Cut Prize Money In Doubles To Help Low-Ranked Players, Says Wimbledon Champion Bartoli - UBITENNIS
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Cut Prize Money In Doubles To Help Low-Ranked Players, Says Wimbledon Champion Bartoli

The former top 10 tennis star has come up with a controversial proposal to help bridge the pay gap in tennis.

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Former French tennis star Marion Bartoli has come under fire after suggesting how she would help financially support players ranked outside of the top 100.

 

Bartoli, who won the 2013 Wimbledon trophy, has come up with a radical idea that would see money earned from doubles tournaments get taken away and redistributed to singles players. Speaking to Tennis Majors, the 35-year-old said she couldn’t understand where there were so many doubles events taking place outside of the four grand slams and Olympics. Her argument stems from a claim that she has witnessed doubles players having teams of ‘like six people’ and therefore earn more than enough money.

“I know I’m not going to make myself friends but I think we have to say it: I don’t understand all these doubles competitions all year round,” Bartoli told the Match Points talk show.
“I understand during Grand Slams and the Olympics because doubles is part of tennis history (but) I’ve been to some tournaments now with my player and I see now, these (doubles) players, they have crews, like six people around them.’
“When I was a player, as a singles player, we couldn’t afford to pay six people to travel with us full-time. They can afford to pay six people and they just play doubles!”

The comment concerns the ongoing debate over how lower-ranked players are coping during the Tour suspension due to COVID-19. Recently it was announced that a $6 million Relief fund has been set up to support roughly 800 players. The money will be issued by the ATP and WTA as long as players meet certain criteria. Furthermore, the International Tennis Federation is currently in the process of coming up with their own plans.

Nevertheless, Bartoli believes it would be right to take some money away from the doubles Tour because those players don’t put in as much effort in her opinion. The Frenchwoman won three WTA titles in doubles during her career.

“Why don’t you get some of that money to qualifiers, to someone who plays only Challengers? I just don’t understand because in doubles, you just don’t make the same effort as a singles player,” she said.
“You don’t practice as much….they keep going, week in and week out, getting that money. I don’t know if we have to stop doubles completely, but to get less money and give that money to qualification and others, that should be a solution.”

Belgian tennis player Joran Vliegen has hit back at the criticism. The 26-year-old currently has a doubles ranking of 36. Last season he won three ATP titles and reached the quarter-finals of the French Open. During 2019 he earned $187,673, which is more than 20 times less than what Novak Djokovic has already earned in 2020.

“Marion Bartoli thinks we shouldn’t play doubles and give money to singles qualifiers and challengers because we can afford to have six people in our team. We’ve only recently added a traveling coach because we could never afford it. Also, we practice 5-6 hours a day. Guess that’s not enough for her,” Vliegen wrote on Twitter.
“I completely agree with her that there is a problem with prize money distribution towards the lower rankings. In my opinion however, this is not the way to change that,” he added.

Addressing the current structure of the Tour, Bartoli has also criticised the distribution of prize money to players at the big tournaments. Arguing that the current situation makes the rich richer and poor poorer. Citing the US Open, which awarded the 2019 men’s and women’s champion $3,850,000 each. Roughly a third of what the former world No.7 earned throughout her entire career.

“When I see someone winning the US Open, and taking 4 million…. I won Wimbledon and I didn’t take four million. I believe I took enough money out of it. Right now the numbers are way too high for the people who are winning. They don’t share the money enough.” She concluded.

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Andrey Rublev wins opening match of the Thiem’s 7 in Kitzbuhel

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This year’s Doha and Adelaide Andrey Rublev rallied from losing the first set to beat Jan-Lennard Struff 3-6 6-4 15-13 in the opening match of the Thiem’s 7 exhibition tournament in Kitzbuhel.

 

Struff broke Rublev in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Rublev broke straight back, but Struff earned another break to clinch the first set 6-3. There were only two break points in the second set. Rublev earned the crucial break to win the second set 6-4 forcing the match to the decisive super tie-break. Rublev earned two match points at 9-7, but he did not convert any of them. Struff earned a match point as he was leading 10-9 and got two more chances to win the match at 12-11 and 13-12, but he did convert them. Rublev won the final three points to clinch the tie-break 15-13.

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Kitzbuhel set to host the Thiem 7 tournament

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The famous Austrian alpine ski resort of Kitzbuhel hosts the exhibition tournament Thiem 7 organized by world number 3 and this year’s Australian Open finalist Dominic Thiem from 7 to 11 July 2020.

 

The tournament features 2019 US Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini, 2019 Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut, 2018 Paris Bercy champion Karen Khachanov, this year’s Doha and Adelaide champion Andrey Rublev, Jan-Lennard Struff from Germany, Casper Ruud from Norway and Dennis Novak from Austria.

The eight players were split in two groups. The Group IFA features Thiem, Rublev, Struff and Ruud. Berrettini, Bautista Agut, Khachanov and Novak have been drawn in the Soccercoin Group.

The format is similar to the ATP Finals in London. In the semifinals the respective group leaders face the group leaders of the other group.

In the third set there will be only one match tie-break up to 10. The semifinals will be held on Friday at 13.30 am and 15.00 pm.

“It’s just fantastic to be here again. I am really looking forward to seeing the other players again. Most of them, I have not met most of them since March at Indian Wells”, said Thiem.  

 During the first day four matches will be held. Rublev will play against Struff in the opening match. Thiem will open his campaign against Ruud. Berrettini will clash against Novak. Khachanov will meet Bautista Agut in the final match of the opening day.

Thiem won the Kitzbuhel ATP 250 tournament last year.

“It was the first time I saw a bit in the organization calling the players and asking if they were coming, which was a lot of fun. Of course it is also the first time in Kitzbuhel since the emotional triumph last year. My father Wolfgang is there as a sporting director and many Kitzbuhelers are behind the project”, said Dominic Thiem.  

In Kitzbuhel 500 spectators will be allowed for each session to respect all hygiene and protective measures. There are tickets for all days. There is a day and and an evening session.

“I learnt the lesson from the Adria Cup in Belgrade. The respect of all protocols will be very strict for the 500 spectators allowed in each session”, said Thiem.

 

Thiem will travel to Berlin for the next exhibition tournament in Berlin, which will be played on grass.

 

“It will be interesting because it is on the lawn”, said Thiem.

 

After a week off Thiem will start his preparation for next  Cincinnati Masters 1000 and the US Open.

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Roger Federer Eyeing Olympic Glory At The Age Of 39 In 2021

The Swiss tennis star isn’t ready to step away from the sport just yet.

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20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer has vowed to play at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo after undergoing two surgeries on his knee.

 

The former world No.1 hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January. Since then he had twice undergone arthroscopic surgeries which is a minimally invasive procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems with the joints. Federer announced shortly after having the procedure done for a second time that he will not be returning to the Tour again this year.

Despite the setbacks, the 38-year-old has vowed to return to action at the start of 2021 with Olympic glory one of his main targets. He is already a two-time Olympic medallist after winning gold in the men’s doubles back in 2008 followed by silver in the singles draw at the 2012 London Games.

“My goal is to play Tokyo 2021. It’s a wonderful city. I met my wife in my first Olympics in 2000. It’s a special event for me,” Federer said on Monday during the launch of ‘The Roger’ shoe with Swiss brand ON.
“I had two surgeries and I can’t hit at the moment, but I’m very confident I will be totally ready for 2021.
“I do miss playing in front of the fans, no doubt. Now, I think if tennis comes back we know it won’t be in a normal way where we can have full crowds yet.”

Federer will be 39 when he returns to action, but is yet to speculate as to when he may close the curtain on his record-breaking career. He is currently the second oldest man in the top 200 on the ATP Tour after Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, who is 41.

Besides the Olympics, the Swiss Maestro is also setting his eye on Wimbledon where he has claimed the men’s title a record eight times. However, he hasn’t won a major title since the 2018 Australian Open. The Grass-court major has been cancelled this year for the first time since 1945 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of course I miss Wimbledon, of course I would like to be there currently playing on Centre Court for a place in the second week,” he said.
“Clearly, one of my big goals, and that’s why I do recovery work every day and work so hard, and why I’m preparing for a 20-week physical preparation block this year, is because I hope to play at Wimbledon next year.”

Even though he is not playing for the rest of the year, Federer incredibly still has a chance of qualifying for the ATP Finals due to recent changes in the rankings calculations. Due to the pandemic, players are now allowed to use their best results at 18 tournaments based on a 22-month period instead of 12 months. Something that could enable him to remain inside the top eight until the end of 2020 depending on how his rivals fair.

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