Andy Murray's Hunt For A Wimbledon Doubles Partner Sparks Interest From Women's Elite - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray’s Hunt For A Wimbledon Doubles Partner Sparks Interest From Women’s Elite

The chance to play alongside the former world No.1 at SW19 has attracted a lot of interest from past and present players from the WTA Tour.

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Sir Andy Murray of Great Britain is pictured during day four of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 20, 2019.

LONDON: Andy Murray’s recent difficulty in finding a mixed doubles partner for the upcoming Wimbledon Championships has prompted a series of WTA players to offer their services.

 

The three-time grand slam champion returned to competitive tennis on Thursday at The Fever-Tree Championships. Winning his first round doubles match alongside Feliciano Lopez. After the victory, the former world No.1 confirmed that he will be playing with Pierre-Hughes Herbert at the All England Club and he is also interested in contesting the mixed doubles.

“I’ve asked singles players who had already committed to playing doubles, and they didn’t want to commit to playing in three events, which I completely understand because it’s a lot. If you have ambitions to go far in the singles, you maybe don’t want to commit to playing all three.” He said.

One of those players Murray approached was French Open champion Ash Barty, who declined his offer. The Australian is currently in the race for world No.1 and is seen as one of the favorites to claim the ladies singles title in three weeks time.

“I’m sure I will find another great partner, providing I feel good enough to play the men’s and mixed doubles. That said, I need to wait and see how I’m feeling first.” Murray wrote in a piece for the BBC.

Fortunately for Murray, the offers to play alongside him has started flying in on social media. Kirsten Flikens, who is a top 30 doubles player, was one of the first to come forward. The Belgian teamed up with Murray before at the 2006 Wimbledon championships as well as the now-defunct International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).

Barbora Strycova has already won two doubles titles on the WTA Tour this season with Hsieh Su-Wei. On Instagram, the Czech expressed her willingness to work alongside the Brit.

“I heard rumors that you got rejected a couple of times when finding a partner for mixed doubles in Wimbledon. I swear I wouldn’t do the same mistake as that.” Strycova wrote.

Elsewhere on social media, there was a couple of other light-hearted offers made.

https://twitter.com/BillieJeanKing/status/1141872812841472001

https://twitter.com/CoCoVandey/status/1141860447936585728

https://twitter.com/caseydellacqua/status/1141861486538547200

It is safe to say that Murray can easily find a partner for Wimbledon, which will get underway a week on Monday. The only question is who will it be?

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Tennis Umpire Bernardes Suffers Heart Attack In Melbourne Quarantine

The well-known official is said to be ‘doing well’ after suffering a major health scare.

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Carlos Bernardes (image via Tennis World USA)

Renowned tennis umpire Carlos Bernardes was rushed to hospital after suffering a heart attack inside his hotel room, according to various sources.

 

The Brazilian tennis official was staying in one of the hotels currently used for quarantine in Melbourne. A picture of Bernardes being taken to hospital in an ambulance has been posted on social media but there have been no official statement from local authorities on the situation. It is understood that he is ‘doing well’ following the medical emergency.

Australian media reported that Bernardes was in ‘hard quarantine’ which is the system used for those who have been classed as potential contact cases of people who test positive for COVID-19. At present there are 72 players in this kind of quarantine after a series of flights en route to Australia reported positive cases. Under government rules, they are not allowed to leave their room for 14 days. Others are allowed to leave their rooms for up to five hours each day.

According to Brazilian tennis official Ricardo Reis Bernardes experienced no complications and he is continuing to be medicated. Reis has issued details concerning Bernardes’ condition in a statement which has been published by Tenis Brasil.

“He had a heart attack in the morning. We are at the same hotel. When I saw the ambulance arrive, I even sent him a photo saying that someone was not well, and he said: ‘I was the one who called. I am in pain. In the chest and such,” he said.
“Luckily he called quickly and the service came too.’
“It was a heart attack, the veins was clogged. But he was medicated and he spent a few hours in the hospital taking medication. We spoke several times yesterday afternoon and evening [Wednesday, Australian time].
“”Now, in the morning [Thursday], I haven’t talked to him yet. But he was well and medicated. They were going to put on a stent, but he didn’t have to. They had the veins unblocked and etc. And he was fine. In the afternoon and at night he was fine, we talked in the afternoon and at night and everything was fine “

Bernardes is a veteran Tour official after having worked on the ATP Tour since 1990. He has taken charge of numerous high-profile men’s matches including two US Open finals in 2006 and 2008, as well as the 2011 Wimbledon final.

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Novak Djokovic’s Quarantine Letter Fails To Win Over Officials

Three senior government figures have dismissed a list of demands set out by the world No.1 over the weekend.

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Efforts by Novak Djokovic to make adjustments to the conditions for players quarantining in Australia have been overwhelmingly rejected by government officials.

 

On Sunday it was reported that the 17-time Grand Slam champion wrote a letter to Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley in which he outlined a series of measures he would like to see implemented in order to make the current conditions for players better. Among his list of suggestions, Djokovic called for players to be moved to private housing with access to tennis courts. He also urged for more testing to be conducted in a bid to reduce the length of ‘hard quarantine’ some are going through.

Djokovic’s letter comes as at least 72 players are currently placed in stricter quarantine after being classed as a close contact to a positive case. En route to Melbourne a series of flights reported at least one person on board have tested positive for COVID-19. Under regional rules, all those on board the plans are classed as closed contacts. Those affected are required to stay in their room for 14 days and will not be allowed to train.

Responding to the letter Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has shut down Djokovic’s ideas without any hesitation. Speaking to reports Mr Andrews insisted that no special treatment will be given.

“People are free to provide lists of demands but the answer is no,” he said.
“I know that there’s been a bit of chatter from a number of players about the rules – well, the rules apply to them as they apply to everybody else, and they were all briefed on that before they came and that was a condition on which they came.’
“There’s no special treatment here … because a virus doesn’t treat you specially.”

Emma Cassar, who is the COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria Commissioner, shares a similar view to the Premier regarding Djokovic. Stating that there will be no changes made to the current rules.

“It’s a firm NO from me,” Cassar told 3AW Radio.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is showing little sympathy to Djokovic’s initiative as he called for everybody to continue following the rules implemented.

“I think it’s just time people followed the rules, do their quarantine, play Tennis,” Morrison commented on the matter. “I’m sure they’ll put on a great spectacle and the Australian Open will go ahead.”

Under a plan set out by Tennis Australia, Djokovic is spending his quarantine in Adelaide along with the three highest ranked players on both the ATP and WTA Tour’s. Meanwhile, others are residing in Melbourne.

The Australian Open will start on February 8th.

The things Djokovic asked for

  • Fitness and training material in all rooms
  • Decent food, according to the level of the tournament and from an elite athlete
  • Reduce the days of isolation for the 47* isolated players, carrying out more tests that confirm that all are negative
  • Permission to visit your coach or physical trainer, as long as both have passed the PCR
  • If the previous proposal has the green light, that both the player and his coach are on the same floor of the hotel
  • Move as many players as possible to private houses with a court to train

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REPORT: Novak Djokovic Sends Letter To Australian Open Chief Over Quarantine Measures

There is a fresh headache for Craig Tiley with the world No.1 calling for changes to the current system.

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Novak Djokovic has issued a letter to the head of the Australian Open calling for new measures to be put in place to enable fairness for all players in quarantine, according to the Spanish website Punto de Break.

 

It is understood that the 17-time Grand Slam champion has called for Craig Tiley to do more to support those who have had to go into a stricter quarantine after being on board a plane with somebody who tested positive for COVID-19. Under rules set out by the local government, all players in this situation must isolate for 14 days in their room and not leave. At the time of Djokovic’s letter two planes carrying players were affected but since then a third has emerged. French player Alexandre Muller has confirmed that those who were on flight QR7485 from Doha must enter the strict quarantine. It is unclear as to how many players this will affect.

Journalist Fernando Murciego has reported that he has obtained information concerning Djokovic’s letter in which he calls for a series of measurements. Including the use of more PCR testing to help reduce the 14-day period of strict quarantine for players. He has also called for as many players as possible to be moved to private houses with tennis courts. Something that is unlikely to happen given the complexity and number of players.

According to Punto de Break, Djokovic has asked for the following :-

  • Fitness and training material in all rooms
  • Decent food, according to the level of the tournament and from an elite athlete
  • Reduce the days of isolation for the 47* isolated players, carrying out more tests that confirm that all are negative
  • Permission to visit your coach or physical trainer, as long as both have passed the PCR
  • If the previous proposal has the green light, that both the player and his coach are on the same floor of the hotel
  • Move as many players as possible to private houses with a court to train

*This number has since increased following confirmation of the Doha flight.

Djokovic, who is the former president of the ATP Player Council before resigning to help set up the PTPA, has not commented on the letter and neither has Tiley. Although one government official has already stated that there will be no changes to the length of their quarantine system.

The rules of close contacts haven’t changed, and there’s no other way you can consider this. If you’re on a plane for 16 to 24 hours in air that circulates throughout the plane, you are a close contact.” The Commissioner for COVID-19 Quarantine in Victoria, Emma Cassar, told reporters on Sunday. .
“The program is set up to keep people safe. We will not be modifying the program or watering it down under any circumstances.”

Whilst Tiley has the say when it comes to the running of the Melbourne Grand Slam his power is somewhat limited by his own government and their policy on COVID-19. Tennis Australia says they are currently in discussions with both players and relevant parties regarding the scheduling of future events.

Djokovic is spending his quarantine in Adelaide along with the top three ranked players on both the ATP and WTA Tour’s.

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