Clay Court Season In Doubt As WTA Cancels All Tournaments Until At Least May - UBITENNIS
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Clay Court Season In Doubt As WTA Cancels All Tournaments Until At Least May

The governing body of women’s tennis has issued an update about the future of the tour.

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The WTA Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) have said they will make a decision about future European clay court tournaments in the coming days after suspending play until the first week of May.

 

All professional tournaments have come to a halt due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. Charleston, Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague have all been officially removed from the tour calendar. Meaning that many top players on the women’s tour will be going at least seven weeks without playing a competitive match.

“Due to the ongoing global coronavirus outbreak, the WTA tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague will not be held as scheduled. We regret this is the case for all of our loyal fans, players, sponsors and all those who support women’s professional tennis.” The WTA said in a statement on Monday.
“At this point in time, the WTA Tour is now suspended until May 2. We will make a decision in the week ahead regarding the remaining WTA European clay court events and will continue to monitor this situation closely and its impact on the 2020 WTA Tour season.”

The move comes four days after both the ATP and ITF postponed their activities until the last week of April. Although this could be expanded in the future depending on the coronavirus outbreak hampering Europe.

Some have criticised the WTA for their approach to the ongoing crises. All of the tournaments that have been officially cancelled today were already confirmed by various local officials instead of the governing body. For example german newspaper Bild reported a couple days ago that the Porsche Open in Stuttgart would not be going ahead following a statement issued by the local mayor. The WTA has insisted that they wanted to take time to look at the full picture before coming to a decision.

“Due to the impact of the coronavirus, the holding of the Porsche Grand Prix in April is no longer a realistic option,” says Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG. ‟As a company, we have a societal responsibility. The decision to cancel the tournament was made in the best interests of the health and well-being of everybody.”

The next tournament set to take place is the Madrid Open, which is a combined men’s and women’s event that begins on May 4th. Although that is also in serious doubt. The Spanish health ministry confirmed on Monday that there has been 1000 new cases of Coronavirus over the past 24 hours. Bringing the total to 8,744. 4665 of those cases are in Madrid.

As for the ATP, the closest tournaments yet to be cancelled are in Estoril, Portugal and Munich, Germany. Both are set to get underway during the week commencing April 27th.

Cancelled tournaments

WEEK STARTING ATP WTA
9/3/20 Indian Wells, USA
Indian Wells, USA
23/3/20 Miami, USA
Miami, USA
6/4/20 Marrakech, MOR
Houston, USA
Charleston, USA
Bogotá, COL
13/4/20 Monte Carlo
Fed Cup Finals, HUN*
2/4/20 Barcelona, ESP
Budapest, HUN
Stuttgart, GER
Istanbul, TUR

*Run by ITF

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Father Of Dayana Yastremska Reveals The Reasons Behind Her Lacklustre Season

Alexander Yastremsky says his daughter was ‘mentally broken’ in recent weeks due to a personal issue.

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Rising star Dayana Yastremska struggled on the Tour during the second half of 2020 due to a family-related issue, according to her father.

 

The world No.29 closed out her season with three consecutive first round losses at the French Open, Ostrava and Linz to players who were ranked lower than her. Yastremska looked to be on course for a strong year after reaching the final of the Adelaide International in January. However, since then she has only managed to reach the quarter-final stage in one out of 10 tournaments played.

Reflecting on his daughter’s difficult season during an interview with Ukrainian Tennis, Alexander Yastremsky says she had been ‘mentally broken’ in recent weeks due to her mother having a series of surgeries on her eye.

“People were complaining like why Dayana had such poor results at Roland Garros and afterwards but they didn’t know it was a hard time for her mother,” he said.
“Before the first round she had a retinal detachment. She went through three surgeries in Paris and two more at home. Everything is fine now but at that time Dayana was broken mentally.”

Besides her mother’s health scare, Yastremska had to find a new structure in her team after the departure of Sasha Bajin following the US Open. Bajin, who is the former coach of Naomi Osaka, worked with her for less than a year. Last week it was confirmed that he will be working with Karolina Pliskova in the new year.

“Sascha Bajin is a good coach, very helpful but it turned out he wasn’t ours,” said Alexander. “I don’t look at this partnership as a mistake for Dayana, it was another experience for her but I don’t see any advantages either.”
“Everyone looks only at how good you play and what result you get.”

Prior to Bajin, Yastremska worked with Belgium’s Olivier Jeunehomme who guided her to three WTA titles between 2018-2019. Since his departure, she is yet to add to her title tally but did rise to a ranking high of 21st earlier this year.

“It’s not easy to work with Dayana she has a tough personality,” her father admits. “Relationships on and off the court are very important for her.
“Right now we have a new team, very positive and committed . That’s the key for us. There’s no need to brag about their achievements. Results will come and time will tell. Our focus is on the off-season and hard work.”

Yastremska has started her off-season in Dubai. She ends the year with a win-loss record of 15-12 and has made just over $486,000 in prize money.

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Karolina Pliskova hires Sascha Bajin as new coach

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Former world number 1 player Karolina Pliskova has hired German coach Sasha Bajin for the upcoming 2021 season. The Czech player has split up with Daniel Vallverdu. 

 

Under the guidance of Vallverdu Pliskova has not won a single title in 2020 but she reached her second final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, the tournament she won in 2019 beating Johanna Konta. This year she was forced to withdraw from the Rome final against Simona Halep due to an injury problem. 

Pliskova successfully defended her 2019 title in Brisbane and lost to Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova in the third round of the Australian Open and was defeated by Elena Rybakina in the quarter finals in Dubai. She lost to Ons Jabeur in Doha. In her first tournament after the suspension due to the pandemic Pliskova was beaten by Veronika Kudemertova in the second round at the Western and Southern Open in New York. At the US Open Karolina was knocked out by Caroline Garcia in the second round. 

The Czech star lost in the first round in Ostrava after winning the first set. 

Bajin parted his ways with Ukraine’s Dayana Yastremska in 2020. The Ukrainian player was not happy after Bajin praised Naomi Osaka, who beat Yastremska at the US Open. 

Pliskova introduced her new coaching team to her fans on Twitter. 

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WTA will change the names of tournament categories

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The WTA will change the names of its tournament categories to be in line with ATP, according to Spanish sports newspaper Marca. 

 

The Premier Mandatory tournaments (Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing) and Premier 5 tournaments (Doha, Rome, Rogers Cup in Canada, Cincinnati and Wuhan) will shift to 1000s. Premier tournaments will be renamed 500 tournaments under the new system. International events will change to 250 events. $125Ks will be renamed as 125-events. 

Points given to the winners might not be the same as the event level unlike the ATP tournaments. The WTA currently awards 1000 points, 900 points and 470 points.The WTA tournament in Madrid will extend by three days. It will be a 11-day event. 

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