Angelique Kerber Suffers Fresh Setback Ahead Of Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Angelique Kerber Suffers Fresh Setback Ahead Of Australian Open

The world No.18 faces a race again time to be fit for Melbourne.

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German No.1 Angelique Kerber is the latest player to be entering the upcoming Australian Open with an injury cloud looming over their head after she was forced to retire from the Adelaide International on Wednesday.

 

The three-time grand slam champion sought treatment throughout her clash with Ukrainian player Dayana Yastremska. After dropping the first set and going down a break in the second, Kerber retired from the match whilst trailing 3-6, 0-2. It initially appeared that she was suffering from a lower back injury, however it was later officially confirmed that her withdrawal was due to a left hamstring injury.

There is yet to be any comment from Kerber or her team regarding the injury and the severity of it. Heading into the Australian Open next week, the world No.18 has only won one match so far this year. That was against China’s Wang Qiang in the first round on Monday. Last week she was knocked out of the first round of the Brisbane International by Sam Stosur.

Meanwhile, Yastremska will take on Croatia’s Donna Vekic in the quarter-finals of the tournament. Vekic battled back from a set down to edge out Maria Sakkari 2-6, 7-5, 6-1. The 19-year-old, who is the only teenager in the draw this week, is seeking to reach her first WTA final on Australian soil this week.

“I want to wish Angie and good recovery and to be ready for the Australian Open. It’s very important that she can get back into a good form.” She said during her on-court interview.
“From the beginning I didn’t feel that great on the court. It was a little bit windy and I was a bit confused (on the court), but then I managed to get back.’
“I just try to play each ball in the court.”

Another player through to the last eight is America’s Danielle Collins. The 2019 Australian Open semi-finalist crushed seventh seed Sofia Kenin 6-3, 6-1, in just over an hour. Winning eight consecutive games at one stage and dropping just four points behind her first serve. It is Collins’ third consecutive win over Kenin on the tour.

“Today was a bit of a struggle for me. I’ve been having a hard time keeping food down. I’ve been pretty sick and dealing with some stuff, but I think I faced the adversity well.” She said.
“I just tried to come out here and be the best competition I can be.”

Collins will play either fourth seed Belinda Bencic or Julia Goerges next.

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Svetlana Kuznetsova Becomes Latest Grand Slam Winner To Skip US Open Over Virus Fears

Nine top 40 players on the WTA Tour have now pulled out of the Grand Slam.

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This year’s US Open has taken another blow with their 2004 women’s champion pulling out of the event due to what she describes as an ‘unfavourable situation.’

 

Svetlana Kuznetsova has become the latest figure in the sport to pull out of the New York major amid concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic in America. The country has recently seen a spike in cases but in New York itself the levels haven’t been as high. Although officials at the tournament are taking no chances with fans being banned for attending for the first time in history and players are being kept in what is being described as a ‘bubble.’

Despite assurances from the United States Tennis Association, who runs the US Open, Kuznetsova still has her concerns. In a statement published on her Instagram account, the Russian said the pandemic has made it too complex for her to travel to the region. Citing the restrictions placed on players with how many members of their team they are allowed to bring with them.

Due to an unfavourable situation caused by coronavirus, and therefore the inability get together all my team I made a difficult decision to refuse to participate in Cincinnati and the US Open,” the world No.32 wrote.
“I feel very sad, because I have been waited for these tournaments so much, but the pandemic changes all plans.’
“I hope the situation will be more positive by the next tournaments.”

It will be only the second time Kuznetsova has missed the US Open since making her main draw debut back in 2002. She also missed the 2012 event due to a knee injury. Overall, she won 35 out of 51 matches played in Flushing Meadows.

Another player skipping the event is Barbora Strycova, who is currently playing in the Prague Open. The Czech is a two-time doubles semi-finalist at the US Open with her best run in the singles being to the third round.

Following the latest developments, nine players out of the current top 40 on the women’s Tour have officially pulled out of the US Open. Including top 10 players Ash Barty (No.1), Elina Svitoliva (No.5) and Kiki Bertens (No.7). Meanwhile, Simona Halep is yet to make a final decision about her plans.

There are also notable absences in the men’s field with reigning champion Rafael Nadal and former winner Stan Wawrinka both opting to miss the event due to concerns related to COVID-19. Novak Djokovic is also yet to confirm is he will play or not.

The US Open will get underway on August 31st.

List of women’s singles player withdrawals (as of 10/8/20)

1 Ash Barty AUS
5 Elina Svitolina UKR
7 Kiki Bertens NED
29 Qiang Wang CHN
30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS
31 Barbora Strycova CZE
32 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS
34 Saisai Zheng CHN
38 Julia Goerges GER
74 Lin Zhu CHN
85 Anastasia Potapova RUS
92 Ana Bogdan ROM
97 Sam Stosur AUS
103 Shuai Peng CHN
108 Xiyu Wang CHN
118 Barbora Krejcikova CZE

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Simona Halep ‘Happy To Be Back’ Amid Uncertainty Over US Open Plans

The Romanian still has reservations about her future plans after taking her first international flight in five months.

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World No.2 Simona Halep admits the prospect of travelling from Europe to America will be ‘mentally tough’ as she ponders whether or not to play at the US Open.

 

The reigning Wimbledon champion is set to return to competitive tennis in the Czech Republic where she will play her first tournament in five months at the Prague Open. Halep was originally due to make her return in Palermo but withdrew from the event due to ‘travelling anxiety’ despite being assured she wouldn’t have to go through quarantine. Speculation has mounted in recent weeks about if the Romanian would travel to the US Open later this year with the 28-year-old confirming she will make her final decision after Prague.

“I haven’t made the final decision yet,” AFP quoted Halep as telling reporters during a virtual press conference on Sunday.
“The travelling from Europe is a little bit tough with changing flights — we don’t have straight flights — so it’s going to be tough for me personally, mentally,” she told a video conference.
“I don’t want to put myself into that stress. As I said I haven’t decided yet, but the conditions are tough for me at this moment.”

Three members of the top 10 on the women’s Tour have already pulled out of the New York major, which will be played behind closed doors for the first time in history. Ash Barty, Kiki Bertens and Elina Svitolina have all withdrawn from the major due to concerns. In comparison, only one member of the top 10 on the men’s Tour, Rafael Nadal, has withdrawn specifically related to COVID-19 concerns.

Prague is Halep’s first international trip after being in lockdown in Romania since February. A country which reported 1,378 new coronavirus cases and 50 new related deaths on Friday in what was their highest 24-hour figure since the pandemic began.

“I’m a bit nervous but things are very controlled here and very safe so I feel safe,” she said upon arrival in the Czech capital.
“I’m happy to be back, I’m happy to be healthy.”

It will be double duty for Halep in Prague. Besides being the top seed in the singles draw, she will also be playing the doubles alongside local favourite Barbora Strycova. Who reached the semi-final of Wimbledon last year before losing to Serena Williams. It is the first time ever the two are playing alongside each other on the Tour.

“I’m sure we will have fun. I’m sure that she will understand if I miss easy balls at the net, and I hope we’ll enjoy it.” Halep commented on their collaboration.

Halep will start her singles campaign against Slovenia’s Polona Hercog.

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Dominic Thiem: “This year’s US Open will be less important than the 2020 Australian Open”

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Dominic Thiem is planning to travel to New York to play at the Western and Southern Open and at the US Open. Thiem feels that he could decide to pull out of the US tournaments and stay in Europe to prepare for Rome and the French Open, if it would be necessary to be in quarantine on his return to Europe. 

 

“When the tour resumes, I will be ready. If it is not played, I will be a little more time at home. I see in a neutral way. Tennis is one of the biggest sports in the world, and others like Formula 1 and basketball have already returned. It’s time for tennis to continue this trend”, said Thiem in an interview to the Standard. 

Thiem is keen on taking part at the US Open despite the restrictions. The Austrian player is bidding to win his first Grand Slam title after losing three consecutive finals at the French Open in 2018 and 2019 and at the Australian Open in 2020. He came close to winning the Melbourne final against Novak Djokovic last January when he was leading by two sets to one. Djokovic came back to win the final in five sets. 

Thiem is aiming at his first Grand Slam title in New York.  

“The expectations for me are quite high. All of us will have a completely new experience. There will be no spectators, a very small team, staying only in the hotel. You have to be honest and keep in mind that many top players will not attend the tournament. That means going far in this tournament it would be worth much less than normal compared to the Australian Open this year. Despite that, I am looking forward to playing”, continued Thiem. 

Thiem is planning to play in Kitzbuhel, Rome and Roland Garros. He will be able to play in Kitzbuhel only if the Austrian tournament will be postponed by one week to avoid the clash with the second week of the US Open. After the Madrid Mutua Open was cancelled, there are rumours that Kitzbuhel could be moved into Madrid’s vacated week. 

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