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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Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the line-up at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna

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Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the line-up at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. The Greek star will play in the Austrian capital for the second time in his career. 

 

Tsitsipas will face 2017 ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in the first round. The Greek player will be looking to avenge his defeat against his Bulgarian opponent, who took the win in three sets 6-7 6-4 6-4 in their previous head-to-head match at last year’s edition of the Vienna tournament. 

Tsitsipas will be aiming to win his third title this season following his triumphs in Monte-Carlo and Lyon. 

Number 2 seed Alexander Zverev will play in the Erste Bank Open main draw for the second time. This year Zverev won two Masters 1000 titles in Madrid and Cincinnati and the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.

Matteo Berrettini will open his campaign against Alexei Popyrin. The Italian star is the third seed and has a good chance to qualify for the ATP Finals in Turin. This year Berrettini won two titles in Belgrade and Queen’s and reached two finals at the Madrid Masters 1000 and Wimbledon. 

Hubert Hurkacz holds the final qualifying spot for Turin in ninth place with 2955 points, 110 points ahead of Jannik Sinner, who won his fourth title this season in Antwerp following his previous wins in Melbourne, Washington and Sofia. The 20-year-old Italian star also finished runner-up to Hurkacz in his first Masters 1000 final in Miami. 

Sinner has become the first Italian player in history to win four ATP titles in the same season and is the youngest player to win five ATP Tour titles since 19-year-old Novak Djokovic claimed the Estoril trophy in 2007. Sinner will face a tough first round match against Reilly Opelka. 

Sinner dropped just a total of eight games against Lloyd Harris in the semifinal and Diego Schwartzman in the final. 

The line-up also features another Masters 1000 chmpion Cameron Norrie, who won at Indian Wells and is currently ranked 11th in the ATP Race to Turin with 2795 points ahead of this year’s US Open semifinalist Felix Auger Aliassime (2330 points). 

Andy Murray will play in Vienna for the third time in his career as a wild card. Murray won the Austrian tournment twice in 2014 and 2016. He will take on Hurkacz, who won his previous head-to-head matches against the British player in Cincinnati and Metz. Murray beat Frances Tiafoe in a marathon match after 3 hours and 45 minutes in Antwerp last week. 

Kevin Anderson got through to the qualifying round to secure his spot in the main draw. The 2018 Vienna champion will face Alex De Minaur, who won two titles in Antalya and Eastbourne. The top first-round matches are: Diego Schwartzman against Fabio Fognini, Gael Monfils against Lorenzo Musetti, Daniel Evans against Carlos Alcaraz. 

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Ann Li clinches her first WTA Tour title in Tenerife

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Ann Li clinched her first WTA Tour title with a 6-1 6-4 win over 19-year-old Spanish player Camila Osorio after 1 hour and 10 minutes at the Tenerife Ladies Open.

 

Li reached her second final after her first title match against Anett Kontaveit at the Grampians Trophy in Melbourne last winter was not played just before the Australian Open. 

Li converted five of her ten break points and hit 15 winners. Osorio earned her first break in the opening game. Li bounced back by winning six consecutive games with three breaks of serve. The 21-year-old US player hit 8 winners to 6 unforced errors. Li broke Osorio at love with a forehand return winner in the first game of the second set. Osorio got the break straight back in the second game. Li earned the decisive break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out the win with a forehand overhead for 6-4 in the 10th game.

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Aslan Karatsev claims his second title this season at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow

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Aslan Karatsev claimed claimed his second ATP Tour title of the season at the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow after his 6-2 6-4 win over 2014 and 2015 Moscow Kremlin Cup champion Marin Cilic in the final after 77 minutes. 

 

Karatsev has kept alive his hopes of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. The Russian player is currently 13th in the ATP Race to Turin with 2280 points, 675 points behind ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz, who holds the last qualifying spot for Turin. Karatsev reached the semifinals at the Australian Open as a qualifier and won his first title in Dubai last March. 

Karatsev earned an early break in the opening game of the first set. He did not face a break point and dropped just one point on his first serve. 

Karatsev converted his second break point in the seventh game of the second set. He saved a break point before serving out the second set 6-4 in the 10th game. He had never advanced to the third round in his previous appearances at the Kremlin Cup. 

“It is a dream come true. It is a tournament where I have played in qualifying at and now I am winning the tournament. Thank you for all your support. It was a nervous final game. I hit a double and then on break point there was that long rally, but I managed to win it in the end. First of all, I would like to dedicate the win to my parents, my mother and my father, all my relatives and my friends”, said Karatsev.

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