Surprises Abound In Halle Today - UBITENNIS
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Surprises Abound In Halle Today

Belgian David Goffin moves impressively on to the semi-finals in Halle.



David Goffin (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

By Cheryl Jones


David Goffin of Belgium vanquished the last German player in the Noventi Open late this afternoon in Halle. Alexander Zverev gave it his all, but it just wasn’t enough. The match lasted two hours and sixteen minutes. A Tie-Break decided it all in the third set 3-6, 6-1, 7-6. Actually, Goffin isn’t a surprising winner, but Zverev, known as “Sascha”, isn’t usually a loser. The partisan crowd was disappointed by their countryman’s loss but gave Goffin a well-deserved show of appreciation after the final ball was struck.

Zverev’s after-match interview contained what I would term a group of staccato answers. The responses seemed to be terse. There were many very pointed questions. German journalists asked specifically about his attitude and the negative bent of those questions seemed to elicit defensive, almost verging on avoidance, answers. I asked the only question in English when I inquired about his momentum. I suggested that he may have lost some of his impetus due to a medical emergency that took nearly ten minutes to resolve. The two competitors waited anxiously for play to resume and initially, he seemed okay, but, I wasn’t so sure. He responded with no excuses but said, ”No, because after that I won three games in a row or four I think. So, no it had nothing to do with it.”

He lost the second set 6-1, so I don’t quite see it his way. He seemed tired and looked anxious to have the interview end. The answers to the journalists’ queries very quickly went downhill when he was asked point blank about the rapid descent and the eventual loss of the second set. He said, “Yes, I started to serve badly and also didn’t play good in the rallies. Things can go fast against a player like him if that is the case.”

The third set was a real battle. His play seemed to be gaining momentum once again, but alas, it was for naught. He spoke about his loss and it was clear to see he was disappointed, but he actually seemed to take on a bit of maturity, when he said, “I lost 7-6 in the third. Of course, I believed in it, was ahead with a break. As I said, he played a very good match, and I found that he returned unbelievably, as you say. That’s why, yes, he deserves it today.”

Earlier this week, Zverev fell and injured his knee. It seemed fine in his match against Steve Johnson, yesterday. He was moving quite well, and he didn’t move about the court trying to avoid any further damage. He was asked about the injury but downplayed the effect of it on his play and said that he felt he was just about back to normal. A few days off at home, where he said he hasn’t been in eight weeks should cure any residual discomfort that might have lingered just under the surface. He will move on to Wimbledon with a little R and R, and all should be right in his world.

All is well in Halle this evening. The Swiss maestro, Roger Federer defeated Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the day ending endeavour. He will face Frenchman, Pierre-Hugues Herbert who moved on to the semi-finals after a default from Borna Coric who had what was evidently a back injury.

Even though Hebert is twenty-eight years old, he has never lost to Federer. Actually, there is a very simple reason for that. He has never faced Federer in the eight years he has played professional tennis. For thirty-eight year old Federer, it will be an interesting encounter. He has faced almost everyone in the professional tennis game. It will be a match worth watching, simply for the uniqueness of their meeting.

The other semi-final match will have Goffin facing Matteo Berrettini, an Italian who has shown great promise of late. Tomorrow promises to be a day of exceptionally great tennis in Halle.

The premier Noventi Open has entered the home stretch, and if tomorrow’s matches provide what they seem to forecast, the roar of the crowd will be heard throughout the German countryside. Bravo to Noventi for taking a big step to sponsor the tournament that has held the heart of the people of Halle for over a quarter of a century.






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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