at the event, has won the title a record 10 times.

The latest development leaves another big question mark on the remainder of the 2020 season. ATP president Andrea Gaudenzi spoke frankly during an interview with Sky Sport Italia and admitted that he is still unsure of what the final quarter of the calendar will look like.

“We have no idea how the Asian swing or the European indoor season could go. It might sound obvious, but I can’t predict how the virus will affect us going forward, there are too many variables to consider,”  he said.

As of today, the ATP Tour should restart on 14 August with the Citi Open in Washington, followed by the Cincinnati Masters and US Open. After that the tour goes to Europe for a mini clay season with the two Masters (Madrid and Rome) and Roland Garros.

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France’s Lucas Pouille To Undergo Surgery

The 26-year-old has suffered another setback to his plans for a return to the Tour.



Lucas Pouille (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Lucas Pouille says he is hopeful that he will be able to play tennis again this season after announcing plans to undergo surgery.


The world No.58 confirmed on Tuesday morning that he will be having an operation on his right elbow later this month in Paris. Pouille has only managed to play one match this year on the ATP Tour due to the injury, which was at the Indian Wells Challenger tournament where he lost in straight sets to Noah Rubin.  The issue has been bothering the Frenchman since last October when he shut down his season early after the Shanghai Masters.

“It’s never an easy decision to take, but I will get surgery on my right elbow this month in Paris. After new medical exams, it appeared it was the best solution in order to finally be able to play pain-free. I still hope to play before the end of the season.” Pouille said in a statement.

Pouille initially looked to be on track to making a return to action after participating in the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in June. An exhibition tournament created by Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou. However, he lost two matches to Feliciano Lopez and Elliot Benchetrit before being forced to withdraw from the competition due to his elbow.

In recent days the coach of the former world No.10,  Loic Courteau, said they will not be travelling to the US Open next month. Although it is unclear if Courteau’s comments were made before or after the decision to undergo surgery was made.

“I will not be in New York, for the good reason that Lucas… is not going to play the tournament,” he told French television.

Pouille has won five ATP titles so far in his career and has earned more than $7 million in prize money. He is currently the eighth highest ranked French player on the ATP Tour.

Pouille’s ATP titles breakdown

2018 1 Montpellier (Indoor/Hard)
2017 3 Vienna (Indoor/Hard)
Stuttgart (Outdoor/Grass)
Budapest (Outdoor/Clay)
2016 1 Metz (Indoor/Hard)


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