Don’t Expect Top Players To Prop Up The Tour, Warns John Millman - UBITENNIS
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Don’t Expect Top Players To Prop Up The Tour, Warns John Millman

The former US Open quarter-finalist has jumped to the defence of fellow player Dominic Thiem.

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One of Australia’s top players have dismissed the idea that his fellow rivals on the tour should contribute towards a fund to support those ranked lower than them after Dominic Thiem received criticism for his opposition.

 

John Millman, who is currently ranked 43rd on the ATP Tour, believes the problem lies with the governing bodies of the sport. Recently Novak Djokovic issued a letter to the ATP Tour outlining a plan where he hoped that those in the top 100 would contribute towards a fund set up to support those during the tour suspension. The donations range between $5000 and $30,000 depending on where a player is positioned inside the top 100.

However, the initiative failed to receive the backing of Thiem. Who lost to Djokovic in the Australian Open final in January. The world No.3 said he didn’t want to donate to the fund because he has concerns that the money could go to those who are ‘unprofessional’ or don’t commit fully to the Tour. Prompting many to hit out at the Austrian. Including Algerian player Ines Ibbou, who published an emotional video detailing her struggles on the tour. The 21-year-old has only managed to make $27,825 in prize money so far in her career.

“There are just a few things that bother me about the whole thing,” Thiem told Sky Sports Austria.
“I don’t back down from my opinion that there are some players I don’t want to support. Therefore I would much prefer it to be chosen by the players themselves, because then those players who really need it and who really deserve it will benefit.”

Speaking with the Australian Associated Press, Millman has jumped to Thiem’s defence by arguing that his comments have been misinterpreted. Thiem never said he wouldn’t donate to a program that would help players, but said he wanted to choose who to donate to.

According to Millman, he believes the problem lies with the management of the ATP, WTA and ITF. The veteran player have played on the ATP Tour for a decade and has made more than $3.5 million in prize money earnings.

“Look, players outside 100 are struggling all year round whether there is coronavirus or not,” Millman told AAP.
“I don’t think it should come down for someone like Dominic to prop up the tour.
“It should be managed better by the ATP, the WTA and the ITF.
“There should have been a bigger effort earlier on for these organisations to have made it a priority to grow the game and help people make money from the game.”

Elaborating further, Millman said he was frustrated that it took the COVID-19 pandemic to get the ball rolling. All professional tennis matches have been suspended since March until at least July 31st.

“My biggest problem is that it has taken coronavirus for us to be talking about it,” he said.
“There have been plenty of opportunities over the years to try and get more people making money out of the sport and I don’t think we have done a good enough job.”

Recently the ATP, WTA and ITF announced the launch of a player relief fund set out to support those in need during the tour break. Valued at an estimated $6 million the money will be targeted towards an estimated 800 ATP/WTA singles and doubles players providing they meet certain criteria.

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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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Petra Martic comes back from one set down to beat Ludmila Samsonova in Palermo

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Top seed Petra Martic from Croatia came back from one set down to beat qualifier and world number 117  Ludmila Samsonova 5-7 6-4 6-2. 

 

Martic saved six break points in the 10th game of the opening set, but Samsonova converted her third break point in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. 

Martic earned an early break in the first game to open up a 2-0 lead. Samsonova broke back at love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Martic broke for the second time in the ninth game to win the second set 6-4. The Croatian player broke twice in the third and seventh games to close out the third set 6-2. 

Martic will face world number 50 Aliaksandra Sasnovich from Belarus in the quarter finals. Sasnovich came through the qualifying round before beating Jasmine Paolini in straight sets. 

Former top 30 Camila Giorgi rallied from losing the first set to beat Slovenian teenager Kaja Juvan 3-6 6-2 6-4 after 2 hours reaching her second WTA quarter final of the season. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 outbreak Giorgi reached the top 8 in Lyon. Juvan qualified for the Main Draw at the Australian Open and beat five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in three sets at the Abierto Mexicano in Acapulco. 

Giorgi started with an early break at deuce at the start of the first set and opened a 2-0 lead. Juvan broke twice to take a 4-3 lead. Giorgi dropped serve for the third time after a double fault on the set point. 

Giorgi came back from 1-2 down by winning five consecutive games with two consecutive breaks in the fifth and seventh games. 

Giorgi broke twice to race out to a 3-0 lead at the start of the third set. Juvan pulled one break back at love in the fourth game but Giorgi got another break to race out to a 5-1 lead. Juvan broke at 30, when Giorgi was serving for the match at 5-2. The Italian player earned two match points and sealed the win on her second chance. 

“I think I was more solid in playing my game. I was moving more forward, so it was much for me. At the start of the match, I was making too many tactical mistakes because I was trying to finish points for no reason. I started to adopt better tactics in the second set and that’s when things started working for me”, said Giorgi. 

Number 4 seed Anett Kontaveit from Estonia came back from one set down to beat Laura Siegemund 3-6 6-2 6-2 after 2 hours and 20 minutes booking her spot in the quarter finals at the Palermo Ladies Open. 

The Estonian player has reached her third quarter final this year after the Australian Open and Dubai. 

Kontaveit set up a quarter final against Elisabetta Cocciaretto, who became the youngest Italian player to reach the quarter final of a tournament since Sara Errani in 2006. 

“I am quite happy about the way I was handling close situations, playing the close games and turning the close games around. I thought I actually handled that sort of pressure, that I didn’t think I would be used to, quite well”, said Kontaveit. 

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Andrea Gaudenzi recognizes the contribution of the Italian Tennis Federation in staging the Internazionali d’Italia

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ATP President and former Italian tennis player Andrea Gaudenzi spoke in an interview to Italian TV channel Supertennis about staging the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome before the French Open and recognised the contribution of the Italian tennis Federation (FIT) in staging the tournament in the Italian capital. 

 

The Rome ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier 5 tournaments will be held from 20th to 27th September one week before the French Open (27th September to 11th October). 

“We are grateful to everyone, holding an event this year is difficult from an organizational and financial point of view. We thank the Italian Federation and those who organize the Challengers. Italy is making a great contribution. I think the players are waiting for the BNL Internazionali d’Italia. The Foro Italico is among the most beautiful venues in the world. Rome is splendid in September”, said Gaudenzi. 

During his tennis career Gaudenzi scored wins over Roger Federer in Rome 2002, Pete Sampras in the first round of the 2002 French Open, Jim Courier in the 1994 US Open, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Gaudenzi claimed three ATP titles in Casablanca in 1998, St. Poelten and Bastad in 2002. He graduated in law at the Bologna University and obtained a MBA with Honours at IUM.

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