Bemused Stan Wawrinka Hits Out At Swiss Press - UBITENNIS
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Bemused Stan Wawrinka Hits Out At Swiss Press

The former world No.3 has accused reporters in his native country of being disrespectful towards him.

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Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland is pictured in action during day three of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 19, 2019.

Three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka has launched an attack on the media in his home country by saying he no longer enjoys talking with them.

 

Wawrinka shared his frustration earlier this week at the Swiss Indoors following his first round win over Pablo Cuevas. On two consecutive days he was asked about whether or not he can return back to his best form. Wawrinka has been blighted by injury in recent years and underwent knee surgery back in 2017. However, this season the Swiss player has been gradually regaining his form and has reached two ATP Finals this season.

“There is an impression here, in this room and in Switzerland, that I have not had a good year.” Wawrinka said during a press conference.
“I am exaggerating, but I have that feeling and, frankly, I have lost the joy of talking to the media in Switzerland. I’m 15th in the race, could theoretically qualify for the ATP finals. And you ask me: what are you missing to find your best level again?’
“Who won Grand Slam tournaments in the last few years? I’m the only one outside Big Four who has won three. This must not be forgotten.”

Continuing his response, the 34-year-old cites a duo of his 2019 milestones as reasons why others shouldn’t be critical of his performance. At present, he has won 31 out of 50 matches played this season, according to data provided by the ITF. Four of those wins have been over top 10 players Kei Nishikori (twice), Stefanos Tsitsipas and Djokovic.

“I’ve come back from a serious injury, I’m 15th in the race, was injured a month after the US Open and have just reached a final (in Antwerp). And I’m one of the few who beat Novak (Djokovic), even though he had to give up in the third set (at the US Open). And you ask me what’s missing to win a Grand Slam title again?” He argues.
“Everything I did this year makes it a very good year. I have regained my confidence, have beaten the very best again at certain times. Sure, I did not win any Grand Slam tournaments, but who won them (Nadal and Djokovic). I’m back in a position where I know what I will be capable of next year. And that was my goal for 2019. Would I like to finish in the Top 10 this year? Yes. Would I like to win a Grand Slam title? Yes. But you also have to be a realist.”

In a direct jibe at reporters, Wawrinka said he believes they have been ‘too spoiled’ by the success of the Swiss contingent. Which also includes 20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic. He argues that his year would have been appreciated more by the media if it was during another era where his compatriots hasn’t been as successful in the sport.

This week Wawrinka is 17th in the ATP rankings in what is his highest position since May 2018. It has been 29 months since his last won an ATP trophy at the 2017 Geneva Open. Despite the dry spell, he believes he still has what it takes to challenge for the biggest trophies in the sport.

“Who knows, maybe I’ll win a Grand Slam title next year? My career has always been in stages. I know where I stand now. I continue to play to win titles and beat the best. I had an incredible career and won almost everything that is possible for a tennis player. I would not have much interest in continuing to play if I could not continue to win tournaments.”

Wawrinka was scheduled to play Federer in the quarter-finals of the Swiss Indoors. However, he has been forced to pull out of the match due to a back injury. Federer will play either third seed Tsitsipas or Filip Krajinović in the last four on Saturday.

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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.

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Venue of the 2019 Mens Japan Open (image via https://twitter.com/rakutenopen)

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.

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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.

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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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