Tennis Australia To Launch Fundraisers For Fire Victims As Players Dismiss Air Quality Concerns - UBITENNIS
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Tennis Australia To Launch Fundraisers For Fire Victims As Players Dismiss Air Quality Concerns

The tennis tour is set to get underway in a country currently experiencing devastating bushfires that have forced thousands to flee their homes.

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The Rod Laver Arena (source: sportinglife.com)

The head of Tennis Australia has confirmed that a series of fundraising events will take place during the ATP Cup and Australian Open to help those affected by bushfires in the country.

CEO Craig Tiley has said details will be released in the coming days about what will be taking place in the coming weeks. The motion comes on the same day the Premier of New South Wales declared a week-long state of emergency due to the threat posed. Since September, 18 people have been killed and more than 1200 homes have been destroyed across the region, as well as Victoria.

“For weeks we’ve been watching the devastation caused by bushfires across Australia and the people affected are constantly in our thoughts,” Tiley said in a statement.
“We want to help these communities in a meaningful way and will announce a number of fundraising and support initiatives that will be rolled out across the ATP Cup, Australian Open and our other events over the coming weeks.”

The intuitive have already been backed by Nick Kyrgios, who called for a charity exhibition to take place the day before Tiley’s announcement. In a Twitter post, the world No.30 tweeted directly to Tennis Australia and urged them to help raise money.

Tennis Australia, obviously, has been pretty proactive about it,” The AFP quoted Kyrgios as saying on Thursday.
“I’m sure something will happen. I’m sure all of us will be involved in some way,” he added

There are concerns about how the haze from the fire will affect players during the Australian swing of the tour, which will officially start tomorrow with the ATP Cup. On New Year’s Day the country’s capital of Canberra recorded its worst air quality since ratings began and those in the city were advised against doing any physical activity.

Across tournaments in the country, officials will be monitoring the air quality but they are not expected to be affected. In Sydney at the ATP Cup, British Team captain Tim Henman told reporters that he doesn’t expect there to be a problem.

“In the context of what this country is going through with the bushfires and for us having to deal with perhaps slightly poor air quality, I think right there is the perspective,” said Henman. “I don’t envisage it being a problem at all.”

Grigor Dimitrov, who will also be playing in Sydney, also played down the situation earlier this week. Saying that the situation is out of his hands.

“If it’s not healthy, it’s not healthy,” he said. “It’s the passion that drives us through moments like that.”

World No.11 David Goffin mirrored Dimitrov by describing the conditions as ‘okay.’

“I think we are in a safe area for smoke and the air is okay for us,” said the Belgian.
“We didn’t feel it that much for the moment, the quality of the air. I think it should be okay for the matches.”

The temperature in New South Wales is expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) this weekend.

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Jelena Ostapenko beats Greer Minnen to reach the second round at Eastbourne

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Number 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 29 minutes to secure a spot in the second round at the Rothesay international in Eastbourne. 

Ostapenko won the Eastbourne title in 2021 and reached the 2022 final before losing to Petra Kvitova. 

Minnen led by a break three times and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Ostapenko pulled back on serve each time. 

Ostapenko fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break. The Latvian player converted his first chance with a forehand return winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Ostapenko earned a second break in the third game, but she took an off court medical time-out after a fall at 3-1 in the second set. 

Ostapenko recovered by winning four consecutive games with two breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

“Grass is a great surface, but sometimes it can be slippery and really tricky. So I took the medical time-out just to make sure I am fine”, said Ostapenko.  

 “I think the surface suits me really well. The first I played on grass, I was like: ‘How can we play tennis on this surface ? I don’t understand what’s happening here, but then every year was better and better”, said Ostapenko. 

British wild card Harriet Dart battled past former Wimbledon quarter finalist Marie Bouzhkova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after 3 hours and 29 minutes in the third-longest match on the WTA Tour this year. 

Bouzhkova broke twice in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead, but Dart won six of the next seven games with three breaks of serve to win the first set 7-5. 

Dart fought back from 1-4 down to force a tie-break with two breaks of serve in the sixth and eighth games. The British player never held a match point in the second set. Bouzhkova converted her fourth set point to seal the tie-break 9-7 after a 88-minute second set. 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set, Dart earned a decisive break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The British wild card saved a break point at 4-3 en route to the win. 

Dart was scheduled to face 2022 Wimbeldon champion Elena Rybakina, but the Kazakh player withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a change of schedule. Dart will face wild card Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2020.  

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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