Tennis Players Blasts ‘Unfair’ ATP Cup That Could Leave Some Worse Off - UBITENNIS
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Tennis Players Blasts ‘Unfair’ ATP Cup That Could Leave Some Worse Off

A trio of top 100 players have argued that the brand new team tournament could have a negative effect on their ranking and create a disparity on the tour.

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The governing body of men’s tennis are facing opposition from some of their own players concerning the revived ATP Cup that will get underway in 2020.

 

In January the team tournament will launch for the first time. It will be held across three cities in Australia with a total of 24 teams taking part. The competition will have a prize money pool of $15 million with up to 750 ranking points on offer for the undefeated singles champion. The concept is similar to that of the World Team Cup that took place in Düsseldorf between 1978 and 2012.

Qualified teams are selected based on the ATP ranking system. Each team must have a minimum of three ATP ranked players, including two with a singles ranking. A country can have up to five players, but three of those must have a singles ranking.

“ATP Cup counts as a bonus event in terms of points for those who play. Very unfair for those that don’t get to play and don’t have equal opportunity for points.” World No.37 Reilly Opelka commented about the tournament.

22-year-old Opelka argues that due to a limited number of places per team, it is unfair to have on offer so many ranking points. He is currently America’s third highest ranked player, but the country also has three top 30 players in the doubles. Effectively meaning that Opelka will not be able to play in the tournament, but those ranked much lower than him can.

“ATP cup is not purely a “ranking based” entry system, and that’s the issue.” He argues. “It’s more of a country based entry system. If it was ranking based, I would be able to play. There are many guys ranked much lower than me, that are qualified for ATP cup.”

Australian player John Millman has also voiced his concerns. Millman is currently ranked 52nd in the world and reached the final of the Japan Open a couple weeks ago. He points out that the new tournament is now considered as a ‘countable tournament.’ In the ATP rankings, a position is based on a player’s top 18 tournaments. However those playing the ATP Cup will up their tally to 19. Having an advantage on those unable to qualify due to limited spaces.

“Every player has the chance to make the World Tour Finals and this is how it is justified as an extra tournament.” Millman wrote.
“When the ATP Cup was introduced it was announced that it would be included as an extra countable tournament. Meaning those who play it get a 19th countable tournament or if you play that and qualify for the ATP Tour Finals you will have 20 countable tournaments. For every player who doesn’t qualify for neither tournaments their ranking will be comprised of 18 tournaments.’
“As opposed to the World Tour Finals the ATP Cup isn’t an even playing field in that it is harder to qualify for nations that have multiple players.”

Taylor Fritz described the team event as ‘a great idea’ for the sports. However, he is another player unhappy with the disparity that could be created.

“It’s not fair that a player ranked 80 or worst can play and have a 19th tournament when someone ranked 40 from a stronger nation doesn’t get the chance to play.” Fritz tweeted.

Every member of the current top 10 have confirmed their intention to play in inaugural the ATP Cup. Andy Murray will also feature in the event, thanks to the use of his protected ranking.

The tournament will take place between January 3rd-12th.

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Monte Carlo Breakthrough Leaves Andrey Rublev With Mixed Emotions

The world No.8 takes confidence from his latest run but admits it is ‘impossible’ to play at his very top level every week on the Tour.

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After achieving a career milestone at the Monte Carlo Masters, Andrey Rublev was sent crashing down to earth on Sunday.

 

The Russian tennis star broke new territory at the tournament by reaching his first ever Masters 1000 final at the age of 23. However, he was denied the title by Stefanos Tsitsipas who produced a clinical performance to seal victory in just 71 minutes. Ending Rublev’s run of winning seven finals in a row.

“I feel happy with the week, and I feel super sad with the final, that I couldn’t show my game,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“Of course, I’m happy with the week because I beat so many great players and I beat one of the best players in history. It’s a special week.”

Earlier in the tournament Rublev stunned the draw when he upset Rafael Nadal in three sets en route to the semi-finals. Making it the fourth time in his career he has scored a win over a player ranked No.3 in the world. He is also the first player in history to come back from a set down to defeat Nadal at the tournament.

Besides the king of clay, Rublev also dismissed Roberto Bautista Agut and Casper Ruud. He has now won 24 matches on the ATP Tour this season which is more than anybody else. However, he is reluctant to link all of his match play with his latest performance.

“I feel tired after all the matches that I play, exhausted. But this is not excuse. He was just better than me, and that’s it,” he stated.
“Not always everything goes your way. It happened today. I was completely exhausted. Stefanos, he showed great game. He was just better than me, and that’s it.”

Despite his recent success, Rublev is eager to not get too far ahead of himself heading into the French Open. A Grand Slam where he has only played in the main draw twice before, including last year where he reached the quarter-finals.

“I would like to play really good in Madrid and I would like to play really good in Rome. I would like to play all of the weeks good. But it’s impossible,” he explains.
“Some of the weeks for sure will be better, some will be worse and some will be amazing.’
“For the moment I’m playing really consistent. I’m really happy I’m playing my best season so far. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Rublev is set to return to action next week at the Barcelona Open where he will be the third seed.

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Former Australian Open Semi-Finalist Kyle Edmund Undergoes Surgery

It has been reported that the world No.69 may not be able to return to the Tour for ‘several more months.’

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British world No.69 Kyle Edmund is set to be sidelined from the Tour for some time after having surgery to treat a long-standing problem in Switzerland. 

 

The former British No.1 has confirmed he had a ‘small procedure’ on his knee after being hampered with issues in the area ever since 2018 when a scan revealed that he had fluid behind his left knee. Details of the surgery have not been disclosed by the person who conducted the operation was Dr Roland Biedert, according to BBC Sport. A specialist Orthopaedic surgeon who has also operated on Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro.

“I had a small procedure on my knee. I’m currently rehabbing. The recovery is going well and I hope to be back on court as soon as possible.” Edmund said.

Currently ranked 69th in the world, Edmund hasn’t played a competitive match since losing in the first round of qualifying at the Vienna Open last October due to his knee. 2020 saw mixed fortunes for the 26-year-old. After winning the New York Open during February of that year, he lost seven out of 10 matches played during the rest of the season. Including five defeats in a row.

No return date has been outlined by Edmund or his team following the surgery. However, British media have reported that he may be out for ‘several more months.’ Casting doubts over his chances of being ready in time for Wimbledon which starts on June 28th. He hasn’t been absent from a Wimbledon main draw since 2012.

Edmund has been ranked as high as 14th in the world with his best Grand Slam run being to the semi-finals of the 2018 Australian Open. Overall, he has won two ATP titles and has earned more than $5.7 in prize money. 

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Grigor Dimitrov Blames Poor Monte Carlo Performance On ‘Big Infection’

The 29-year-old reveals the reason behind his error-stricken performance at the Monte Carlo Country Club on Thursday.

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Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov said he simply ‘didn’t play’ in his latest match at the Monte Carlo Masters after winning just two games against Rafael Nadal.

 

The world No.17 fell 6-1, 6-1, to the 20-time Grand Slam champion in less than an hour on Thursday. He won 48% of his first service points and 32% of his second, as he hit 32 unforced errors. A dismal performance from Dimitrov who had beaten Jan-Lennard Struff and Jeremy Chardy earlier in the tournament.

Whilst it was never going to be easy playing somebody of Nadal’s calibre, Dimitrov has revealed that he had been troubled by an issue away from the court. He has been suffering from a ‘big infection’ in his tooth which has had an impact on his preparation for the match.

“I’ve been struggling with a massive tooth problem for the past four or five days,” he said. “I have a big infection in my tooth. It’s been hard. I haven’t been able to sleep well or eat well or anything like that.’
“I was bearing it for a while this whole week.”

It is another case of bad luck for Dimitrov on the Tour this season. At the Australian Open he reached the quarter-finals in what was his best Grand Slam performance since the 2019 US Open. However, in his last eight showdown with Russia’s Aslan Karatsev he was hindered by a back injury.

“It’s straight to the doctor’s, unfortunately,” he commented on his tooth. “Very, very unpleasant moment. It is what it is.’
“At least I’m glad it happened on a home soil so I can go see my dentist and figure this problem as soon as possible.Hopefully it’s not too serious and I’ll be able to come back as soon as possible.”

Speaking in his press conference, Nadal said he ‘felt sorry’ for his opponent who ‘played a bad match.’ During the match the world No.3 wasn’t aware of Dimitrov’s problem but was told about it afterwards.

“I wish him all the best. He’s a great guy, a good friend. I just hope the situation is to improve as soon as possible,” he said.

Nadal, who is seeking a record 12th title in Monte Carlo, will play Russia’s Andrey Rublev next.

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