Olympic Games Set To Be Postponed Until 2021 - UBITENNIS
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Olympic Games Set To Be Postponed Until 2021

A new date has not been set yet, but it will be during the Summer of 2021

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The latest sporting casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic is the Olympic Games after an agreement was struck to postpone the four-year event until 2021.

 

Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe held a phone conversation with Thomas Bach on Tuesday, who is the head on the International Olympic Committee (IOC). During the talk, Abe purposed that the event should be delayed by 12 months amid growing concerns by both athletes and national Olympic Federations. Canada has previously said that they will not be sending their athletes to the event this summer due to the threat posed by the Coronavirus.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” said a joint statement from the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.

There has been some further details on the suspension from Yuriko Koike, who is the governor of Tokyo. According to Kyodo News Agency, the games will still be called ‘Tokyo 2020’ to symbolize that they overcame the covid-19 pandemic. It will still be held during the summer, but no dates have been issued. Previously athletes have voiced their concerns about playing in the extreme heat. Whilst the suspension was inevitable, there will be a massive impact on the Japanese economy.  Highly regarded financial newspaper Nikkei Asian Review that the cost could be as much as $6bn according to their sources.

These costs include the maintenance of temporary sports facility that will have to be kept functioning for a much longer time than anticipated: Makuhari Messe, where the wrestling, taekwondo and fencing events will be held, is one of Japan’s busiest convention centers, it hosted 940 events in fiscal 2018 and is receiving inquiries for dates a year or more in the future; Tokyo Big Sight, which is to serve as the main press center for Japanese and international media, is already being reserved for other events in July and August 2021. Furthermore, the new arrangements will have to be struck with the new owners of the 11,000 apartments of the Olympic Village who will not be able to take possession of their new homes for another year.

The postponement will most likely require the rescheduling of the World Championships for the two most symbolic disciplines of the Olympic Games, swimming and athletics. The 2021 World Aquatics Championships are planned to be held in Fukuoka, Japan, between 16 July and 1 August 2021, with the 2021 World Athletics Championships to follow just a week later (6-15 August) in Eugene, Oregon, USA.

As far as tennis is concerned, much will depend on the new dates of the “2021 Olympic Games”, although it seems likely they will be slotted between Wimbledon and the US Open. The Championships 2021 at the All England Club are currently scheduled to take place between 28 June and 11 July, while the 2021 US Open will start on 30 August to end with the men’s final on 12 September. The Olympics will most likely require some calendar adjustment like it normally happens during Olympic years: the original 2020 calendar now sees the Hamburg European Open, a clay court ATP 500 tournament, start on 13 July, the day after the Wimbledon Championships men’s final, some two weeks earlier than normally planned.

No announcements have been made by the ATP or the WTA as to whether the postponement of the 202o Tokyo Olympics will cause some reshuffling in the 2020 calendar that is still very much tentative at this stage as the world tries to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Matteo Berrettini: “I am fit and I trained with Frances Tiafoe”

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Matteo Berrettini is still staying in Boca Raton (Florida), where he spent the lockdown period with his girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic.

 

The 2019 US Open semifinalist talked to the Italian Sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport about his injury problem, the lockdown and his plans for the next weeks.

“Italy suffered a lot from the coronavirus crisis. I have always been in touch with my family and I know how hard this situation was. We cannot give up. We have to move on and stay united. This is the key to restart”, said Berrettini.

The world number 8 has not decided yet when he will return to Italy.

“I have not planned the date, when I will be back to Italy. We have some options, but we are still waiting before taking a definitive decision”, said Berrettini.

Berrettini said that the ankle injury, that affected the first part of the 2020 season, are now healed. The Italian player, who turned 24 last April, has not decided whether he will take part at the Italian tennis Championships in Todi on 21 June.

“My priority is to keep fit and continue training. During my stay in Florida I trained with Frances Tiafoe. I have been helped by Paolo Volpicelli, who is a good friend of my coach Vincenzo Santopadre”.

 Berrettini has been plagued by injury problems since the start of his career.

“As I was younger, I was frequently injured. Once a shoulder injury was healed, I picked other problems on my wrist, on my ankle and on my back. I am living with my injuries”.

 Berrettini also talked about the recent news that Fabio Fognini underwent ankle surgery.

 “I knew that Fabio was suffering from an ankle problem. He has more kilometres on his legs than me. He was still undecided, but he chose the right moment to undergo surgery. I wish him all the best for a quick recovery. He has not had many injuries and we are looking forward to seeing him back on court”.

 Berrettini spent the past three months with his girlfriend Ajla Tomljanovic.

 “It was nice to spend a lot of time with Ajla. We were not used to this situation, because we met only occasionally. It was not always easy, but it was very positive. We have trained together. We have a different mentality. I am more relaxed. She has a more serious approach. When I joked too much, Alja got angry. This experience has made us grow”.

 Berrettini was asked about the return of the ATP Tour.

 “A decision on the US Open will be taken in mid-June. This will probably determine the future on the other ATP tournaments. It would be nice to play at the Internazionali d’Italia in Rome. It’s the home tournament for me and I am very fond of this event”.

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French Tennis Star Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Shares His Experiences With Racism

The grand slam finalist opens up about what it for like being the only ‘half-breed’ in his school as well as other problems he has experianced.

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Former top 10 player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has become the latest sporting figure to speak out about his personal struggles with racism in the wake of mass protests gripping America.

 

Dozens of cities in the north American country have been placed under overnight curfews following violent demonstrations that have resulted in various injuries and looting. The outcry started when an unarmed black man called George Floyd died whilst being arrested. Video footage showed that a police officer was leaning on his neck which resulted in him dying from asphyxia, according to a private post-mortem paid by his family.

The incident has sent shockwaves throughout the world with various top names speaking out against the use of disappropriate force against minority groups. Speaking about the situation, Tsonga said that racism is a problem everywhere before sharing some of his own personal experiences.

“This type of behaviour that we see frequently in the United States, but that’s on another scale, is repeated continuously throughout the world, is unbearable for me,” he told radio station France Info.
“Such an event removes the consciences of everything and shows how necessary a change is.’
“The non-acceptance of the difference and racism, as well as other issues, such as sexuality, religion or sexual orientation, continue to be used as an excuse to commit atrocities.”

Growing up the 35-year-old said he was singled out as a youngster for being a half cast. His mother is white and father is black. The problems he encountered took place both during and outside of school. Tsonga was born in the French town of Le Mans, which is famous for its annual 24-hour Motor sport race.

“Since I was a child I have had to regularly experience racial discrimination and inappropriate comments,” he said.
“I was the only half-breed in my elementary school, so you can imagine what was happening.’
“All of them were nicknames, insults, I had to bear that when I was a teenager I was continually stopped on the street asking for my papers, people who met me covered their bag as if they was afraid I was going to steal from them and they wouldn’t even let me pass in some places when I went with my friends.”

Whilst nowadays France has grown to be a much more tolerant country like many others, incidents such as the one involving Floyd proves that there is still much more needed to be done. As for Tsonga, he hopes his son Sugar, who was born in 2017, will not go through the same as him.

“There are still a lot of people who make offensive comments without realizing it because discrimination is so ingrained that for many it is not even so. But there are words that can hurt a lot. I have had a hard time finding my place and my identity; I just hope that my son doesn’t feel like a stranger wherever you go,” he concluded.

Tsonga is the last Frenchman to contest a grand slam final at the 2008 Australian Open. So far in his career he has won 18 ATP titles and peaked at a ranking high of fifth back in 2012.

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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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