Rogers Cup Suspension A Financial Nightmare For Canada’s Status As Tennis Powerhouse - UBITENNIS
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Rogers Cup Suspension A Financial Nightmare For Canada’s Status As Tennis Powerhouse

After producing some of the sports most promising tennis players in recent time, Canadian Tennis officials are bracing themselves for a crisis that is likely to include job losses.

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The head of Canadian Tennis has admitted that his organisation will have to reduce their investment into the sport for up to the next three years in the wake of their key moneymaking tournament being suspended.

 

On Saturday it was announced that the WTA Rogers Cup has been suspended until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The local government in Montreal has officially cancelled all events until August 30th in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. There are also fears over the men’s tournament taking place, which is set to be held in Toronto. Although a final decision is yet to be made. Montreal and Toronto take it in turns to host the men’s and women’s tournament.

The decision was one that Tennis Canada would have been extremely reluctant to do. The Rogers Cup generates an astonishing 94% of the money which is used to invest in tennis development within the country. Without that money, there will be a significant impact on the sports rising stars. The setback comes at a time when Canada is establishing themselves as a powerhouse in the world of tennis. Thanks to the success of US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and others.

“We put on these two magnificent tennis tournaments every August in Toronto and Montreal and they generate by far the lion’s share of the profit that we invest in growing the game of tennis coast to coast.” Tennis Canada boss Michael Downey told tsn.ca.
“While we get support from the government from Sport Canada and Own the Podium, and we appreciate that support, it is only six per cent of the investment we put into tennis development. So, there’s no doubt this year is going to be very difficult. We’ve already cut most of the tennis development programming for the balance of the year.” He added.

Should the men’s tournament also get the chop in 2020, Downey estimates the total loss to be ‘north of $10-million.’ Outside of the Rogers Cup, the organisation also receives financial support from Sport Canada and their own investments. Although that only amounts to six per cent. It is this self-sufficiency that has left the organisation at risk.

In a bleak outlook Downey, who was previously head of the Lawn Tennis Association, admits Tennis Canada’s investments could be affected up to 2023. It has been confirmed that staff working at the organisation has been told there will be a restructuring process in the wake of the current situation.

“When you look down the road, because it will be a significant loss this year, into the multi-millions, it won’t just impact what we can invest in tennis development this year, it’s going to impact what we can invest in 2021 and 2022 and maybe even 2023.” He revealed.
“We’ll be able to make an investment, because these tournaments will come back next year stronger than ever, but we won’t be able to afford to invest at the level that we’ve historically been able to because we have to actually get that money back.”

In a bid to prevent the undoing of their progress in recent years, Downey has hinted that he will seek help from the Government in the coming months. Although he didn’t shed light on what that will involve.

“We expect to get more government support down the road. Not right now, because the government is doing what they have to do and that’s focusing on the health and well-being of Canadians and making sure Canadians are employed, but later this year we think there will be an opportunity for us to make a case for greater support, because the sport deserves it and we’ve been self-reliant for decades,’” he explained.

With the men’s Roger Cup tournament in limbo, there is anxiety for those working for Downey and his team. Whilst never directly saying it, a series of redundancies or similar are also expected to be made. It is unclear as to how many or in what departments.

“Like any business, when you have some level of financial turmoil you’ve got to restructure, you got to look to the future and we have to do it like any other business and they understand that. It will be a sad day when we move forward on this, but like any business you got to do this,” Downey concluded.

According to their 2018 Annual Report, 86% of Tennis Canada’s revenue was generated by tennis tournaments alone.

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Dan Evans On The Look Out For New Coach

The 30-year-old has come to a surprise decision to end his current coaching agreement despite achieving a career ranking high earlier this year.

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British No.1 Dan Evans is making a big change to his team after confirming that he will part ways with coach Mark Hilton at the end of the season.

 

The world No.35 reunited with Hilton just last year after also previously working with him prior to his drugs ban in 2017. Under his guidance Evans has achieved several wins over top 10 players, reached his first ever semi-final of an ATP 500 event in Dubai and peaked at a ranking best of 28th in March.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Mark for his work and efforts over the past 12 months and we are both excited for what is next for each of our respective careers,” Evans said.

Evans’ announcement came on the same day he ended his five-match losing streak on the Tour. In the first round of the European Open on Tuesday he defeated Italy’s Salvatore Caruso in three sets. Making it his first win since the US Open when he defeated Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Hilton will now return to working for the British LTA. A former player himself he reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Wimbledon boys doubles championships and peaked at a ranking high of 202 on the ATP Tour in singles. His best performance at a Grand Slam occurred at Wimbledon when as a wild card he stunned Spain’s Albert Costa in the first round of the 2004 tournament. Besides Evans, he has also previously worked with the likes of Liam Broady and Kyle Edmund.

“After discussing our plans for 2021, Dan and I have made the mutual decision to part ways at the end of November,” Hilton said in a statement.
“Both of us are very proud of our collaboration this year, helping Dan achieve a career-high ranking of number 28, seven wins over top-20 players and reaching his first ATP 500 semi-final.
“I’m looking forward to taking the experience I have gained over the last three years at the highest levels of the ATP Tour and re-investing that back into the LTA’s Performance Team for the benefit of our British players and coaches.”

It is unclear as to who may step in as Evans’ next coach. The Brit will return to action on Wednesday when he plays Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

Evans’ win-loss for 2020 currently stands at 14-11 on the ATP Tour.

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Alex De Minaur rallies from a set and a break down to beat Richard Gasquet in Antwerp

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Alex De Minaur came back from one set down to beat Richard Gasquet 3-6 7-6 6-3 in the opening round of the European Open in Antwerp. 

 

Gasquet had led by a set and a break and served for the match before De Minaur rallied to take a thrilling win. 

De Minaur recently beat Gasquet 6-4 6-3 6-7 7-5 in their recent head-to-head clash in the second round of the US Open,

De Minaur earned an immediate break in the first game of the opening set with a forehand winner into the corner. Gasquet broke straight back in the second game to draw level to 1-1. Both players held serve until the fifth game before Gasquet broke serve at 30 in the sixth game. The Frenchman consolidated the break for a 5-2 lead. De Minaur held serve with a drop-shot in the eighth game for 3-5. Gasquet served out the first set 6-3 with his forehand. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Gasquet converted his third break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Frenchman saved a break point to hold his serve at deuce for 4-2. 

Gasquet saved three break points in the eighth game at 4-3, but De Minaur broke back on his fifth break point to draw level to 5-5, as Gasquet was serving for the match. Gasquet made an unforced error, as he was serving for the win. De Minaur won the next two points to get back on serve. 

After two holds of serve the set came down to the tie-break. De Minaur got an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead in the tie-break. Gasquet broke back on the fifth point to draw level to 3-3. De Minaur earned his second mini-break on the 11th point, as Gasquet double faulted at 5-5. 

De Minaur broke in the seventh game with an inside-in forehand winner. Gasquet fended off a first match point on his serve with a volley. The Aussie player closed out the decider on the second match match point after 2 hours and 18 minutes, as Gasquet netted his forehand.

De Minaur scored his first win on the ATP Tour since reaching the quarter final at the US Open. The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up only dropped five service points in the decisive set. 

Daniel Evans edged past Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso 6-2 3-6 6-3 in 1 hour and 57 minutes to  set up a second round against Frances Tiafoe at the European Open in Antwerp. Evans fired nine aces and won 77 % of his first serve points. 

In the opening set Evans went up a double break to race out to a 4-1 lead. Caruso pulled one break back in the sixth game in the sixth game for 2-4. Evans broke for the third time in the seventh game and served out 6-2 on his second set point. The world number 35 hit 35 aces and won 64% of his first serve points. 

Caruso earned the break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead and served out the second set at love.

Evans broke serve in the fourth game to open up a 4-1, but he did not convert a double break point in the sixth game. Evans did not face any break points in his next service games to win the third set 6-3. 

Cameron Norrie rallied from 0-3 down in the second set to beat Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hhour and 37 minutes setting up a second round match against either Milos Raonic or Aljaz Bedene. 

Spain’s Pablo Andujar eased past Argentine lucky loser Federico Coria 6-2 6-3. Andujar will take on fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov. Coria replaced Kei Nishikori, who pulled out of the tournament due to a right shoulder injury. 

US qualifier Marcos Giron came back from one set down to beat Italian 17-year-old player Luca Nardi 4-6 6-4 6-1. Giron got the first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Nardi broke serve twice in the sixth and ninth games to win the first set. Giron won nine consecutive games from 4-6 3-4 down with four breaks. 

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Jannik Sinner cruises past James Duckworth in Cologne

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Jannik Sinner swept past James Duckworth 6-1 6-2 in 61 minutes minutes to reach the second round at the Bett1 HULKS Championships in Cologne. Sinner converted five of his seven break points and saved both the break points he faced in the fifth game of the second set. 

 

Sinner got the first two breaks of the match at love in the first and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead. The 2019 Next Gen player and 2020 Roland Garros quarter finalist converted his third break point at deuce after a double fault from Duckworth in the seventh game to close out the first set 6-1 after just 23 minutes. 

The second serve went on serve in the first four games before Siinner saved two break points to hold serve at deuce after a 12-minute marathon game. The Italian 19-year-old star broke twice in a row to close out the second set 6-2, when Duckworth missed a forehand volley wide. 

“Not many unforced errors, I served quite well. I am very happy about my first match. I felt great on court, moving quite well. Obviously the second set there was one game when I was serving in which he pushed a little bit more the ball, so I was a little bit rushed, but I think it was a solid performance”, said Sinner. 

Sinner set up a second round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who came back from a break down in the third set to beat Tennys Sandgren 6-3 3-6 6-3 after 2 hours and 17 minutes. 

Sinner has moved up to world number 46 after reaching the quarter final at Roland Garros. 

Spanish Next Gen player Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat Damir Dzumhur 6-2 6-3 with two breaks i each set scoring his 10th match win of the season. Davidovich Fokina, who lost to Alexander Zverev last week at the bett1 HULKS Indoors last week in Cologne, will face Steve Johnson in the second round. 

German brothers Alexander and Misha Zverev beat Aisam UI Haq Qureshi 6-4 6-2 to reach the second round of the doubles tournament. Sasha and Misha fended off all three break points they faced to set up a second round match against either Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies or Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Fernando Verdasco. 

Max Purcell and Luke Seville edged Felix Auger Aliassime and Robert Lindstedt 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (1-7) 10-7. 

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