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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Felix Auger Aliassime leads the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan

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Felix Auger Aliassime rose to the top of the ATP Next Gen Race to Milan after strong performances at Wimbledon, Cincinnati and at the uS Open. 

 

After reaching the quarter final at Wimbledon the Canadian player advanced to the last eight at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas. It was the second time he reached the quarter final in a Masters 1000 tournament. 

At the US Open the 21-year-old Canadian player edged Roberto Bautista Agut in a five-set match before beating Frances Tiafoe to reach the semifinals. Auger Aliassime became the first Canadian player to reach the semifinals at the US Open in the tournament history and the youngest player since Juan Martin Del Potro won the tournament in 2009. 

“I am happy with the level I have been playing at times, with the results I have had. It’s a positive week. Things are moving in the right direction”, said Auger Aliassime. Carlos Alcaraz has become the fourth player to secure a spot in the Next Gen ATP Finals after Auger Aliassime, Jannik Sinner and Sebastian Korda. Alcaraz became the youngest US Open quarter finalist in the Open Era after scoring an upset third-set win over Stefanos Tsitsipas. The player coached by Juan Carlos Ferrero also won the ATP 250 title in Umag and reached the semfinals in Marbella and Winston Salem.

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Liudmila Samsonova sets up semifinal against Jelena Ostapenko in Luxembourg

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Liudmila Samsonova upset this year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic 6-1 6-4 with three breaks of serve to reach her third semifinal of the season at the Luxembourg Open. 

 

Samsonova broke twice in the second and sixth games to win the first set 6-1. The Russian player claimed the second set 6-1 with a break in the third game and sealed the win on her first match point. 

Samsonova beat Bencic for the second time this season after beating the Swiss player in the final of the WTA grass tournament in Berlin. 

Bencic dropped serve three times in her first tournament since reaching the quarter finals at the US Open where she lost to eventual champion Emma Raducanu. 

Samsonova will face 2019 Luxemburg Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who edged past Alizé Cornet 7-6 (8-6) 6-2. Ostapenko improved her winning streak to 8-0. Ostapenko went down a break twice in the first set. Cornet earned a chance to serve for the set at 5-4, but Ostapenko did not face any set point. Ostapenko saved the first set point in the tie-break before earning the mini-break to win the tie-break 8-6. Ostapenko broke twice in the third and seventh games to win the second set 6-2. 

Marketa Vondrousova completed the semifinal line-up with a 7-5 6-2 win over number 2 seed Elise Mertens after 1 hour and 37 minutes. Mertens broke serve in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Vondrousova won four consecutive games with two breaks to take a 7-5 lead. The Czech player broke twice in a row in the third and fifth games to win the second set 6-2. 

Clara Tauson broke twice in each set to beat Marie Bouzkova 6-3 6-2. 

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Venus Williams Explains Met Gala Photo With Maria Sharapova

The former world No.1 says she and her sister Serena have ‘respect and love’ for Sharapova.

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Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams at the 20201 Met Gala (image via Instagram)

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams says there are no hard feelings between her, her sister Serena and Maria Sharapova after the trio took a photo together at the Met Gala.

 

The former world No.1s was seen smiling and laughing together at the New York fundraising event with both of the Williams sisters uploading a photo of them all on their Instagram story. Prompting surprise from some fans considering the at times icy rivalry between Serena and Sharapova that dates back to the 2004 Wimbledon Championships.

In her 2017 autobiography, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Sharapova mentioned Serena’s name more than 100 times. She says the American hated her for beating her at Wimbledon that year and that the two were ‘not friends.’

“What I heard when I came in to the locker room was Serena Williams bawling,” Sharapova wrote.
“Guttural sobs. I got out as quickly as I could, but she knew I was there.
“I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds … I think she hated me for seeing her at her lowest moment.
“But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it.”

Responding to the claims, Serena hit back at the book in 2018 by describing it as ‘hearsay’ and said she never had any ‘negative feelings’ towards Sharapova. The two clashed on the Tour no fewer than 22 times with Serena winning 20 of those meetings.

“So I don’t have any negative feelings towards her, which again, was a little disappointing to see in that hearsay book,” Williams commented back in 2018. “So I have always, you know, and especially having a daughter, like, I feel like negativity is taught. One of the things I always say, I feel like women, especially, should bring each other up.”

Three years later and it now seems that all parties have put their disagreements behind them. At the Met Gala they were seen getting on pretty well. Besides posing for a photo together, they were also seen together in the bathroom at the event. A photo taken by pop star Anitta and rapper Saweetie which showed them in the background.

Speaking about the event for the first time, 41-year-old Williams said she wishes Sharapova was still playing before adding that they still ‘respect and love’ each other.

“First of all, Serena and I were talking about Maria the day before,” the 41-year-old explained on Instagram.
“We were like, ‘Damn, I wish Maria was still playing.’
“And we saw her, and we both told her separately, ‘Oh my gosh, we were just talking about you yesterday, we wish you were still on tour.’
“We were so happy to see each other. There was hugs, there was laughing, there were stories, and there was a photo.
“So the backstory is that even though us players compete really hard of the court for years, we still respect and love each other, and love Maria
.”

Williams, Serena and Sharapova have won a total of 35 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

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