PRESS RELEASE: Journalist Associations Back Ubitennis Over Controversial Removal Of Credentials In Rome - UBITENNIS
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PRESS RELEASE: Journalist Associations Back Ubitennis Over Controversial Removal Of Credentials In Rome

I am writing from Paris where I am covering the French Open and I would like to give you some update about the episode I have been involved in during the last Italian Open.

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Roma 2019 (foto via Twitter, @InteBNLdItalia)

The French Open is in full swing and the singles draws have reached the Round of 16 stage, but I wanted to take a few minutes to update you on the developments of the ‘incident’ started with the withdrawal of my credentials in Rome.

 

It has taken some time to put together this conjoint press release because, even if a very reputable publications like “Articolo 21” (usually aligned with the position of the Federal Association of the Italian Press FNSI) strongly criticized the episode, it is never easy to coordinate so many associations, presidents, vice-presidents, etc…, and it is important that every party involved expresses the same concepts in the same way.

PRESS RELEASE

All journalists associations in Italy find outrageous the decision by the organizing committee of the Italian Open of tennis to withdraw press credentials to our colleague Ubaldo Scanagatta, long-time sports writer and an internationally-renowned tennis expert.

The Federal Association of the Italian Press (FNSI), the Italian Union of Sports Press (USSI) and the Press Association of Tuscany (AST) together with the Group of Sports Journalists of Tuscany and the Council of the Professional Association of Journalists consider unacceptable this harassing attitude, especially for the reasons that allegedly justified this measure: Scanagatta should have provided journalistic coverage of the event exclusively for the media outlet that requested accreditation for him. This reason is unacceptable, especially considering how in this day and age there is a multitude of freelance journalists who need to work for several different media outlets just to earn enough to support themselves. This need is universally recognized: in the “Media Accreditation Policy” for the French Open of tennis, for example, it is explicitly stated that credentials are issued to each journalist to cover the event “whether on her/his own account, on behalf of an employer, or on behalf of any company [i.e. “any companies” as more explicitly stated in the French language version of the document: “pour le compte d’un employeur, ou le compte de toute(s) société(s)”] whom the journalist, photographer or technician is working with in relation to her/his activity, in whatever form, in respect of the Tournament”.

All press associations are invoking the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) as well as all sports federations and recommend that episodes like this one do not happen again, in any venue, in any stadium. It is worth reminding how credentials are not a privilege granted to journalists but a mere instrument needed by them to perform their role, which is guaranteed by Article 21 of the Italian Constitution that protects freedom of expression, underlining how “press shall not be subject to censorship or authorizations” and stressing that free press includes also the right of access to information without limitations.

I believe it is important this press release has eventually been issued. As you can read, the positions of all organizations involved are very firm, concerning both what happened in the past and what should happen in the future.

Since I am a… hot-blooded Tuscan old man who is never satisfied, I would have loved to see a mention of the absurd and unacceptable episode of the security agents instructed to escort me during the whole day on Saturday, while I was in the press room and I was being followed even while going to the bathroom. And even more absurdly, on the following day – on Sunday, during the Nadal-Djokovic final – when, entering the “grounds” of the tournament with an ordinary ticket having my credentials been withdrawn, I was being followed all over the venue by other security agents, as if I was some kind of criminal. I think it’s out of this world, and it could be worth a legal action… so that the people who ordered and executed the absurd (I would like to use much more colorful words, but you ought to be careful with that kind of people) removal of my credentials.

However, taking legal action on a principle, like in this case, is usually a big sort of stress, and significant expenses, for the plaintiff, while a defendant like FIT (the Italian Tennis Federation) remains relatively unscathed even if found guilty, since they can rely on large financial resources. It has happened already, on several occasion, I know this first hand.

I don’t know whether this is the end of the road or there will be further developments. At the very least it should be reminded to the person who signed that pitiful letter used as a pretext for the actions against me that journalistic ethics should prevent a journalist from doing something like that to a colleague, not even if he were ordered by the President himself.

I would also like to explain our readers how the time elapsed between the events in question and the issue of a conjoint press release by the various press associations was legally required to wait for a formal reply by FIT, that had been contacted by USSI. However the FIT did not deign to respond.

That didn’t surprise me. Probably they didn’t know what to say… without consulting with a lawyer first, a lawyer they may eventually need after all.

This press release will be forwarded to various organizations in tennis: ATP, WTA, ITF, and the International Tennis Writers Association. I can tell you that everyone has expressed their support here in Paris: other Italian journalists, international reporters, even some players.

I want to thank from the bottom of my heart those 1,000 or so readers and friends (some closer than others) who wrote to me at direttaubitennis@gmail.com, on Facebook and Twitter, and to my personal email address. I felt them close to me, I was sincerely pleased, especially because many people who hardly ever post comments on the site, some who didn’t even know how to post a comment, took time to show their solidarity. My passion and dedication to this profession is fostered also by your support, which I truly appreciate, even if you do not share or approve my positions on many other topics. This pushes me to continue along the path I have decided to take.Open Sus

Links to articles (in Italian)

 

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Nicolas Jarry Breaks New Ground To Win The Swedish Open

The 23-year-old has become the latest player to win their first ATP title in 2019.

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Nicolas Jarry (@FOXSport_Chile - Twitter)

Chilean fifth seed Nicolas Jarry has won his first ATP title at the Swedish Open after prevailing in straight sets on Sunday.

 

The world No.64 held his nerve to edge his way past Argentina’s Juan Inacio Londero 7-6(3), 6-4. Playing in only his third ATP final, Jarry dropped serve once as he blasted 10 aces and won 76% of the points behind his first serve. Becoming the first person his country to win the tournament since Luis Ayala back in 1960.

“I’m very happy to be able to have this (the title). I know it is not very easy to get the first one in anything that you do. I’m really happy.” Jarry said during the trophy presentation.
“I want to say thank you to my team. I have a big team back home and we are very united. This is for all of them and all of my family who has been there since I was born.”

Jarry achieved his career milestone without dropping a set during the entire tournament. Earlier in the week he also scored wins over Jeremy Chardy and Frederico Delbonis. Londero was the only seeded player he faced in Sweden this year. Overall, he was broken eight times in six matches played.

The 23-year-old isn’t the first member of his family to win a title on the men’s tour. His grandfather is Jaime Fillol, who is a former top 20 player that reached the quarter-finals of the 1975 US Open. During his career, Fillol claimed eight trophies and was the former president of the ATP.

“He is one of the best Chilean tennis players. He taught me the sport since I was little,” Jarry told atptour.com earlier this week. “He took me to great tournaments. I remember Wimbledon when I was 12 and I remember going to the US Open a couple of times. There used to be an ATP [tournament] in Santiago, so I was always involved in the tennis.”

The new Swedish Open champion is the second player from Chile to win a title in 2019. Christian Garin claimed his maiden title back in April at the US Men’s Clay Court Championships in Houston. He then went on to win the Munich Open, which is also a clay-court event.

Jarry exits Sweden with 250 ranking points and €90,390 in prize money earnings. He will next travel to Germany to play in the Hamburg Open.

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REPORT: Roger Federer Set To Play South American Exhibition Tour

Details about what the Swiss maestro plans to do during the off-season later this year is emerging.

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20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer will play in South America during November as part of an exhibition tour, according to various sources.

 

The world No.3 is reportedly set to play a tennis match at the Plaza de Toros México in Mexico City. The venue is the largest bullring in the world with a capacity of approximately 42,000 people. Excelsior, which is a daily newspaper in the country, has reported that the match will take place on November 23rd. It is not yet known who Federer will be playing. The report, which cites a source linked to Mexican media conglomerate Grupo Imagen, has also been reported by Argentine journalist Sebastian Torok.

Federer is also set to play in Chile prior to Mexico as part of the tour. A report by 24 Horas, which is linked to the national broadcaster of the country, claims that match will take place on November 20th at the Movistar Arena. A building with a mixed history in the world of tennis. Back in 2000, Chile was stripped of hosting Davis Cup ties for two years after members of the crowd threw fruit, coins and plastic chairs at the Argentinian camp during a tie that was played at the venue.

Other countries rumoured also to be part of the tour could be Argentina and Colombia. However, the media in those countries have been less confident about stating whether or not he will be visiting.

Federer has won 102 ATP titles so far in his career, however, none of those have ever occurred in South America. It is rare that he plays tournaments in that region due to his scheduling commitments. Since making his professional debut back in 1996, he has never played a tournament in Chile, Argentina, Colombia or Mexico.

There is yet to be any official comment from either Federer or his management team about the November Tour. Should it happen, it will take place shortly after the conclusion of the ATP Finals.

 

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Serena Williams Named Most Stylish Athlete Of 2019 As She Brushes Off Critics

The 37-year-old says she ‘doesn’t care’ about what people think about what she wears.

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23-time grand slam champion Serena Williams has been awarded with another accolade in her record-breaking career.

 

The 37-year-old has come top in this year’s Most Fashionable list by Sports Illustrated in partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers In America. The honour recognizes athletes who have stood out from the crowd with what they wear. Those who make the shortlist are selected by a panel of stylists, fashion editors and executives and other influencers across the sports and fashion industries.

“My whole career has been really about tennis and fashion. I always try to make a statement when I walk out on the court—to be bold and to be unique and to kind of transcend. I always try to send the message of just being confident and being fierce.” Williams told Sports Illustrated.

Williams has made headlines on the court for the outfits she wears. After wearing a catsuit at last year’s French Open, she opted for a more straightforward design in this year’s tournament. Wearing a zebra-striped outfit decorated with the words ‘mother, champion, queen, goddess’ in French. It was designed by Virgil Abloh, who was named in Time’s 100 most influential people in the world back in 2018. At Wimbledon, the Nike tick on her all-white clothing was made up of 34 Swarovski ® crystals to mark the last time she won the title at the age of 34.

The fashion sense of the American wasn’t a hit with everybody. Her catsuit triggered criticism from the head of the French Tennis Federation. Bernard Giudicelli told France’s Tennis Magazine in 2017 ‘I believe we have sometimes gone too far. Serena’s outfit this year, for example, would no longer be accepted. You have to respect the game and the place.’ Williams later played down those comments.

“People always have things to say when you’re wearing fashion. It could be good things. It could be bad things. I don’t care what people say. I’m like just so past it—you could say whatever you want to say.” She said.
“Honestly, you’re allowed to have your opinion. My life is far too complicated to worry about people that want to say mean things. I have a daughter, I have a family, I have a career. I have too much to worry about.”

Williams recently finished runner-up at Wimbledon after losing to Simona Halep in the final. She is set to play at both the Rogers Cup in Canada and Cincinnati Open before the next grand slam tournament.

Note: video embedded from si.com.

 

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