No Rogers Cup This Year In Fresh Blow To WTA Tour - UBITENNIS
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No Rogers Cup This Year In Fresh Blow To WTA Tour

The latest suspension has raised further doubts about the prospect of the US Open taking place as planned with Canadian tennis officials bracing themselves for a big financial hit.

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One of the biggest women’s events to take place in the lead up to the US Open has been officially cancelled this year as uncertainty remains about when the tour will be able to start again.

 

The Rogers Cup, which is the highest level tournament held in Canada, is the latest to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. Which has brought the sport to a standstill. Although the event wasn’t due to take place until August, the future of this year’s tournament looked bleak following an announcement by local authorities. The Quebec Government has prohibited the holding of events until August 31, 2020.

“If at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis we were hoping that the situation would be resolved in time to be able to host our tournament as initially planned on the calendar, but we knew that the chances were getting smaller and smaller in recent weeks,” tournament director Eugène Lapierre said in a statement. “Our priority in the management of this crisis has always been to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our players, fans, volunteers, partners and employees. It is thus with a heavy heart that we received this news, but we understand that this decision was necessary. “

Like the Wimbledon championships, it is the first time the event has been cancelled since the Second World War (1945). Categorised as a Premier 5 event, it is held annually in either Toronto or Montreal on a rotating basis. Organisers are yet to comment on if the men’s tournament will also be cancelled, which are due to be held in Toronto at the same time.

Reacting to the latest development, the WTA has pledged to work with tournaments in order for the tour to resume later this year. Although it is currently unclear as to when it will start with the governing body looking at various scenarios. Including expanding the calendar into November and December.

“The WTA reiterates that health and safety will always be the top priority. We understand this was a difficult decision and we look forward to being back in Montreal in 2021.” A spokesperson said.
“As it currently stands, the WTA Tour is suspended through July 12. We will continue to work with our tournament partners in evaluating when we will be able to get back on the court. We do not foresee any further decisions until next month.”

Those who have brought tickets have been told that they will be valid for the 2021 event, which will take place between August 6 to 15. Due to the tournament being suspended, it will still be held in Montreal next year.

The decision is also a massive blow for Tennis Canada. President and CEO Michael Downey has warned that the body will suffer ‘repercussions that will be felt over the course of the next few years’ due to the suspension.

“Rogers Cup is the engine of tennis development in Canada. Ninety percent of the money that we successfully invest in the development of our sport each year comes from the profits of our tournaments,” said Downey.
“It goes without saying that 2020 will be a very difficult year for our organization. We anticipate repercussions that will be felt over the course of the next few years. However, we know that we are privileged to be able to count on passionate employees as well as on loyal clients and partners who will help us during this rebuild period.”

With uncertainty surrounding the sport, doubts have been raised over the likelihood of the US Open taking place. The United States Tennis Association has stated that they are hoping to hold the grand slam as scheduled. However, New York is one of the key epicentres of the COVID-19 outbreak in America. At present the Billie Jean Tennis Center has been turned into a temporary hospital to treat those with the virus.

According to Canadian health officials, there have been 22,559 cases of coronavirus in the country with 600 deaths as of April 11th.

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Anett Kontaveit beats Petra Martic to reach the final in Palermo

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World number 22 Anett Kontaveit from Estonia upset number 1 seed Petra Martic 6-2 6-4 to reach the final at the Ladies Open in Palermo. 

 

Martic has scored her third win in her seven matches against top 20 players after beating Belinda Bencic and Elina Svitolina. 

Kontaveit avenged her defeat against Martic in their only previous match played in Dubai last February before the lockdown. 

Kontaveit had to fight to hold her serve in the first game of the opening set at deuce and took control of the match by breaking in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. 

Martic won only 56% on her first serve in the opening set. Kontaveit came back from 0-30 down to hold serve in the seventh game before breaking for the second time in the eighth game to win the first set 6-2. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game of the second set at deuce, but Kontaveit broke straight back to draw level to 1-1. The Estonian player saved a break point before holding serve to take a 2-1 lead. Kontaveit saved five of the six break points she faced. Kontaveit broke for the second time in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead. Martic held serve at 2-5 down before breaking serve at 15 in the ninth game to claw her way back to 4-5. The Croatian player received a medical time-out before Kontaveit for the third time in the tenth game at love to close out the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit will chase her second title in tomorrow’s final three years after winning in S’Hertogenbosch in 2017.

“I felt like I played a very good match today. I was quite aggressive, consistent, and I served especially well in the first set. It got a bit close in the end, but I played a good game at 5-4 and I am happy to be in the final”, said Kontaveit. 

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Anett Kontaveit beats Elisabetta Cocciaretto to reach the semifinal at the Palermo Ladies Open

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Number 4 seed and world number 22 Anett Kontaveit ended Italian teenager Elisabetta Cocciaretto 6-1 4-6 6-1 to reach the semifinals at the 31st edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo. Kontaveit broke serve seven times and hit five aces. 

 

Kontaveit, who reached the Australian Open quarter final, broke twice and saved two break points in the second game to race out to a 4-0 lead. Cocciaretto got her first game on the scoreboard in the sixth game to avoid the bagel before Kontaveit served out the first set in the next game. 

Cocciaretto earned an early break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead. Cocciaretto earned three game points for 5-2 in the seventh game, but Kontaveit broke back in a marathon seventh game. The second set ended with four consecutive breaks, as Cocciaretto claimed the second set 6-4. 

Kontaveit broke three times to cruise through to a 6-1 win in the third set after 1 hour and 54 minutes. The Estonian player set up a semifinal clash against Martic in a re-match of last February’s quarter final in Dubai. 

“It was really tough tonight. She played great and she had the home crowd definitely behind her. I am really happy with how I fought in the third set and that I managed to turn it around in the end”, said Kontaveit. 

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Petra Martic secures her spot in the semifinal in Palermo after hard-fought win over Aliaksandra Sasnovich

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Top seed and world number 15 Petra Martic from Croatia secured her spot in the semifinal at the 31st edition of the Ladies Open in Palermo after a 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-3) win over former world number 30 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus. Martic produced 54 winners to 23 unforced errors. 

 

Martic fought back from a break down in the opening set and secured a hard-fought win on her fourth match points, as she served for the match twice in the second tie-break. 

The first set went on serve in the first eight games before Sasnovich broke serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead. Martic broke straight back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5. The Croatian player fended off three break points at 5-5 and did not convert her first set point in Sasnovich’s service game. 

Martic led 5-3 in the tie-break, but Sasnovich won the next two points to draw level to 5-5. Martic hit a forehand that forced a Sasnovich error and an unreturned serve to close out the tie-break after 75 minutes. 

Martic broke twice in the first and fifth games to build up a 4-1 lead in the second set. Sasnovich pulled one of the two breaks back in the sixth game. Sasnovich trailed 40-15 at 5-4 on Martic’s serve, but she saved both match points. The Belarusian player later fended off another match point after deuce to draw level to 5-5. Martic broke again in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead, but Sasnovich broke straight back at 15 to force the second set to the second tie-break. Martic won five of the final six points to win the tie-break 7-3 reaching her second semifinal of the season after Dubai. 

“Overall, it was a great fight. I knew she was not going to give up until the match was over, and that’s what she proved once again. I think today was better than yesterday. There was some things that I was happy with, some things that I am not really happy with, but I am really just happy that I managed to win this match in two sets. I had two tough matches and my body’s holding up well. I have no major issues, just maybe soreness that I am sure we all have in the first tournament back. It feels nice to be reminded of how it feels to be that kind of tired, but all in all, I am happy. I had some good weeks of practice and it’s paying off”, said Martic. 

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