This year’s Monte-Carlo champion Fabio Fognini beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-4 after 1 hour and 24 minutes to advance to the second round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome.
Fognini earned the first break in the fourth game with a down-line backhand. Tsonga earned two break-back points in the next game, but Fognini saved them with his serve to open up a 4-1 lead. Tsonga fended off three set points in the eighth game. In the ninth game Fognini saved a break point with a backhand error from Tsonga and closed out the opening set 6-3 on his sixth set point.
Fognini got an early break at the start of the second set with a forehand passing shot on the break point. The world number 12 player went up a double break to race out to a 4-1 lead. Tsonga pulled one of the two breaks back in the seventh game for 3-4. Fognini held on his service games to close out the second set 6-4 securing his spot in the second round, where he will face either Radu Albot or Benoit Paire.
“To play the first round against Jo. It was a realy tough match, because he was injured. He had surgery on the knee. He tried to recover his best performance, but at the same time I knew that it could be really dangerous. I am happy because especially for me here, it’s always tough to play. I am happy with my performance, happy to be again and I am happy to be again in the second second round in Rome”,said Fognini.
Denis Shapovalov beat Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3 7-6 after 1 hour and 35 minutes ending his losing streak that lasted since Miami. Shapovalov avenged his defeat agaainst Carreno Busta, who beat the Canadian player at the 2017 US Open.
Shapovalov converted just one of his twelve break points and never faced a break point.
Carreno Busta fended off two break points in the second game before Shapovalov eraned his only break with a forehand crosscourt winner in the fourth game to open up a 3-1 lead. Shapovalov sealed the first set 6-3 with a service winner in the ninth game.
Shapovalov earned eighth break point chances, but Carreno Busta saved them. Both players held on their service games setting up a tie-break. Shapovalov fought back from 4-5 down by winning three points to clinch the second set. The Canadian Nex Gen player closed out the match after a backhand error from Carreno Busta at 6-5.
Marco Cecchinato fought back from one set down to beat Alex De Minaur 4-6 6-3 6-1 after 2 hours and 12 minutes booking his spot in the second round where he will face world number 56 Phillip Kohlschreiber. Both players traded breaks in the second and third games. De Minaur got his second break in the seventh game and saved a total of four break points in the eighth and tenth games to close out the first set 6-4.De Minaur went up am early break, but Cecchinato broke straight back in the second game.
The Italian player got his second break in the sixth game to seal the second set 6-3. After a trade of breaks in the first and second game Cecchinato broke twice to open up a 4-1 lead. He held on his service games to cruise to winning the decider 6-1
Karen Khachanov battled past Lorenzo Sonego 6-3 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 after 2 hours and 25 minutes to score his ninth win this season. Khachanov broke twice in the second and sixth game and saved a break point in the ninth game, while he was serving for the match.
Albert Ramos Vinolas converted all his four break points in his 6-3 6-1 win over Gael Monfils securing his spot in the second round where he will face either Diego Schwartzman or Japanese qualifier Yoshihito Nishioka.
Novak Djokovic On Why He Didn’t Post Details Of Lockdown Training
The Serbian tennis star has shed some light on his recent training routines as he outlines plans for a Balkan tennis tour.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic has been training almost daily since the world of tennis came to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic but opted to keep his activities out of the limelight to avoid any potential backlash from fellow players.
The ATP Tour has been suspended since March due to the Pandemic with officials hoping to restart the sport in some capacity during the summer ahead of the US Open. Nevertheless Djokovic, who started 2020 by winning 18 matches in a row, has been able to continue practicing in Marbella. He and his family were staying in a house located next to a tennis court.
Speaking with Serbian reports on Monday, the 17-time grand slam champion admitted that he didn’t want to ‘anger’ others by posting updates on social media of him training. Showing that he has been able to stay active more than other players during the lockdown.
“I had the opportunity to train almost every day during coronavirus because we stayed in a house next to a tennis court. I played a lot of tennis on a hard surface, but I didn’t upload anything on the net so as not to anger other players,” he told The Telegraf.
“I started recently on clay, I had two training sessions here, I feel good physically. I was quite active, I followed my program. Of course, the intensity decreases because I was not preparing for tournaments.”
With uncertainty surrounding when the Tour may start again, numerous countries have created their own domestic tournaments. In Djokovic’s case, he is the founder of his own event that will be played across the Balkan region. The Adria Tour is set to take place between June and July with three top 20 players set to participate. Besides Djokovic, Alexander Zverev and Grigor Dimitrov are also taking part.
“I started the whole idea of the project and I communicate every day with TSS (Serbian Tennis Federation) and the company that organizes all this,” said Djokovic.
“The current international competitions, ITF and ATP will not happen before the first of August, and even that is uncertain. Afterwards, I will have time again if things resume on a hard surface in America, because I will have a month to prepare for the continuation of the season.”
Should it all go to plan, the clay-court tournament is set to be played in Belgrade (Serbia), Zadar (Croatia), Montenegro and Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Although it has been confirmed that the locations of the Bosnian and Montenegrin events are still not fully confirmed with the possibility of Sarajevo hosting one leg of the tour. Sarajevo hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics.
Prior to the Tour suspension, Djokovic was unbeaten in 2020. He started the season by winning three consecutive titles at the ATP Cup, Australian Open and Dubai Tennis Championships. Those triumphs enabled him to earn prize money of $4,410,541. He also earned just over $70,000 from playing doubles so far this year.
Nikoloz Basilashvili Domestic Abuse Case: Extraordinary Claims Emerge From Both Sides
One journalist says she has ‘inside knowledge’ that the tennis pro has a history of domestic abuse, but his family has issued a statement claiming the accuser has a record of making false allegations.
On what has been a dramatic day for tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili, his family has now issued a statement in which they have made a series of allegations against his ex-wife.
The world No.27 was arrested on May 22nd over allegations that he ‘physically attacked’ Neli Dorokashvili during a confrontation on the outskirts of Tbilisi. Prosecutors have launched charges against him under the article ‘Domestic violence in the presence of a minor against a member of his family.’ Officials have confirmed that the alleged incident took part in front of their son.
After his initial hearing on Sunday, Basilashvili denied any wrongdoing and paid for a bail. His lawyer, Irma Tchkadua, has said that there is ‘no evidence’ in this case. However The Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia is demanding a pre-trial detention of the 28-year-old.
In a new twist to the case, Basilashvili’s family has now issued a statement to news agency IPN in which they have accused Dorokashvili of deliberately making false allegations. Claiming she has made similar claims in the past in order to damage the reputation of the tennis star. Revealing that Basilashvili’s mother, Natalia, have previously faced child abuse accusations.
“We want to respond to the allegations made against Nikoloz and our family today,” the statement begins.
“First of all, we want to apologize to the fans for the false allegations. We declare with full responsibility that the information about violence is not true and there is no evidence that would prove any violent action.’
“It is not happening for the first time that Neli Dorokashvili, Nikoloz’s ex-wife, is trying to inflict moral, financial and reputation damage on Nikoloz and his family’
“After the divorce, Neli Dorokashvili sued Nikoloz Basilashvili’s mother about child abuse. The court considered the complaint and acquitted Basilashvili’s mother.”
Touching on the incident that is alleged to have taken place, the Basilashvili family has said that Dorokashvili broke into the property and tried to start a fight. However, the family statement didn’t address reports that Nodar Basilashvili, who introduced his son to tennis at the age of five, was issued with a restraining order.
“As for the May 21 incident, Neli Dorokashvili broke into the property of the parents of Nikoloz Basilashvili without permission, where she deliberately tried to provoke a conflict. Nevertheless, there was no any violent action against her, not even an attempt. Fortunately, there is evidence for this and the court will consider it on July 16, 2020,” the family insists.
“The trial continues. We believe that Nikoloz will prove his innocence very soon.”
The claims made by a journalist
Despite the calls to dismiss the case, one Georgian journalist has made an extraordinary claim in which she said that Basilashvili has a history of domestic abuse. Magda Kldiashvili, who is the former editor-in-chief of goal.ge, has claimed that the two have been separated for some time and there was a contract drawn up in which he has to pay his ex-wife 100,000 Georgian Lari per month. Their contract is said to be kept confidential according to the journalist. Furthermore, Kldiashvili claims the argument between the two started when Dorokashvili asked for her monthly payment to be increased from 100,000 to 300,000 Lari.
“I have behind-the-scenes information that Nikoloz Basilashvili has been abusing his wife for many years and they have been separated for many years,” newsreport.ge quoted Kldiashvili as writing on Facebook.
“Neli Dorokashvili had a formal contract with her husband, according to which Basilashvili paid her one hundred thousand GEL every month. Basilashvili saw the child with the permission of a social worker and rarely!”
‘It might have been an axe’
The Recorder is one of the first news outlets to obtain a testimony from Dorokashvili herself on the incident. Contradicting a comment previously made by Kldiashvili, she said she has no idea as to why the alleged confrontation occurred. Although she claims that she was chased after by Basilashvili’s father Nodar who was holding what she ‘thought was an axe’ but is unsure.
“The reason for the controversy is still unclear to me, I just went to fetch my son,” Kldiashvili told The Recorder.
“An examination (investigation) has been conducted and is still ongoing. I was not expecting (him) to be released on bail.’
“At my sight, when I visited my son, I don’t know what happened, he (Nodar) was drunk or what he needed, I don’t know, he and his son chased me with some weapons.”
” I can’t confirm what it was, because it had some big tarry, I think it was an axe.” She later added.
It is important to note that all three statements have not been verified and the police investigation is ongoing. The Public Defender of Georgia, Nino Lomjaria, is examining the case.
"Special bond with my son obligates me to not respond to unsubstantiated allegations, but I believe that I'll prove the truth in court with the help of my lawyers." – said #Georgia|n tennis player Nikoloz #Basilashvili in regards to allegations of domestic violence on his ex-wife pic.twitter.com/BwmW4LFyEc
— Formula News (@FormulaGe) May 24, 2020
World No.27 Nikoloz Basilashvili Facing Domestic Violence Charges
Multiple reports have confirmed that the former top 20 player has been released on bail ahead of a court hearing later this year.
Georgian tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili has been arrested and will face court later this year over allegations of violence against his ex-wife.
The Georgian Prosecutor’s Office has confirmed that the tennis star was arrested on May 22nd. A day after he allegedly attacked his former partner, according to an official statement from the prosecution. The incident is said to have taken place on the outskirts of Tbilisi where Basilashvili has been accused of ‘physically attacking’ his ex-wife.
In the wake of the allegation, the world No.27 was hit with a 100, 000 GEL bail, which equates to just over $30,000 in US dollars. Although it has since been confirmed that the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia is demanding a pre-trial detention. Following the initial court session, lawyer Irma Tchkadua has said that Basilashvili denies any wrongdoing.
“He denies charges, as he has not committed anything. There is no evidence in the case”, Inter Presse News quoted the lawyer as telling reporters.
Radio Tavisupleba, which is the Georgian branch of Radio Free Europe, have obtained a statement from the head of the country’s national tennis association. Former Soviet player and 1973 Wimbledon finalist Alexander Metreveli has stated the organisation is firmly against all cases of violence.
“Everyone condemns the fact of violence. For us, because we all know Niko, it is an incredible topic … When a husband and wife leave (separate), there is always some disagreement, not only with Niko. I knew there was a problem,” he said.
The same news network has also reported that the father of Basilashvili has been issued with a restraining order in the wake of the alleged incident. It is unclear how that order is connected to this situation.
Basilashvili peaked at a career ranking high of 16th in the world last year. He has won three ATP 500 titles with two of those occurring in Germany where he won back-to-back titles in Hamburg. His best run at a grand slam was back in 2018 when he reached the fourth round of the US Open.
According to Georgian criminal code, if Basilashvili is found guilty he could face 200 to 400 hours of community service or between one and three years in prison.
A photo of Basilashvili attending his initial court hearing can be seen in the below tweet.
— Radio Tavisupleba (@RTavisupleba) May 24, 2020
Since the publication of this article, The Public Defender of Georgia has confirmed that the alleged incident involving Basilashvili and his ex-wife took place in front of their child. Nino Lomjaria has already started to examine the case.
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