Novak Djokovic Drawn In Same Half As Federer, Nadal Gets Medvedev At Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Novak Djokovic Drawn In Same Half As Federer, Nadal Gets Medvedev At Australian Open

Here is a full breakdown of the men’s draw at this year’s Melbourne major.

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Novak has learned who he will have to play in order to claim an historic eighth title at the Australian Open.

 

The seven-time champion has been placed in the same section as rival Roger Federer. Putting them on course for a potential clash in the semi-finals of the tournament. Djokovic will start his campaign in Melbourne against Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Somebody who he hasn’t dropped a set against in their two previous meetings. The Serbian will not play anybody ranked higher than 14th seed Diego Schwartzman in his section until at least the quarter-finals. Lurking in his path is possible encounters with Tatsuma Ito in round two followed by Dan Evans and then Schwartzman.

Projected path
R1 – Jan Lennard-Struff
R2 – Tatsuma Ito
R3 – Dan Evans
R4 – Diego Schwartzman
QF – Stefanos Tsitsipas
SF – Roger Federer
F – Rafael Nadal

Djokovic is hoping to extend his record as the most decorated Australian Open men’s champion of all time and close the gap on Federer’s grand slam record of 20 titles. 12 months ago, he roared to victory in Melbourne with a comprehensive win over Rafael Nadal.

“That was probably the best performance I’ve had in the final of a grand slam in my career.” Djokovic reflected during the draw presentation.
“Two of the most epic I’ve ever had was (at the Australian Open) against Rafa in 2012 that almost went six hours and against Roger last year at Wimbledon.”

Former world No.1 Federer, who made his Australian Open debut back in 1999 by playing the qualifying event, starts his bid against America’s Steve Johnson. Unlike the Swiss maestro, Johnson has already played two events this year at Challenger level. Then possible clashes with Filip Krajinović and Hubert Hurkacz awaits. Federer has won the tournament in two out of the last three years.

Projected path
R1 – Steve Johnson
R2 – Filip Krajinović
R3 – Hubert Hurkacz
R4 – Denis Shapovalov.Grigor Dimitrov
QF – Matteo Berrettini/Fabio Fognini
SF – Novak Djokovic
F -Rafael Nadal

Nadal on course for Kyrgios meeting

Top seed Nadal is set for another showdown with unpredictable Australian player Nick Kyrgios. He will will begin against Bolivia’s Hugo Dellian. A player who is currently ranked 72nd in the world, but has only ever won two main draw grand slam matches in his career. Further down the line, the Spaniard is projected to possibly take on Kyrgios in the fourth round, who he leads 4-3 in their head-to-head. However, in order for the encounter to occur, Kyrgios may have to take out Karen Khachanov in the third round.

Projected path
R1 – Hugo Dellian
R2 – Federico Delbonis/João Sousa
R3 – Pablo Carreno Busta
R4 – Nick Kyrgios/Karen Khachanov
QF – Dominic Thiem
SF – Daniil Medvedev
F – Novak Djokovic

This year, Nadal is bidding to win the Melbourne title for the first time since 2009. It is the only grand slam tournament he hasn’t won on multiple occasions.

The Challengers

Outside of the Big Three, who have won the past 12 grand slams between them, are a group of players aiming to break their stronghold. 2020 has been billed as the year where they could be a breakthrough in the sport. Something Djokovic admits is a strong possibility.

“Daniil (Medvedev) is playing great tennis. He played a close five setter against Nadal at the US Open last year.” Djokovic previewed.
“He is definitely in that small group of players who are getting closer to a grand slam title.’
“Along with him I would say Dominic Thiem who has been around and is knocking on the door.
Tsitsipas won a big title at the world tour finals a few months ago.”
“I think tennis is good hands. We have a very good next generation.” He added.

Fourth seed Medvedev faces an intriguing opening match against Frances Tiafoe, who is defending a load of points after reaching the quarter-finals in Melbourne last year. In 2019, Medvedev down the American in straight sets at the Citi Open in Washington. Also lurking in his draw is 28th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 19th seed John Isner and 15th seed Stan Wawrinka. Medvedev is bidding to become only the third Russian man in history to win the tournament after Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Marat Safin.

After going out in the second round last year, Dominic Thiem is seeking redemption this time round. Despite being in a seemingly straightforward section, he could some some stern tests. He will begin against France’s Adrian Mannarino. Somebody he has a dominant head-to-head record of 7-0 against. However, it is later in the draw where he could come unstuck. Unseeded Kevin Anderson and Taylor Fritz (29) are possible third round rivals. Then he could play either Gael Monfils or rising star Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Other first round matches include Stefanos Tsitsipas against Salvatore Caruso, Alexander Zverev against Marco Cecchinato and Roberto Bautista Agut against compatriot Feliciano Lopez.

The men’s main draw will get underway on Monday.

Full draw

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US Open Taking A Big Risk If Tournament Goes Ahead, Warns Former Top 10 Player

Will the USTA be able to defy the odds and stage the North American grand slam as planned?

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The prospect of the US Open going ahead as planned could potentially lead to ‘scandal’ occurring in the sport, according to a two-time quarter-finalist of the tournament.

 

Janko Tipsarevic says a ‘big question mark’ is looming over the grand slam and its intention to host the event from the last week of August. New York state, which is where the US Open takes place, is at the centre of the covid-19 outbreak in America. As of Saturday morning official figures put the number of cases at 113,700. The Billie Jean Tennis Center has recently been turned into a 350-bed facility to help cope with the outbreak.

“I wouldn’t still rule out the possibility of seeing a tennis ball being hit for the rest of 2020 but I consider the US Open a big question mark,” Tipsarevic told Sport Klub.
“I think the United States will be the hardest hit country by the coronavirus pandemic and it will be extremely hard to get the situation under control before the end of August, when the US Open is scheduled to start.”

Nevertheless, the United States Tennis Association is still not giving up their hope of staging the event as scheduled unlike other majors. The French Open has suspended their tournament to the last week of September in a hope they can still host the event this year. However, Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since 1945.

There are also questions as to how much time it will take to make the facility safe for the public after being used to treat those with the virus. The facility being used to treat those affected is the indoor training centre and not the premier Arthur Ashe stadium or other courts. Danny Zausner, who is the chief operating officer of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, insists there will minimal risk to the public should the US Open get underway in the summer.

“I can assure you that by the time people leave these two entities—and obviously we hope that’s sooner rather than later—that they will be cleaner and more meticulous than when they opened. Obviously, we’re not going to be bringing the public into these spaces until everyone is out.” Zausner told tennis.com.

Despite the reassurances, Tipsarevic still believes that the legal risk involving the tournament could be too high. Making a reference to Eugenie Bouchard, who onced sued the USTA after slipping over in the locker room and suffering a concussion.

“You probably remember when Eugenie Bouchard fell in the locker room a couple of years ago, sued the US Open, won the case and got compensated a few million dollars.” He said.
“Can you imagine a situation in which the tournament organizers decide to proceed with the US Open and a player contracts the coronavirus and has serious consequences. Just imagine that scandal.”

Out of the four grand slams, the US Open was the only one to take place during the first and second world wars.

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Wimbledon Announces Cancellation As Coronavirus Continues To Affect Tennis Calendar

For the first time since World War Two, Wimbledon has been cancelled.

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Wimbledon has announced it has cancelled this year’s tournament due to health fears over the coronavirus. 

 

This is the first time since world war two that the famous grass-court tournament at SW19 has been cancelled as the coronavirus continues to impact the tennis calendar.

In a statement, Wimbledon confirmed that the next edition of the tournament will occur in 2021, “It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” they said on their website.

“The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021. Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.

“Members of the public who paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s Championships will have their tickets refunded and will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for The Championships 2021. We will be communicating directly with all ticket-holders.”

Speaking on the decision, All-England Club chairman Ian Hewitt admitted that health and public safety was more important than tennis right now, “This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen.”

“It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.”

As a result of today’s announcement, all grass-court tournaments in England and abroad have been cancelled as there will be no tennis until the 13th of July at the earliest.

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Wimbledon Cancelled And Roland Garros Punished For Its Decision

German Tennis Federation vice-president Dirk Hordoff confirms Wimbledon will not take place in 2020. The decision by the FFT to postpone Paris will not stand: the other organizations are committed to fight. FFT’s president Giudicelli may have overplayed his hand

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A bombshell interview by French sports newspaper l’Equipe to the Vice-President of the German Tennis Federation Dirk Hordoff has released some new details about the discussions taking place behind the scenes among top tennis executive to try and sort out the chaos created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

According to Hordoff, the grass-court season will be a write-off in 2020, with all tournaments waiting for Wimbledon to announce the cancelation of the tournament next Wednesday to make their decision official. “It’s the only decision that makes sense,” said the German executive “it is possible to play on clay later in the year, but it is not possible to have tournaments on grass in October, you can’t play on grass when it is moist”.

But the juiciest bits of the interview described with an abundance of details the reactions to the French Federation’s decision to unilaterally postpone the Roland Garros to late September (20 September – 4 October) without waiting to reach a consensus among the ATP, the WTA and the other Grand Slam tournament. “This is not the French way of doing things, it’s Bernard Giudicelli’s way of doing things”, said Hordoff. The FFT President Giudicelli reportedly forced the decision upon the other tournaments, uploading the press release to announce the decision while he was on a conference call with other tennis executives. “I believe he panicked because of the elections coming up [in February 2021] and wanted to score some points on his opponent” reported Hordoff. His decision to also cancel the qualifying tournament was intended to be a “biscuit” for the ITF President David Haggerty, since it would make the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid in November even more financially attractive to all the players who did not have the opportunity to earn money with the Roland Garros qualifying tournament. “He hoped to have the ITF on his side, but now he is alone against the rest of the world,” said Hordoff, adding that the ATP is threatening to remove the ranking points assigned to Roland Garros for both 2020 and 2021.

One manager at the FFT allegedly told Hordoff: “This decision will be his Waterloo”, alluding to Giudicelli’s birth region of Corsica, the island in the Mediterranean that also was Napoleon’s birthplace.

The idea for the remainder of the season would be to have Roland Garros some time between September and October, depending on when it is possible to start playing again and have a short clay-court season before then. The situation in New York is quite dire at the moment, so the US Open is still a question mark for the time being, explained Hordoff. “But the most important thing right now is people’s health. I believe that until we have a vaccine or a cure it will be difficult to start again. Can you imagine all the people travelling from tournament to tournament, all the players, the fans, the coaches, the physios, the referees? There are more important things than tennis to think about”.

“Financially tennis will be all right – concluded Hordoff – I don’t see any of the Top 100 having problems to survive even without tennis. Of course, there may be some sponsors that will pull back their support to some tournaments, but tennis will survive. It will be different, but it will survive”.

Correction: In previous versions of the article, Dirk Hordoff was being identified as the President of the German Tennis Federation. His position has now been corrected.

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