(VIDEO) US Open Day 14: Rafael Nadal Ends The Tournament With An Extraordinary Win - UBITENNIS
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(VIDEO) US Open Day 14: Rafael Nadal Ends The Tournament With An Extraordinary Win

It was fitting that the last match of this year’s New York grand slam should be the most epic.

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Grand Slam

Tennys Sandgren Hits Out As Players Set for Staggered Release From Quarantine In Australia

An extra day in quarantine beckons for some players before they are allowed to return to the tennis court.

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There is fresh frustration for some players in Australia after it was confirmed that they will have to spend an extra day in quarantine by health officials.

 

Earlier on Thursday Tennys Sandgren uploaded a video in which he criticised Tennis Australia over their handling of the situation. A stark contrast to two weeks ago when he praised the governing body after they managed to get him on a flight to the country despite producing a positive COVID-19 test. The American and his peers had been hoping to leave his hotel after 14 days until they was informed that their release would be staggered and could last until Sunday which is eight days before the start of the Australian Open.

“I just found out we’re not going to be able to leave the room ’til midnight which will put us at close to 15 days in this room,” Sandgren said on Instagram.
“It’s also another day we can’t practice.
“That’s play Saturday, Sunday, Monday and play a match Tuesday – a match, a competitive tennis match.
“After 16 days off we get three days hitting and then a tennis match.”

Sandgren is one of 72 players who have been in a strict quarantine after being declared closed contacts of somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19. A series of positive tests was detected on flights en route to the country. As a consequence of this, players started their quarantine on ‘day zero’ as supposed to day one under the normal rules set out. During this period they have been prohibited from leaving their room.

Oksana Kalashnikova, who is a top 70 doubles player, says she is baffled by the decision to extend their quarantine by an extra day but has no problem with it. The Georgian has previously jumped to the defence of Tennis Australia.

“We’re covid free and I’ve stayed my 14 days (in quarantine) and had no problem with that. My question is different, not about 14 days since all the studies say 14 days and that is what we’re told. If there is an explanation for that extra day I’ll have no problem with it,” she wrote on Twitter.

All players and their teams will only be released from quarantine as long as they pass the final health check. COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) has said a total of 960 players will be released but it will not be at once with a staggered system being implemented.

Australian Open quarantine residents are expected to depart this evening, with further residents to depart on Friday, Saturday and Sunday,” a statement reads.
“Departure dates and numbers may be subject to change,” the statement read.
“Australian Open residents must have returned a negative test result and be non-symptomatic prior to exiting mandatory quarantine.
“Australian Open residents identified as close contacts must have returned a negative test result and have received a medical clearance prior to exiting mandatory quarantine.
“Australian Open residents who tested positive must remain in isolation until they receive a medical clearance to exit.”

The Australian tennis swing will officially start next week with a total of six tournaments taking place, including one WTA event specifically for those who have been in strict quarantine. Recently the scheduling of those events had to be adjusted due to the high number of players who have been placed in a strict quarantine.

Meanwhile, the Australian Open is set to start on February 8th.

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Arthur Rinderknech claims his first Challenger title in Istanbul

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French 25-year-old player Arthur Rinderknech started his 2021 season with his third career Challenger title in Istanbul after beating his compatriot Benjamin Bonzi 4-6 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-3) after 2 hours and 17 minutes. In the erlier rounds he beat Next Gen player Brandon Nakashima, Marc-Andrea Huesler in the quarter final and Jozef Kovalik in the semifinal. 

 

Rinderknech becomes the first qualifier to win an ATP Challenger since Carlos Alcaraz won the Trieste tournament last August. 

Rinderknech won seven matches in eight days as a qualifier on the indoor hard courts of the TED Sports Club in Istanbul. The Frenchman has improved his best ranking by 43 spots to reach a career-high number 135 in the ATP Ranking. 

Rinderknech improved his best ranking by nearly 200 spots to a year-end position inside the top 200 in 2020. He started last year’s season with a Challenger title in Rennes and claimed his second title in Calgary. He received a main draw wild-card at Roland Garros and made his Grand Slam debut in the French capital. 

Rinderknech is playing this week in another Challenger tournament in the Open Quimper Bretagne Occidentale. He is one of nine players in the top 150 in Quimper. 

“It feels great to win the first Challenger of the year and even more when it’s a 125-level tournament. I am happy about the way I handled things this week and went through seven matches in eight days”, said Rinderknech. 

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Jannik Sinner, Nick Kyrgios, Roberto Bautista Agut and Pablo Carreno Busta in the spotlight in Montpellier

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Jannik Sinner, Nick Kyrgios, Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreno Busta and David Goffin will grab the headlines at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier, an ATP 250 tournament. The Southern French tournament is scheduled from 22 to 28 February 2021. 

 

Sinner made his Open Sud de France debut in 2020, but he lost to Swede Mikael Ymer in the round of 32. The 19-year-old Italian player will play in his first indoor tournament in 2021. Last year Sinner advanced to his first ATP 500 quarter final in the ABN AMRO indoor tournament in Rotterdam. In his most recent indoor tournament the 2019 Next Gen Finals champion beat Alex De Minaur, Adrian Mannarino and Vasek Pospisil to claim his maiden ATP 250 title at the Sofia Open. 

On French soil Sinner reached his first Grand Slam quarter final in his Roland Garros debut before losing to Rafael Nadal in three sets. He was the first debutant to reach the Roland Garros quarter final since Nadal achieved this feat in 2005 en route to his first Paris title.

Nick Kyrgios won his first ATP Tour title in Marseille in 2016. The Aussie star will be bidding to win his seventh title in his first appreance in Montpellier. Kyrgios beat Rafael Nadal en route to his first Grand Slam quarter final at 2014 Wimbledon, his first Masters 1000 final in Cincinnati 2017 and the second of his third ATP 500 titles in Acapulco 2019. He reached the 2015 Australian Open quarter final at the age of 19, becoming the youngest quarter finalist in Melbourne since Andrej Cherkasov in 1990.

The line-up will also feature three top 20 players: 2019 Wimbledon semifinalist and Davis Cup champion Roberto Bautista Agut, two-time Montpellier finalist David Goffin and Pablo Carreno Busta (two-time US Open semifinalist in 2017 and 2020). Eight French players from ten editions have won the Montpellier title since the first edition in 2010. Richard Gasquet has won three Montpellier titles in 2013, 2015 and 2016. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lifted his only tophy in the French tournament in 2019. Ugo Humbert will be bidding to win his career title after claiming two tournaments in Auckland and Antwerp in 2020. 

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