Tennis Icons Unite At Rally For Relief To Raise Millions For Bushfire Victims - UBITENNIS
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Tennis Icons Unite At Rally For Relief To Raise Millions For Bushfire Victims

More than AUS$4 million has been raised following the latest event in Tennis Australia’s fundraising campaign.




Players taking part in Rally for Relief (image via

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams were just some of the high-profile names that graced their presence at a huge fundraiser at Melbourne Park on Wednesday.


Organised by Tennis Australia, Rally For Relief was created to help raise money for those affected by devastating bushfires that has caused havoc in the country since September. 28 people have been killed and an estimated 2000 houses destroyed. In New South Wales alone 4.9m hectares of land have been burned. An area bigger than the total size of Denmark.

The star-studded event saw Williams and Caroline Wozniacki head up the teams as the player’s engaged in some light-hearted competition. With players teaming up in pairings to play doubles and switching after each game. Victory was secured by Rafael Nadal and Djokovic, who won the decisive game over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev to hand team Williams the 4-3 victory.

However, the event was never about the quality of play on the court. It was the reason why they were there to begin with. Following his time on the court, world No.1 Nadal revealed that he and Federer have both decided to donate a quarter of a million between them.

“Talking with Roger a couple of hours ago we have decided to give $250,000 to the fund together.” Said Nadal.
“Hopefully we keep inspiring people to fight this terrible disaster that we are going through and I hope it helps cover all those things we (those affected by the fires) need.”

Following the doubles, 38-year-old Federer took to the court in what was his first match of any sort played on Australian soil this year after skipping the ATP Cup. His opponent was Nick Kyrgios, who has been credited as the driving force behind the fundraisers. The former top 20 player tweeted to Tennis Australia earlier this month urging them to take action.

“It’s been an emotional past couple of weeks. Through the ATP Cup that was practically why I was playing so hard. I just wanted to send a message.” Kyrgios said.
“Back home when I was in Canberra, I couldn’t even go outside. It was emotional.’
“I’m just so happy that we had Roger, Rafa and Novak, who are some of the greats to get behind it.” He added.

Kyrgios was the player who started the trend of donating to the bushfire appeal for every ace he produced over the Australian summer. Pledging $200 per ace, he raised $13,800 at the ATP Cup last week alone.

“I’m playing Kooyong and I’m going to do that as well.” He stated.
“It’s gonna happen for as long as I can do it. Maybe further when I’m on tour travelling (outside Australia).”

It would be Federer who was victorious in his one-set clash with Kyrgios after clinching the tiebreaker 8-6. The 20-time grand slam champion describes the current situation as ‘difficult’ after speaking with those affected.

“As you get it through the news you never really know how bad it really is. But then you hear more and more about it, get a sense that it is really bad.” Federer said.
“Then you get down here (to Australia) and speak with the people who have been affected. It’s been difficult.’
“You wish this doesn’t happen in your country. In Switzerland we’re lucky that we don’t have these extreme situations.”

Prior to Rally for Relief, the aces fundraisers had generated just over AUS$400,000. Following the event, the organisers announced that the event had helped the tally rise substantially to AUS$4,826,014.
For more information on how tennis is raising money for those affected visit

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‘My Body Is Not Use To Playing At 2am’ – Kristyna Pliskova Stuns Sakkari In Late-Night Palermo Duel

The Czech player has caused the biggest upset of the draw so far.




Kristyna Pliskova has started her return to professional tennis following the five-month break by recording one of the biggest wins over her career at the Palermo Open.


The Czech tennis player held her nerve to knockout world No.20 and third seed Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-4, in a late-night encounter. The first day of the WTA event saw a series of matches go the full distance, leading to Pliskova’s opening match taking place in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Despite the later than expected encounter, a sleepy Pliskova still managed to come out on top to record only her seventh win over a top 20 player and second this year. She also beat Aryna Sabalenka at the Shenzhen Open in January. During her latest match, the Czech stood firmly behind her serve as she won 80% of her first service points and saved all three break points she faced. Overall, she won 69 points in the match compared to Sakarri’s 60.

“The conditions were really tough,” quoted Pliskova as saying. “Before the match, I was also sleeping a little bit! We stayed so late here, I think it’s tough for [Sakkari] as well.”
“The body is not used to playing at 2:00 a.m.,”
she added.

Pliskova broke Sakkari twice in the match by doing so at the start of each set. The triumph avenges her loss to the Greek in their previous meeting that took place at the 2017 Wimbledon championships. On that occasion Sakkari fought back from a set down to win.

Former Wimbledon girls champion Pliskova is seeking her first WTA title in almost four years this week in Palermo. Her next opponent will be Italian veteran Sara Errani, who required almost three hours to oust Sorana Cirstea 7-5, 1-6, 6-4, in a roller-coaster encounter.

“[Errani is] at home here, so for sure the people will cheer for her,” Pliskova commented on her next test. “She had quite a tough match, I saw. It’s very different from today, but I will try to hold my serve and hopefully I will also break her!”

Pliskova is currently ranked 69th in the WTA rankings.

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Fabio Fognini is planning to return in Kitzbuhel




Fabio Fognini is currently training in Puglia to prepare his return to the ATP Tour in Kitzbuhel next September after undergoing ankle surgery two months ago. His coach Corrado Barazzutti confirmed that Fognini will not play in the Cincinnati Masters 1000 tournament and at the US Open. 


Fabio knows what he has to do to recover from the injury and is working very hard. He trains every day from 10 to 14.30. I am happy with his committment and his hard work”, said Barazzutti, who is also the Italian Davis Cup captain. 

“I think that Fabio will be ready in two weeks. We will work for four weeks in Rome to prepare for Kitzbuhel, which will mark his come-back. If everything goes to plan, Fabio will play there. We are confident because his preparation is going well well”. 

Fognini is spending his time with his wife Flavia Pennetta and his children Federico and Farah. “I think that spending with his family will be very positive for Fabio. They give him the strength to overcome the recovery from injury. Living with injuries is normal for all athletes, but it is not very easy. He is now more relaxed”, concluded Barazzutti

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REPORT: Madrid Open To Be Axed Amid COVID-19 Concerns In Latest Setback For Tennis

Hopes of Spain holding their top tennis event in 2020 are over.




The world of tennis is set to suffer another severe blow with multiple media sources confirming that organisers of Spain’s most prestigious tennis tournament will officially cancel their event on Tuesday. 


The Mutua Madrid Open will be removed from the 2020 calendar following a meeting involving tournament owner Iron Tiriac. Recently doubts have been cast on the event after local health officials called for it to be suspended due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Although the final decision was up to Tiriac and his team. It had been due to take place between September 12 to 20, following the conclusion of the US Open. 

“We have to be realistic now, we have to accept that health is always the priority. We must not endanger anyone, neither the fans, nor the players, nor the staff, all those who come to Madrid in September,” tournament director Feliciano Lopez told L’Equipe over the weekend. 

Spain has seen their rate of COVID-19 cases rapidly rise since the country ended its lockdown. According to El Pais, the number of cases recorded within 24 hours is eight times the amount compared to 40 days ago. Rising from 334 (June 20) to 2,789 (between July 29 and 30). On Friday July 31st there were 3092 new cases in the country in what is a post-lockdown record.

Held at the Caja Magica, the Madrid Open is a key event for both men and women. It is currently classed as a Masters 1000 for the men and as a Premier Mandatory for the women. Last year each of the singles champions took home €1,202,520 in prize money. It was originally set to be played in May but was postponed due to the pandemic.

The demise of Madrid this year is another setback for what is becoming a rapidly thinning 2020 tennis calendar. Within the past two weeks China has confirmed that they will not be hosting any tournaments this year, Japan’s scrapped it’s premier women’s event and the Italian Open has been advised to not allow any fans to their event this year. 

As a result of the latest development, only two WTA clay-court events will take place after the US Open leading up to Roland Garros. They are both set to get underway on September 21st in Rome and Strasbourg. As for the men, Rome will be their only point of call. 

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