After Indian Wells Gets Cancelled, Will The Miami Open Follow Suit? - UBITENNIS
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After Indian Wells Gets Cancelled, Will The Miami Open Follow Suit?

How likely is it that the next big event in the sport will also be cancelled?

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On Monday the Coronavirus outbreak claimed its biggest victim in the sport to date.

 

The BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells was officially called off following advice from medical experts. A decision was made shortly after a state of public health emergency was declared in Coachella Valley following a case of Covid-19. A deadly virus that has infected more than 100,000 people worldwide and has placed many countries on lockdown. Symptoms include headaches, coughing and a shortness of breath. The most at risk are the elderly or people with underlying health conditions.

“We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance,” said Tournament Director Tommy Haas. “We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options.”

It is not the first time Coronavirus has forced the suspension or cancellation of tennis events. In recent weeks two WTA events in China were called off, numerous ITF events in Italy has been scrapped and three Davis Cup ties recently took place behind closed doors. Although none of those tournaments are as significant as Indian Wells, which is known as the fifth grand slam of tennis.

The next big event is set to get underway in two weeks time in Miami at the Hard Rock Stadium. Although that event is also in serious doubt. Over the weekend it was confirmed that the Ultra music festival has been cancelled, which was set to get underway on March 26th. Officials felt that the dance event, which an estimated 55,000 people attend every day, could be a breeding ground for the virus.

“We know the temporary financial impact that this will have on many but at the same time, we cannot put the welfare and safety of our residents, for any amount of money, at risk,” said Miami Commissioner Joe Corollo.

How the Ultra festival is related to the Miami Open is geographically. Less than 20 miles separate the two venues or an estimated 30 minute drive. If officials in the city are willing to cancel Ultra, surely the Miami Open will follow suit? After all, they were both due to take place at the same time.

Nevertheless, tennis bosses are keeping an upbeat outlook. WTA chief Steve Simon has said in a statement that no decision has been made yet regarding the prestigious event.

“It is too soon to speculate about what will happen to other tournaments that follow. We will continue to closely monitor the situation. Health and safety will always come first.” He stressed.

Although tennis players will be pressing organisers to make any decision well in advance. The Indian Wells announcement was made on the eve of the women’s qualifying tournament with many players already at the venue practising. Drawing criticism from some.

“It would be nice if the ATP Tour communicated a bit better to the players of a suspension of such a tournament when we are all here … finding out about social networks or WhatsApp is quite lazy.” Diego Schwartzman tweeted in Spanish on Twitter.

There is a possibility that Indian Wells could still be played in 2020. Spanish newspaper Marca have reported that the event could take place after the US Open if the Asian swing is cancelled. The origin of Covid-19 came from China and has been traced to a market in Wuhan that illegally sells wild animals. Although at present this is just speculation. As for the European swing of the tour in April, it remains to be seen what happens to those events.

Last year the Miami Open attracted a record attendance of 388,734 people over two weeks. The tournament is held in Miami-Dade County. According to the county mayor, Carlos A. Gimenez, there has been no positive cases of Covid-19 in the area as of Sunday March 8th. Although there has been 18 in Florida, which is the state Miami-Dade is located in.

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Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev sign up to play exhibition tournament in Khimki

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Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev have signed up to play an exhibition tournament in the Russian city of Khimki in the Moscow region in June.

 

Khachanov won his first Masters 1000 title in Paris Bercy in 2018. He broke into top 10 of ATP Rankings in June 2019 and achieved his career-high of number 8 on 15th July. Last year he reached two semifinals at the Masters 1000 tournament in Montreal and at the China Open in Beijing (ATP 500 tournament). He defeated Juan Martin Del Potro to reach his first Roland Garros quarter final. The Russian player also advanced to the quarter finals in Indian Wells, Halle, Moscow and Vienna. In 2020 he won four of his five singles matches at the ATP Cup for the Russian team, who qualified for the semifinals before losing to Serbia. He advanced to the Australian Open third round for the second consecutive year and to the quarter final in Dubai in the last tournament played before the suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rublev started the 2020 season with back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide and reached the fourth round at the Australian Open and two quarter finals in Rotterdam and Dubai.

The best WTA players expected to take part in the Kimkhi tournament are Anastasya Pavlyuchenkova, Veronika Kudemertova, two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vitalia Diatchenko. Pavlyuchenkova came back from a set down to beat Angelique Kerber advancing to the quarter finals for the second consecutive year at the 2020 Australian Open.

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Barty’s father said that her daughter was sad and wanted to step away from tennis in 2014

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Ashleigh Barty rose up the ranking sas a teenager after finishing runner-up at three Grand Slam doubles tournaments with Australian veteran Casey Dellacqua at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2013. The Aussie team also won one title at the Birmingham Classic. Barty decided to step away from tennis in 2014 to play women’s cricket and started playing for the Western Suburbs Cricket Club, a local team that competes in Brisbane Women’s Premier Cricket Twenty League.

 

“It was too much too quickly for me as I have been travelling from quite a young age. I wanted to experience life as a normal teenaged girl and have some normal experiences”, said Barty at that time.

 Ashleigh’s said during a webinar organised by the Active SG Voyager Tennis Academy that he was not surprised when his daughter decided to step away from the sport after the 2014 US Open.

“Ash was sad all the time. She was not herself on the court. I said to my wife that we had just got to make sure that Ashleigh was happy. Her happiness was more important. Were we disappointed ? Of course we were, because we love watching tennis and we were hooked on tennis. To see Ash happy and see her around her sisters and having fun again was so much better than having her miserable and going out and playing tennis”, said Rob Barty.

Barty started her 2019 season with a runner-up finish to Petra Kvitova in Sydney. The Aussie player reached her first quarter final at the Australian Open, where she beat Maria Sharapova before losing again to Kvitova. Barty won her first maiden Premier Mandatory title in Miami and claimed her first Grand Slam trophy at Roland Garros. Barty became the first Australian player to win at Roland Garros since Margaret Court in 1973.

Barty followed up her Roland Garros with a back-to-back title in Birmingham on grass. She has become the second Australian player to be number 1 in the WTA Ranking since Evonne Goolagong Cawley. Barty’s winning streak came to end when she was beaten by Alison Riske in the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Barty reached the semifinal in Wuhan before winning the WTA Finals in Shenzhen beating Elina Svitolina in the final. Barty finished the season as the world number 1. Last January she started the 2020 season with a title in Adelaide before losing to eventual champion Sofia Kenin in the semifinal at the Australian Open. During her career Barty clinched eight singles titles and ten doubles titles.

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Juan Martin Del Potro Splits From Coach

The tennis star has announced a big change to his team.

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Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro is on the hunt for a new coach after agreeing to end his collaboration with Sebastian Prieto to continue focus on his rehabilitation from injury.

 

Del Potro has been working alongside Prieto since 2017 and achieved a series of career milestones under his guidance. Including winning his maiden Masters 1000 title at the 2018 BNP Paribas Open and reaching a ranking high of third in August that same year. Their decision has been made to allow Prieto to focus all of his attention on Juan Londero. Another Argentine player who is currently ranked 62nd in the world.

“I want to share that I have agreed with Sebastian Prieto to end our partnership, so that he can work with Juan Londero, while I continue my rehab process,” Del Potro said on Twitter.
“I’m very thankful to Piper for all of these years together. He is a great coach and even a better person. All the best!”

45-year-old Prieto is a former ATP player who peaked at a ranking high of 22nd in the doubles. During his career, he won 10 Tour titles with all of those occurring on the clay. He also reached the quarter-finals of the men’s doubles tournament at the 2003 French Open.

It is currently unknown as to who will be taking over as Del Potro’s new coach. The former grand slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since last June due to a serious knee injury. At the Fever-Tree Championships in London, he fractured his right kneecap and was forced to undergo surgery to repair it. The second time he had to undergo that procedure within as many years after also suffering a similar injury at the 2018 Shanghai Rolex Masters.

Del Potro is currently undergoing rehabilitation and it is unclear as to when he will be able to return to the Tour again. All professional tennis tournaments have been either suspended or cancelled until at least July 31st due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although both the US Open and French Open are hoping to go ahead as planned.

So far in his career, the 31-year-old has won 22 ATP titles and earned almost $26 million in prize money. Earning more money than any other player from his country in the history of the sport.

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