(VIDEO) The Story So Far At Wimbledon On Middle Sunday - UBITENNIS
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(VIDEO) The Story So Far At Wimbledon On Middle Sunday

Ubitennis looks back on the shocks and surprises that have happened during the first week of the grass-court major. Including the fall of the Next Gen and the rise of 15-year-old Cori Gauff.

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Grand Slam

‘A Class Act’ – Players Hail Wimbledon Following Decision To Hand Out £10m From 2020 Championships

The All England Lawn Tennis Club has announced that players who would had qualified to played this year’s tournament will receive payouts of up to £25,000.

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There has been an outpouring of praise from the world of tennis after the Wimbledon Championships announced they will hand out prize money to those who would have played in this year’s championships.

 

620 players are set to benefit from a prize money pool of £10M despite the event being cancelled for the first time since 1945 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike the other Grand Slams, Wimbledon was covered by pandemic insurance. The payments from players ranges from £5000 for those who would have played in the quad wheelchair events to £25,000 for those who would have played in the singles main draw (based on their current ranking).

“Immediately following the cancellation of The Championships, we turned our attention to how we could assist those who help make Wimbledon happen,” AELTC chairman Richard Lewis said in a statement.
“We know these months of uncertainty have been very worrying for these groups, including the players, many of whom have faced financial difficulty during this period and who would have quite rightly anticipated the opportunity to earn prize money at Wimbledon based on their world ranking.’
“We are pleased that our insurance policy has allowed us to recognise the impact of the cancellation on the players and that we are now in a position to offer this payment as a reward for the hard work they have invested in building their ranking to a point where they would have gained direct entry into The Championships 2020.”

The move comes after other governing bodies of the sport created their own funds to help support players during the pandemic. Unlike team sports, those on the Tour rely on prize money to fund their careers unless they have any sponsorship deals. For those lower ranked players, they have been unable to earn an income since March.

In the wake of the announcement, many top names in the sport praised Wimbledon for their gesture. Kim Clijsters, who played her first Grand Slam main draw match at the Wimbledon back in 1999, describes the move as a ‘class act.’

“Amazing news — always a class act and leader of our sport !! Well done Wimbledon – can’t wait to be back next year!” She wrote on Twitter.

Other to speak out from the WTA Tour includes Kristina Mladenovic, who wrote on social media ‘Amazing gesture Wimbledon, you have always been classy.’ Sachia Vickery said the donation shows the grass-court event is ‘leading by an amazing example’ by supporting all players. Meanwhile, Kirsten Flipkens called it a ‘nice gesture.

On the men’s Tour, Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko made a jibe at the US Open during his response to the news. The US Open is still going ahead as planned amid a rise in COVID-19 in some areas of the country. The event will be held behind closed doors for the first time in history.

“Hats off to Wimbledon. This is how you take care of your players. US Open should follow instead of pushing this nonsense. We can resume the tour later when conditions are better,” Lacko wrote.

Feliciano Lopez, who is also the tournament director of the Madrid Open, was another to pay tribute.

“Incredible gesture from Wimbledon with the players. We appreciate this comprehension and generosity in these times of uncertainty. Hats off to you once again,” he said.

Players are not the only group to receive charitable donations from the All England Lawn Tennis Club. In recent weeks they have also donated £1.2 to charities and organisations supporting vulnerable people during the pandemic.

The 134th Wimbledon Championships are expected to be held from 28 June to 11 July next year.

Breakdown of payouts

  • £25,000 for the 256 players in the singles main draws
  • £12,500 for the 224 players in singles qualifying
  • £6,250 for the 120 players in main draw doubles
  • £6,000 for the 16 players in the wheelchair events
  • £5,000 for four players in the quad wheelchair events

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Dominic Thiem reaches the final in Kitzbuhel

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Dominic Thiem came back from losing the first set to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 6-2 en route to reaching the final at the Thiem’s 7 tournament in Kitzbuhel.

 

Thiem earned two breaks in the third and fifth games to race out to a 4-1 lead. Bautista Agut got both breaks back in the sixth and eighth games to draw level to 4-4 forcing the match to the tie-break. The Spanish player won the tie-break 7-5 to take the opening set.

Thiem slowly found his rhythm again in the second set and earned two break points in the fourth game but he was not able to convert them. The home star dropped only two points on his serve until the end of the second set and converted two of the three break points to clinch the second set 6-2.

Thiem earned a break in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead and held on his next service games. The tournament organizer sealed the third set 6-2 with his double break with a blistering return on the match point in the eighth game securing his spot in the final. Thiem will face either Andrey Rublev or Matteo Berrettini in the final.

The second semifinal between Andrey Rublev and Matteo Berrettini was stopped several times before being called off due to rain, when Rublev was leading 6-4 2-1 in the second set.

Both players went on serve until the 10th game, when Rublev earned the break at 30 to win the first set 6-4. The match was interrupted after three games in the second set and will resume on Saturday.

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Corrado Barazzutti: “Fabio Fognini is not ready to play at the US Open,but he will prepare for the European clay tournaments”

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Italian Davis Cup captain Corrado Barazzutti talked about Fabio Fognini’s recovery from surgery and the goal to reach the ATP Finals in London during an interview to Italian tennis television channel Supertennis.

 

Fabio Fognini underwent surgery on both ankles at the end of May to get rid of the injury problems, which have affected his preparation for a long time. Barazzutti, who coaches Fognini said that Fabio will not play at the US Open and the US hard-court season and doubts that the US tournaments will take place.

“There is no time enough to play at the US Open. If I can express my opinion, I don’t think that US Open will be held this year. The situation in the US is too serious and I doubt that it will improve in a short period of time. As there is no strict lockdown in the USA, the number of coronavirus cases will continue to be high. They will not be able to hold the US Open. A final decision will be taken in mid July. It is too complicated to go to the USA. Players do not want to go there. It’s still too complicated to play in a country, which is still hit hard by covid-19”, said Barazzutti.

The ATP recently announced that the ATP Ranking will now cover a period of 22 months from March 2019 to December 2020 to provide flexibility and fairness across all levels in parallel with the condensed number of points available as part of the revised provisional 2020 calendar.

Following the changes to the ATP Ranking Fognini will focus on the European clay season, which includes two Masters 1000 in Madrid and Rome and the French Open without the fear to lose the points he won last year. Fognini achieved his best results in Monte-Carlo, Canadian Open and Shanghai, which will not take place this year or are in doubt. This means that Fognini will not lose the points from this tournament and has a good chance to qualify for the ATP Finals in London.

“We prepare for the clay season hoping that Madrid, Rome and Paris will be held. Fabio could continue with the European indoor season with the goal to qualify for the ATP Finals. Let’s see if the coronavirus will allow us to continue this plan. Fabio will resume training gradually from Monday. Fabio is in good shape and sped up his recovery after surgery. We are very confident”, continued Barazzutti.

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