Wawrinka, Medvedev To Play In Saudi Arabia’s First Ever International Tennis Event - UBITENNIS
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Wawrinka, Medvedev To Play In Saudi Arabia’s First Ever International Tennis Event

Four players, including a multiple grand slam champion, has been confirmed for the brand new event which will launch later this year.

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Stan Wawrinka and Daniil Medvedev will be among eight players who will travel to Saudi Arabia in December to play in the country’s first ever tennis tournament.

 

The inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup will take place over three days between December 12-14. It will be held on the outskirts of Diriyah at the same venue where the boxing world heavyweight title rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr will take place a week prior. The venue has a capacity of 15,000 spectators with players battling it out for a prize of $3 million.

“Hosting world class international tennis in Saudi Arabia for the very first time is another watershed moment for the Kingdom. There’s a deep passion for sport in Saudi Arabia and the Diriyah Tennis Cup will see us reaching new tennis fans, welcome even more international visitors as well as creating amazing memories for all.” Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki AlFaisal Al Saud, chairman of the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia (GSA), said in a statement.

Prince Abdulaziz is hoping the event will help inspire people in Saudi Arabia to take up the sport. The country currently doesn’t have a player, male or female, with a professional ranking in tennis. The event will be working alongside the Saudi Tennis Federation.

“We want to contribute in achieving the goals of the sports sector, which have been defined in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, to transform the Kingdom into a destination for sports tourists from around the world.” He said.
“We hope that the announcement of the tennis cup would motivate Saudi players to invest more in the game so that they could compete at international levels in the future.”

Also confirmed for the event are Italy’s Fabio Fognini and David Goffin. Fognini won his first Masters title earlier this year in Monte Carlo and Goffin is currently ranked 14th in the world.

The announcement comes just days after the conservative country changed the rules to their visas for tourists. Renowned for its strict laws, unmarried couples are now allowed to rent hotel rooms together and women can stay alone.

In 2018, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were due to clash in the Kingdom before their exhibition was called off. The decision was made in the aftermath of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered inside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey. Both players were also criticised for agreeing to play in the country that has a questionable human rights record.

The full line-up for the Diriyah Tennis Cup will be announced shortly.

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Ashleigh Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer wins the WTA Coach of the Year Award

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Ashleigh Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer won the WTA Coach of the Year Award, which recognizes the winning coach for success on the court, but also for serving as an ambassador of the sport, but also for serving as an ambassador of the sport.

 

Tyzzer has coached the 2019 French Open and WTA Finals champion since she made her come-back in 2016 after taking a break from tennis to play cricket. The player from Ipswich signed up for the Brisbane Heat for the inaugural Women’s Bash League.

Under the guidance of Tyzzer Barty won her maiden WTA title at the Malaysian Open and rose to world number 17 in the WTA Ranking. She also finished runner-up in two finals at Birmingham and Wuhan. In 2018 the 23-year-old Australian player won two titles in Nottingham and at the Elite Trophy in Zhuhai and reached the semifinals at the Rogers Cup. Barty won her first Grand Slam doubles title at the US Open with her partner Coco Vandeweghe.

During a successful 2019 season Barty reached the final in Sydney and the quarter final at the Australian Open. She won her maiden Premier Mandatory title in Miami rising to the top 10 for the first time in her career. Barty lifted her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros and won another Premier level title in Birmingham becoming the world number 1 player before Wimbledon. The Aussie player clinched the trophy at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen and ended the 2019 season as the WTA Year-End World Number 1 player.

“You are the captain of our ship. You make sure that we tick along every single day. There would not be another person that I would want to spend the journey with. You are an incredible person, an amazing friend”, said Barty.

 

 

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Danil Medvedev and David Goffin reach the semifinal at Diriyah Cup in Ryadh

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World number 5 Danil Medvedev cruised past Jan Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1 to reach the semifinal at the Diriyah Tennis Cup in Ryadh. The 2019 US Open finalist dropped just five points on his first serve and never faced break points.

 

The Russian player earned a break in the fifth game when Struff netted a forehand and held on his service game at 15. He sealed the break with a double break in the ninth game.

Medvedev broke serve in the second game with a forehand and raced out to a 4-0 lead with a double break. He hit three winners, as he wast serving for the match at 5-1, to close out the match setting up a semifinal against David Goffin.

“It was a great match. It’s never easy like this after the end of the season, holidays and in the middle of pre- season to know how you are playing at this moment. Today was a great match, beating Jan so easy is a great achievement because he is a great player, so I am really happy. The atmosphere was really god and warm”, said Medvedev.

Goffin beat Frenchman Lucas Pouille 6-2 6-4. The Belgian player broke serve in the opening game, as Pouille made a forehand error. Pouille did not convert a break point at 1-2. Goffin went up a double break to open up a 5-2 lead with four winners.

Goffin went up a break at the start of the second set. Pouille broke back in the eighth game when Goffin hit a double fault. Goffin got his fourth break in the ninth game and sealed the win with a hold of serve.

“Super oragnisation. The stadium is really nice. First time for me playing in Saudi. It’s a great atmosphere. It was great for us and people in the stadium. It’s a nice court. It’s a nice court and stadium. It could be a nice centre court in a big tournament”,said Goffin.

 

 

 

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Fabio Fognini sets up semifinal against Gael Monfils at Diriyah Tennis Cup

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Fabio Fognini beat John Isner 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in 1 hour and 25 minutes in the opening match of the Diriyah Tennis Cup, the first professional tennis tournament in Saudi Arabia. The exhibition tournament is held at the Diriyah Arena in Riyadh.

 

Fognini saved two break points at the start of the opening set. Isner fended off one break point in the second game. Fognini won eight of the nine break points to open up a 4-2 lead with a break in the sixth game. Isner broke back to draw level to 4-4. Both players went on serve to set up a tie-break.

Fognini earned a mini-break to open up a 3-1 lead in the tie-break. Isner got back the mini-break to draw level to 3-3, when Fognini hit a double fault.

Fognini earned another mini-break on the seventh point to take a 4-3 lead before sealing the opening set 7-4 on the second of his three set points, when Isner made a forehand error from Isner.

Fognini converted his third break point chance in the third game of the second set with a forehand error from Isner and held his service game to take a 3-1 lead. Fognini did not face any break points in his next service games and held his final service game at love to close out the second set 6-4 in 31 minutes with a service winner in the 10th game.

“I won the first game of the tournament. It’s nice. It’s something I will remember for sure and the people will remember as it is first year we play here. I know they want to do something, especially to improve tennis in this country, so I am happy”, said Fognini.

Fognini set up a semifinal against Gael Monfils, who beat Stan Wawrinka 6-3 6-3 after 66 minutes. Wawrinka broke serve at 15 in the opening game and held serve to open up a 2-0 lead. Monfils got the break back in the fourth game in the fourth game when Wawrinka hit his forehand long. Both players traded breaks in the next games to draw level to 3-3.

Monfils earned another break in the eighth game with a forehand down the line winner and sealed the set with a service winner in the ninth game.

Monfils forced a backhand error to get a break at the start of the second set. The Frenchman went up a double break on return at 5-3 to seal the win in straight sets.

“So far it’s great. The offering they have here for us to perform is incredible. The people are very nice. I feel vert nice”, said Monfils.

 

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