Pre-Wimbledon Shake-Up Sees Birmingham Lose Premier Status And Mallorca Gain Men’s Tournament - UBITENNIS
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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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Angelo Binaghi: “The Internazionali BNL d’Italia could be held in September. It is a better period than May”

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Italian Tennis Federation President Angelo Binaghi said in an interview to Italian tennis channel Supertennis that he was confident that the 2020 edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia could take place next September as a tune-up for the French Open. The ATP Masters and the WTA Premier Masters was originally scheduled from 11th to 17th May, but it was called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

“Barring major upheavels, I think that we are going to reorganise the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in September, between the middle and the end of the month. They tell me, especially the Romans, that it is an extraordinary season, the best time to play tennis. September could be better than May, when the tournament is traditionally held. Tennis is the safest sport at the time of the coronavirus pandemic. Our sport has some advantage compared to team sports. This summer we will hold the National Championhsips after many years”, said Binaghi.  

Binaghi said that he would meet Italian Sports Minister Vincenzo Spadafora to discuss about the possibility to attend the tournament.

Italian tennis will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Francesca Schiavone’s win at Roland Garros in 2010.

“Schiavone’s win was a big surprise. Italian tennis was not ready for this triumph. It was a big step forward, that made us aware that we could achieve any kind of result. It marked the start of a golden period for Italian tennis”.

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Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Jannik Sinner set to play in Berlin exhibition tournament

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Berlin is set to host an exhibition tournament in two parts. Twelve players will take part in this tournament, that will consist in two parts. The first part will take place on grass between 13th and 15th July. The second part will be held on hard court in a hangar near the closed Tempelhof Airport between 17th and 19th July.

 

The men’s tournament will feature 2018 ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev, this year’s Australian Open Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios and 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals Jannik Sinner.

Two-time Rome champion Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic have signed up to play in the women’s tournament.

The matches will be played behind closed doors. A super tie-break will replace the third set. There will be no electronic lines calls with no line judges to reduce the number of people on the court. The exhibition event will replace a WTA tournament in Berlin, which was scheduled on June, but it was cancelled.

A total prize money of 200000 Euros will be available.

 

 

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Injury Scare Fails To Derail Petra Kvitova From Winning ‘Bizarre’ All-Czech Tennis Event

The world No.12 speaks out about the unusual circumstances she was playing in earlier this week as she sheds light on a recent injury issue she has been dealing with.

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During what was meant to be the first week of the French Open Petra Kvitova is still winning matches albeit in very different circumstances.

 

With professional tennis still halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two-time Wimbledon champion was one of the headline acts at the CTS President’s Cup earlier this week. A Three-day event that features eight men and eight women taking part in a all-Czech tournament. Umpires and ball boys had to wear face masks and there was limited spacing for spectators to watch from the sidelines with organizers mindful of social distancing.

“The gloves, face masks, the fact nobody handed us the towels, no handshakes, that was definitely bizarre,” said Kvitova.
“And playing without people, the atmosphere was not exactly what we are used to.”

Despite the unusual circumstances, it failed to prevent Kvitova for winning the event on Thursday. During a rain-interrupted final she saw off Wimbledon quarter-finalist Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-3. Earlier in the event she also scored wins over former world No.1 doubles player Kateřina Siniaková (7-5, 6-4) and Barbora Krejčíková (7-6, 6-2).

The trio of victories came only days after there was concern if Kvitova would be able to play at all. Leading into the tournament the Czech started to feel pain in her forearm, but was later given the all clear by her doctor. Speaking to reporters, she said the pain she felt was similar to what occurred this time last year when she was forced to withdraw from the French Open.

“Two days before the start of the tournament, my forearm started to stiffen, similar to last year before the French Open,” the 30-year-old explained.
“That’s why I didn’t train on Monday. I was waiting for Mr. Kolář’s verdict, but he said that I would be able to do it (play) in some way.”

Now her first taste of competitive tennis in over three months has concluded, Kvitova has relished the experience. It is still unclear as to when the WTA Tour will resume. At present the suspension is until July 31st. In recent days both the US Open and French Open have said they are optimistic that their events will be able to go ahead later this year in some capacity.

“Given the circumstances and the pandemic, it was a wonderful tournament,” Kvitova stated.

Whilst officials ponder when to restart the sport, Kvitova plans to take some time resting her hand in order to prevent aggravating it further.

“I’ll definitely feel my hand for a few days now, but I’ll take time off, there’s no hurry,” she concluded.

In the men’s final world No.450 Michael Vrbensky, who shocked top seed Jiri Vesely in the first round, won the title.

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