Mixed Fortunes For Former World No.1s Venus, Azarenka In San Jose - UBITENNIS
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Mixed Fortunes For Former World No.1s Venus, Azarenka In San Jose

Veteran player Venus Williams has fallen at the first hurdle in San Jose.

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Venus Williams - Indian Wells 2019 (via Twitter, @BNPPARIBASOPEN)

Four-time Silicon Valley finalist Venus Williams has been knocked out in the first round after suffering a three-set loss to Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

 

Williams, who was granted a wild card into this year’s event, claimed the opening set before falling 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-1, to her opponent. The world No.50 struggled behind her second serve as she managed to win only 16 out of 46 points. During the match, Williams hit 31 winners to 34 unforced errors and only converted three out of her eight break point opportunities.

“I think maybe she had a magic racquet that couldn’t miss because I definitely put pressure on her and shots where I would expect a short ball it was more like she hit a winner.” wtatennis.com quoted Williams as saying.
“She played freely with nothing to lose…. It was magical tennis from her.”

The win was Mattek-Sands’ first in singles for more than a year. The 34-year-old has suffered from numerous knee issues since seriously injuring it during the 2017 Wimbledon Championships. San Jose is her first singles tournament since the Australian Open back in January.

“Venus is a legend, and it was awesome playing here. I love night matches,” Mattek-Sands said after the match. “I really loved the atmosphere. I’m really enjoying it. It’s been a tough couple of years. I’ve had a few surgeries, I feel like I’ve had 12 surgeries, but I’m feeling really good.”

Following her triumph over Williams, Mattek-Sands will next play Carla Suarez Navarro. The Spanish sixth seed eased her way to a 6-3, 6-3, win over Poland’s Magda Linette.

There were better fortunes for 2010 champion Victoria Azarenka in her first round match. The two-time Australian Open winner rallied to a 6-2, 6-4, win over qualifier Harmony Tan. Coming back from 0-3 down in the second set.

“I felt that it wasn’t going to be easy,” Azarenka told wtatennis.com. “First rounds are obviously not easy, and I haven’t played in a while so I had to get used to the conditions. That was important.
“There were moments where I thought I played really well, and there were moments where I lost that concentration a little bit. But a win is a win, and I have to move forward from here.”

Azarenka is bidding to win her first title of any sort since 2016. She will next play fifth seed Donna Vekic, who ousted Japan’s Misaki Doi in three sets.

ATP

Danil Medvedev beats Egor Gerasimov in St. Petersburg to reach his fifth consecutive final

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Danil Medvedev edged past Belarusian qualifier Egor Gerasimov 7-5 7-5 in 91 minutes to reach the final at the St. Petersburg Open.

 

Medvedev broke serve in the 11th game to win the opening set 7-5. After a trade of breaks in the seventh and eighth games of the second set, Medvedev broke for the second time in the 11th game and served out the second set 7-5 at deuce.

The 23-year-old Russian player has become the first player since Novak Djokovic in 2018 to reach five conscutive finals. This summer he won his maiden Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati and finished runner-up to Nick Kyrgios in Washington and to Rafael Nadal in Montreal and at the US Open.

Medvedev will be bidding to become the first Russian player to win the St. Petersburg Open since Mi

“I am extremely happy to be in my first final in my home country. I came here to win the tournament, that’s what I am doing. I am looking forward to the final. Tough opponent, and hopefully a great fight tomorrow”, said Medvedev.

Medvedev set up a final against Borna Coric, who came back from one set down to beat Joao Sousa 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1. The young Croatian player has reached his first final since losing to Novak Djokovic in Shanghai in October 2018.

Sousa won the opening set 6-3 with his only break in in the fourth game. The Portuguese player saved two breaks in the second and tenth games. Coric fended off two break points to hold his serve after three deuces. Coric took the 7-5 edge in the tie-break. Coric broke three times in the first, fifth and seventh games to win the third set 6-1.

 

 

 

 

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ATP

Daniil Medvedev Scores Sponsorship Deal With BMW

The 23-year-old is set to attend a series of activities organised by the car manufacturer over the coming months.

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Daniil Medvedev’s recent surge in success on the tour seems to be also boosting his profile away from the court after he teamed up with car manufacturer BMW.

 

The world No.4 will take part in a series of activities involving the Russian branch of the BMW company in both his home country and abroad. A contract was signed earlier this week following a meeting in St Petersburg, where Medvedev is playing his latest competition on the ATP Tour. He has agreed to feature in a series of campaigns promoting the BMW M, which specialises in sports cars. No financial details of the contract have been published.

“BMW M is BMW’s fastest, most powerful and most innovative sports car. And Daniil Medvedev is the brightest and most titled Russian tennis player right now.” The director general of BMW Russia, Stefan Teuchert, said in a statement.
“On the tennis court, Medvedev demonstrates qualities typical of BMW sports cars – speed, power, intelligence and a strong character. We are glad that we managed to agree on cooperation, and we look forward to future joint projects.”

23-year-old Medvedev has triggered a surge of interest in him following his summer breakthrough. Prior to the final grand slam of the season, he reached three consecutive finals in Washington, Canada and Cincinnati. Becoming only the third man in history to do after Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi. It was in Cincinnati where he won his first Masters title. Then at the US Open, Medvedev finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal after contesting a five-set epic against the Spaniard.

https://twitter.com/DaniilMedwed/status/1174307458216538112

Medvedev will be hoping to continue his surge of form this week at the St Petersburg Open where he is the top seed. He is yet to contest an ATP final on Russian territory. However, the rising star has stated that his recent surge in success has given him extra belief on the tour.

“I have become convinced: when I am in good shape, I can beat anyone, or at least give a fight. It is most important. I seemed to know this before, but was not completely sure. Now I know this for sure.” Medvedev said during an interview with Sport Express.

According to the ATP, Medvedev has been the most successful player in indoor tournaments on the Tour within the past 52 weeks. Claiming two trophies and winning 22 matches overall. Giving him a 0.786 winning percentage.

He will open up his campaign in St Petersburg on Thursday against compatriot Evgeny Donskoy.

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Pre-Wimbledon Shake-Up Sees Birmingham Lose Premier Status And Mallorca Gain Men’s Tournament

Changes have been made to the grass-court season from 2020 onwards.

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A Premier grass-court women’s event have been moved to another country following changes made to the schedule of tournaments leading up to Wimbledon.

 

The Birmingham International, which is the only woman’s-only event held in the UK, has had their status reduced. Going from Premier level to international and subsequently dropping down from offering $1 million to $250,000 in prize money. The move comes after organisers of the event admitted they have found it financially tough to maintain the event and make a profit. Birmingham had held a premier status since 2014 with past winners including Ash Barty, Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber.

Instead the German capital of Berlin will host a new Premier event. It will take place at the Lawn Tennis Turnier Club Rot-Weiß (LTTC), which once held the German Open between 1979-2008. A clay-court tournament that was also part of the WTA Tour. However, this time round the surface will be grass. In a statement published by the LTTC, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has agreed to be a patron for the new event and there will some redevelopment of the venue in the coming months.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the absolute world-class women’s tennis on the grounds of the LTTC “Rot-Weiß” In the coming summer from 15 to 21 June 2020! Twelve years after the last German Open, our club will live up to many expectations with this worldwide international tournament.” A press release reads.

There have also been proposals for a separate WTA tournament to take place in Germany the week after Berlin in Bad Homburg. The event would replace the Istanbul Open, however, it is still subject to approval from the WTA board.

On the ATP Tour, there has been a change to one of the events taking place during the week before Wimbledon. Mallorca will now hold a 250 tournament instead of Antalya. Raising speculation about if Rafael Nadal could play in the event in the future. Nadal hasn’t played a grass-court event outside of Wimbledon since 2015, but lives in the Balearic Island.

“A strong and successful grass court season is absolutely critical to the future of grass court tennis and thus the future success of The Championships.” The chairman of the AELTC, Philip Brook, said in a statement.
“Having worked to expand the grass court season to be a meaningful gap between Roland-Garros and Wimbledon, we are pleased to be making these significant further investments into ensuring that quality grass court tournaments can be provided at all levels of the professional game for the best interests of the players and the broader tennis family.”

The 2020 grass swing of the tour will get underway during the week commencing June 8th.

Full schedule

Week 1: Nottingham (WTA International), S’Hertogenbosch (ATP 250/WTA International), Stuttgart (ATP 250)

Week 2: Berlin (WTA Premier), Birmingham (WTA International), Queen’s (ATP 500), Halle (ATP 500)

Week 3: Mallorca (ATP 250), Eastbourne (WTA Premier) – TBC: Bad Homburg (WTA International)

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