REPORT: Miami Open To Be Cancelled With Possibility Of Entire Tour Suspension Amid Coronavirus Threat - UBITENNIS
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REPORT: Miami Open To Be Cancelled With Possibility Of Entire Tour Suspension Amid Coronavirus Threat

There have been some big developments in the sport regarding Covid-19, which has now been declared as a pandemic.

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The immediate future of the tennis tour this season has been thrown into doubt following a series of new developments that have been made in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak, according to multiple sources.

 

Earlier this week the sport suffered its biggest blow yet with the suspension of the prestigious BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. A combined two-week tournament that sold more than 475,000 tickets in 2019. The move has cast doubt on the upcoming Miami Open, who recently published a statement that the tournament is ‘moving forward as scheduled.’ However, this positive outlook has taken a turn for the worst.

Mike Dickson from The Daily Mail has reported today that Miami will officially be cancelled based on what he described as ‘usually reliable sources.’ Dickson is a well-known tennis journalist and was issued with the Ron Bookman Media Excellence Award from the ATP in 2016.

“According to usually reliable sources an announcement is brewing to the effect that the Miami Open is officially off.” He wrote on Twitter.

Meanwhile, another source to report the cancellation of Miami is a parent of one of the players. Fabio Fognini’s father has written on Twitter that his son has told him the event has been cancelled. Since then, Sky Sport Italia has also reported the news.

Although there is no official announcement, there are strong indications that this will be the case. Music festivals Ultra and Coachella have already been cancelled or suspended. Meanwhile, in another development the US government is looking into placing travel restrictions on certain European countries.

Suspension of play?

Besides Miami, it has been confirmed that players and officials are now seriously looking into whether there should be a suspension of the entire ATP and WTA tours. Something that would have a massive financial impact on players, especially those lower in the rankings.

Russel Fuller from the BBC has confirmed that player meetings are taking place on Wednesday to discuss the crises. According to Fuller (although Ubitennis can’t confirm this) there could be a suspension of six weeks. Effectively cancelling or suspending prestigious tournaments in Charleston and Monte Carlo. Meanwhile, the Barcelona Open would be 50/50 if this was implemented.

There are also reports that the discussions could ponder a suspension of up to three months. Such an enormous decision would effectively wipe away the entire clay-court swing off the calendar and threaten the French Open. However, this is just speculation. Player meetings are renowned for their secrecy and few details are known until an official statement is released.

In other developments, the Coronavirus threat is continuing to cause nightmares around the world. At a Challenger event in Nur-Sultan, a group of players were forced to withdraw. The French and German players were told they were required to leave the city by midnight or go into quarantine. This was confirmed by Florian Heer, who runs the website Tennis Tour-talk. Those who withdrew were Yannick Maden (Germany), Enzo Couacaud (France) and Mats Moraing (Germany).

Meanwhile, the WTA Czech Open is unlikely to go ahead based on newspaper reports in the country, Monte Carlo has vowed to reimburse ticket holders if their event is played behind closed doors and Barcelona has insisted that no decision has been made about their measures yet. All three of these tournaments are set to take place in April, but that could change if a suspension is put into place.

Finally, the latest Challenger event to be officially cancelled is the Braga Open in Portugal. A very early decision from the Portuguese Tennis Federation (FPT) with the event not scheduled to start until May 11th.

SEE ALSO: Fed Cup Finals And Play-Offs Postponed Due to Coronavirus Concerns

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Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos win their doubles team title in 2020 in Rome

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Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos clinched their third doubles team title in 2020 after beating Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin 6-4 5-7 10-8. They are the only team to win multiple ATP Tour trophies this year. 

 

Granollers and Zeballos won their second ATP Masters 1000 trophy as a team after lifting the Rogers Cup in Canada last year. They earned a championships point when Zeballos hit a forehand return winner at 8-8 in the Match Tie-Break. Zeballos and Granollers have improved their record on clay this season to 16-1. They won two consecutive titles in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janiero last February and reached the final in Kitzbuhel. 

“This is one of the best moments in my career. This tournament has a lot of history. I watched it for many years, since I was a little kid, so this tournament is really important. Winning Rome is a huge thing for me and for sure for Marcell too, so can I say ? I am so happy. You could see in our faces when we finished the match”, said Zeballos. 

“After Buenos Aires and Rio, I think we felt very good on clay playing together. We both grew up playing on clay when we were young and we feel very good on clay. I think we can play very good and we are very happy to win our third title of the year on clay”, said Granollers. 

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Diego Schwartzman battles past Denis Shapovalov to reach his first Masters 1000 in Rome

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Argentine’s Diego Schwartzman battled past Denis Shapovalov 6-4 5-7 7-6 after three hours and 15 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. 

 

Schwartzman broke six times and hit 25 winners to 27 unforced errors. The Argentine held serve in the first game when Shapovalov hit a forehand error. Schwartzman broke serve at 15 when Shapovalov made a double fault in the second game. 

Schwartzman held his service game to open up a 3-0 lead when Shapovalov netted a forehand. Shapovalov held serve at love with a smash winner to claw his way back to 1-3. Both players went on serve in the next four games. Shapovalov forced an error from Schwartzman to convert his third break point, as the Argentine player was serving for the set at 5-3. Schwartzman sealed the first set 6-4 with a break in the 10th game after 48 minutes, as Shapovalov netted a forehand. 

Shapovalov earned two breaks and dropped his serve once to win the second set 7-5. Both players held serve in the first four games, before Shapovalov got the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Canadian player consolidated the break with a service winner for 4-2. 

Schwartzman saved two break points in the seventh game before Shapovalov held serve at 15 to build up a 5-3 lead. Schwartzman held serve at love in the ninth game and got the break back to draw level to 5-5, when Shapovalov made a double fault as he was serving for the set.

Schwartzman wasted a game point in the 11th game before dropping serve in the 11th game at deuce. Shapovalov fended off a set point and served out the set at deuce to force the match to the decider. 

Shapovalov saved three break points in the second game before breaking serve with a smash winner to take a 2-1 lead. Schwartzman broke straight back to draw level to 2-2. Shapovalov broke serve to take a 3-2 lead, as Schwarzman sent a forehand wide in the fifth game. Shapovalov held serve at 15 to build up a 4-2 lead. Schwartzman broke back in in the eighth game. Shapovalov got his third break in the decisive set with a volley winner. 

Schwartzman broke back to draw level to 5-5, as Shapovalov netted a backhand. They held serve in their next service game to send the match to the tie-break. Shapovalov got an early mini-break in the tie-break, but dropped his serve in the second point, when he sent a forehand wide. Schwartzman open up a 3-1 lead, when Shapovalov made a double fault and hit a drop shot error. 

Shapovalov got the mini-break back, but he made a forehand error to fall behind 2-4. Shapovalov drew level to 4-4 when Schwartzman hit a backhand wide. Schwartzman took a 5-4 lead, as Shapovalov made a backhand error. 

Schwartzman opened up a 6-4 lead after a forehand wide from Shapovalov and converted his first match point to reach his first Masters 1000 final. 

“I am very happy. I think today was a crazy match. It was really tough for us. On my side I am very happy because I won the match. I have two dreams tomorrow. One is winning a tournamnent like this and the secondo ne is being top 10. I need to play more than my 100 per cent. I don’t want to say i twill be impossible because it is not impossible. I know I can beat him, but it’s going to be difficult.”, said Schwartzman.  

Schwartzman will face Novak Djokovic in tomorrow’s final. If the Argentine wins the title match, he will break into the top 10. 

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Karolina Pliskova wins all-Czech semifinal against

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Defending champion Karolina Pliskova cruised past 2019 French Open finalist Marketa Vondrousova 6-2 6-4 on the Central Court after 82 minutes to set up a final against Simona Halep at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia at the Foro Italico in Rome.

 

Pliskova has reached her second consecutive final in the Eternal City. 

Pliskova had already beat Vondrusova last year in Miami en route to reaching the final, where she lost to Australia’s Ashleigh Barty. 

Pliskova got her first break in the fourth game to open a 4-1 lead. Vondrousova earned a break point in the seventh game, but Pliskova saved it with an overhead. Vondrousova saved two set points in the eighth game, but she faced a third chance after a forehand error. Pliskova broke serve with a backhand return on her third set point. 

Vondrousova broke serve in the first game of the second set with backhand. Pliskova broke straight back in the second game at deuce and saved two break point in the third game to hold serve for 2-1. Pliskova converted her third break point chance in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Vondrousova broke straight back at 15 and held her service game to draw level to 4-4. Pliskova saved a break point to hold serve for 5-4 and sealed the win with a break at 30 in the 10th game. 

Pliskova set up a final against Simona Halep, who beat Garbine Muguruza in the first semifinal. Pliskova won her last two head-to-head against Halep in 2019 in Miami and at the WTA Finals in Shenzhen, but Halep leads 7-5.  

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