Kyle Edmund Relishing Underdog Status And Andy Murray's Return To Queen’s - UBITENNIS
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Kyle Edmund Relishing Underdog Status And Andy Murray’s Return To Queen’s

The British No.1 gives an update about his knee injury ahead of the Fever-Tree Championships.

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Kyle Edmud (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright : @Sport Vision)

LONDON: Embarking upon the grass season this year, Kyle Edmund finds himself facing different barriers to that of 12 months ago.

 

A lackluster clay swing saw the British No.1 win two matches in six tournaments played. Then to add further to his woes, a recurrence of a knee injury forced him to quit the French Open. In total, Edmund has managed to win 11 out of 21 matches this season and is currently just inside the world’s top 30 at 29th.

“It’s gone as well as I would like it to go,” Edmund commented about his ongoing rehab on Sunday. “It is always a process like even after this week, I have to continue to get it better. I’m happy with how it has improved.”

Edmund is hoping that he will be able to turn his fortunes around this week at the Fever-Tree championships. A tournament where he made his debut back in 2013 at the age of 18. He doesn’t appear to be too troubled by his recent injury woes with training going according to plan. Dismissing suggestions that he is taking a risk because of the upcoming Wimbledon Championships. The ultimate tournament for British players such as Edmund.

“We already knew the problem so it was just about training and getting the plan together. Trying to stick to it as best as we can and try to improve it. Get it stronger.” He said.
“I want to play this week and feel like I am in the best state to play. If I wasn’t in a state to play, I wouldn’t. But I feel like I am in a position to do so.”

Unfortunately for the 24-year-old, he has been given a stern test at The Queen’s Club. Awaiting him in the first round will be top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas. A player who already has won two ATP titles and reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open this season. Edmund’s only win over top-20 opposition so far in 2019 was against Milos Raonic at the Miami Masters.

“He’s (Tsitsipas) has played a lot, won a lot. At the same time, it is almost like an ideal situation where there is no pressure on me to do well. Everything is on him. Also here you get support from the crowd.” Edmund previewed.
“There are quite a few positives, but at the same time it’s a tough match.”

Life in the shadows

The underdog status is a blessing in disguise for the former world No.14, who was seeded seventh in the draw last year. Besides having nothing to lose when he plays Tsitsipas, the return of Andy Murray has eased the attention of the home crowd on him. Murray will play in the doubles draw alongside Feliciano Lopez in what will be his first test on the tour since undergoing hip resurfacing surgery.

“It’s nice just to see him back in terms for him. In terms for me, nothing changes as in start to play better, play more freely or anything like that. It is just nice to see him back.” He commented about Murray’s return.
“I just carry on with my own business and schedule.”

Edmund has had conversations with the three-time grand slam champion in recent weeks. Although he doesn’t know the full details about Murray’s current health.

“I think he just wants to be on court and playing after being off for so long. It’s always a positive sign. I’ve not spoken to him in any detail, but from what I read it sounds like he’s happy and positive about where he is at compared to last year. That’s a good step.”

One possibility for Murray, who will not be playing any singles matches until later this year at best, is contesting the Davis Cup. The revamped competition features 18 teams taking part over a week in November. Britain was one of two countries to receive a wild card into the finals.

“It would be amazing to see him there. He has just been out for so long.” Said Edmund.
“He was the guy who put us through to the (2015) final and won it. Of course, it was a team effort, but he was a very big part of that.”

What Murray does in the near future remains to be seen, but Edmund’s focus remains on himself. Insisting that he is continuing to gain confidence on the grass as he gets older.

“I had my best grass-court season last year, played some good matches. For me, I learned a lot more about my movement rather than striking the ball or the way it is played.” He concluded.

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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.

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Venue of the 2019 Mens Japan Open (image via https://twitter.com/rakutenopen)

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.

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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.

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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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