Women’s Tennis 'Practically Unsellable’ Without Stars Like Williams, Claims Former World No.1 - UBITENNIS
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Women’s Tennis ‘Practically Unsellable’ Without Stars Like Williams, Claims Former World No.1

The two-time grand slam champion has suggested that the WTA Tour lacks depth and star quality compared to their male counterparts.

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Roger Federer’s recent call for the merger of tennis has received backing from another former world No.1 who believes such a move would aid the survival of the women’s game.

 

Marat Safin has spoken in favour of the proposal during an Instagram Live chat with Mikhael Youzhny. The Russian won 27 ATP titles during his career, including two grand slam trophies. Should a merger of some sort ever happen, the 40-year-old believes it will make the sport more appealing to sponsors. The ATP and WTA have operated as separate bodies since 1973 when the men’s governing body was created.

“Why not? It’s not a bad idea. There can be a joint product which will bring benefits. In that case the sponsorship package will be more attractive in comparison to tournaments where men and women play separately,” sports.ru quoted Safin as saying.

Elaborating further, Safin has controversially suggested that the women’s game lacks depth by saying ‘men’s tennis rules in all kinds of ways.’ Over the past decade the ATP has seen a massive boost in revenue with the help of the rise of the Big Three. A group composed of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. On the other hand, the WTA Tour has also managed to hold their own footing with the help of stars such as Serena Williams.

However, Safin argues that when the likes of 38-year-old Williams quits the sport, there will be a big void in the women’s game. Nevertheless, the WTA Tour is still able to score big financial deals. Highlighted by last year’s WTA Finals, which had a record prize money pool of $14 million.

“Women’s tennis is less sellable, because men’s tennis rules in all kinds of ways. Many people don’t realize that women’s tennis is practically unsellable,” he claims.
“This is a key point: without Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova, [and] Serena Williams, women’s tennis is unsellable.”

Weighing in on the debate, former top 10 player Youzhny said he agreed with his compatriot. Saying he couldn’t name any female player currently ranked in the top 10. Youzhny is the coach of Denis Shapovalov.

“Yes, I wouldn’t be able to name the women’s top 10, though I watch tennis events,” he said. “Probably I will tell you the names, but I don’t remember the rankings.”

At the moment it seems unlikely that there will be a merger of the sport due to the complex process that it would involve. However, there are signs that the governing bodies could be working together in the future. ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said he believes the recent COVID-19 pandemic has brought them closer.

“Managing the current scenario is extremely complex, especially because of the nature of our calendar, the nature of our business,” Sporting News quoted Gaudenzi as saying.
“But I’m optimistic in general, by nature, and I try to see the positive side which has been a tremendous collaboration with the other grand slams and the WTA and the ITF.
“So all the bodies coming together and discussing the calendar, the way forward, player relief, and many, many other topics.
“So that could be the positive outcome of this, that finally the governing bodies of tennis and the grand slams get together and work collaboratively on the long-term future of the sport.”

All professional tennis tournaments have been suspended until at least July due to the pandemic.

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Novak Djokovic reaches the semifinal in Tel Aviv

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Novak Djokovic beat Canadian lucky loser Vasek Pospisil 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to reach the semifinal at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. 

 

Djokovic has improved his record to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Pospisil. He has won all 13 sets they have played. 

Both players went on serve en route to the tie-break. Djokovic earned two mini-breaks to race out to a 4-0 lead. Pospisil won five of the next six points to draw level to 5-5. Djokovic won the next two points to seal the tie-break 7-5. 

Djokovic went up a break at the start of the second set. Pospisil broke back in the fifth game to reduce the deficit to 2-3. Djokovic broke again in the eighth game before serving out for the match in the next game. 

Djokovic set up a semifinal against Roman Safiulin. The Serbian player is aiming to win his third title this season after his previous triumphs in Rome and Wimbledon. He is currently ranked 15th in the ATP Race to Turin. As he won a Grand Slam title at Wimbeldon this year, he will qualify for the ATP Finals if he remains in the top 20. 

“It was a great and positive win. Vasek is one of my best friends on the tour. We have known each other for many years. It is never easy playing someone you respect so much and like so much, but we are both professionals and wanted to win the match and you can see that. ”, said Djokovic. 

Constant Lestienne came back from one set down to beat Maxime Cressy 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 7-6 (7-3) setting up a semifinal against Marin Cilic, who reached his fifth semifinal this year after receiving a walkover from Liam Broady.   

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Jannik Sinner reaches his third consecutive semifinal at the Sofia Open

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Jannik Sinner cruised past Aleksandar Vukic 6-2 6-3 to advance to his third consecutive semifinal at the Sofia Open. Sinner scored his 45th tour.level win this season moving up to 12th in the ATP Race to Turin. He will rise to 10th if he wins his third consecutive title in Sofia. 

 

Sinner has extended his winning streak to 11-0 at the Sofia Open. He claimed the trophy at this tournament at the Sofia Open in 2020 before he successfully defended his title last year.  

Sinner faced four break points after three double faults in the first game of opening set. Vukic saved a break point with a forehand at 1-2. Sinner broke twice in the sixth and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. 

Sinner built up a 3-0 lead with a break at the start of the second set. Vukic broke back in the seventh game for 3-4. Sinner earned his second break in the eighth game. Sinner missed out on his first match point with his fifth double fault. Vukic fended off a second match point with a forehand passing shot. Sinner saved a break point with an ace before sealing the win on his third match point. 

“I hope to raise my level in the next match. I am happy to reach the third semifinal at this tournament. I feel at home in Sofia. I will try to play my best tennis in every match”, said Sinner, 

Sinner will face a semifinal match against Holger Rune, who will face Ilya Ivashka 6-2 5-7 6-4 after 2 hours and 22 minutes. 

Rune broke in the fifth and seventh games to win the first set 6-2. Ivashka saved four break points in th third game before breaking for the first time in the match in the 12th game to close out the second set 7-5. 

Rune earned a break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Ivashka broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Rune broke for the second game in the ninth game and held serve on his second match point. 

Lorenzo Musetti moved past world number 132 player Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 16 minutes to reach his second ATP Tour semifinal of the season. 

Struff earned an early break in the second game to open up a 3-0 lead. Musetti came back from 15-40 down to break back in the fifth game with a backhand passing shot winner. Musetti went down 0-2 in the tie-break, but he rallied by winning seven of the next eight points to seal the tie-break 7-3. Musetti broke twice in the second and fourth games and sealed the win on his first match point with a forehand winner after 77 minutes. Musetti set up a semifinal match against Marc Andrea Huesler, who saved two match points in the tie-break of the second set to beat Kamil Majchrzak 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-3. 

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Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin

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Casper Ruud and Stefanos Tsitsipas have qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals singles tournament in Turin, Joining Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal and US Open winner Carlos Alcaraz. 

 

Ruud secured his spot in the year-end championships by winning his second-round match in Seoul. 

Ruud reached his first ATP Masters 1000 final in Miami and two Grand Slam finals at Roland Garros and at the US Open. He also won three ATP Tour titles in Buenos Aires, Geneva and Gstaad. The Norwegian player has scored 47 ATP Tour-level wins and is ranked third behind only Alcaraz (52) and Tsistipas (49). 

Ruud made his first appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin last year. He won his round robin matches against against Cameron Norrie and Andrey Rublev before losing to Danil Medvedev in the semifinal. 

“I just got the news that I qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin and I am looking forward to coming back to Italy. I had such a great time last year. It’s a great country for tennis”, said Ruud. 

Tsitsipas has become the fourth player to qualify to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals. The Greek player will make his fourth consecutive appearance at the year-end tournament. He won the title in 2019 beating Novak Djokovic in the final. Tsitsipas started the 2022 season with a semifinal at the Australian Open last January. He advanced to the final in Rotterdam where he finished runner-up to Felix Auger Aliassime.

The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion won his second consecutive title at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. Last May Tsitsipas finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. During the US hard-court season the Athens native player lost to Borna Coric in the final of the Cincinnati Masters 1000 tournament. 

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