Lleyton Hewitt Sees Flaws In Novak Djokovic’s Donation Plan - UBITENNIS
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Lleyton Hewitt Sees Flaws In Novak Djokovic’s Donation Plan

The former grand slam champion has lent his backing behind fellow critic Dominic Thiem by arguing that it is unfair to expect some players to make a donation given their personal circumstances.

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Former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt has become the latest high profile figure to voice his concerns over an initiative urging top tennis players to donate money to a fund helping those ranked lower than them.

 

The Australian tennis legend said the proposals set out by Novak Djokovic was a ‘touchy subject’ for him as he questioned the fairness of it. Djokovic, who is the president of the ATP Player Council, recently sent out a letter outlining how funding to those affected during the current tour suspension would be raised. In part of the proposal, he has asked the top 100 singles and top 20 doubles players to make a contribution towards the fund. Should they all get on board, more than $1 million would be raised.

However, not everybody supports the idea. World No.3 Dominic Thiem has come out against the move by arguing that he doesn’t want to donate to some players who are not fully committed to the sport. A relief fund is being set up to help those ranked between 250-700 who are unable to make an earning at present due to the pandemic.Thiem’s view has now been backed by Hewitt.

“This has been taken out of proportion. I know Dominic well and he was basically saying ‘well, I have no problem giving money to certain organisations that really need it at the moment,‘ Hewitt told World Wide of Sport.
“He had a problem with some of the lesser ranked tennis players that day in and day out aren’t giving 100% of themselves to the sport to maximise their potential.”

Elaborating further, the Australian Davis Cup captain believes there is also a flaw to Djokovic’s plan when it comes to asking for a donation from those in the bottom part of the top 100. Highlighting the case of James Duckworth.

“I look at someone who’s worked extremely hard like James Duckworth,” Hewitt said.
“In the last few years he’s done everything right to give himself the best opportunity to get himself back in the top 100.
“He’s making no money right now, he’s running at a loss, yet the ATP wants him to potentially donate five or ten thousand dollars to players ranked just outside 100.
“I don’t think that sits well, I don’t think it’s going to get over the line with a lot of those lesser players.”

28-year-old Duckworth is currently ranked 83rd in the world. Under the proposal, he would be asked to donate $5000. This would equate to roughly 4% of what he has made so far in 2020 ($121,317) on the singles Tour. In comparison Djokovic would donate $30,000, which is 0.7% of his yearly earnings ($4,410,541). These figures doesn’t take into account costs such as travel, equipment, accommodation and paying members of their teams.

In their careers overall, Duckworth has made $1.6 million compared to Djokovic’s record tally of $132 million.

Joining in on the debate, former top 60 player Sam Groth believes a fairer way to solve the ongoing crises would be to distribute the amount of prize money at tournaments on a more even basis. It has already been discussed that the prize money pool at the season-ending ATP Finals would be cut and invested into the relief fund if the tournament goes ahead. Although there is yet to be any formal plan in place.

“It’s hard isn’t it because you’ve worked hard to be one of those top guys and they make a lot more,” Groth said to Hewitt.
“I also think the prize money isn’t distributed evenly enough. You look at a guy like Novak Djokovic winning the Australian Open, you’re talking $4-5 million for winning a final in a grand slam.
“If you were to go and take $500,000 off the men’s and women’s purse from that winners’ purse and distribute it, there’s all of a sudden $8 million a year, or $4 million a year, depending on how much you take and where you take it from.”

All professional tennis tournaments have been suspended until at least July 13th.

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Doubles Player Dream French Open Debut Ended By Instagram Message

Portugal’s Francisco Cabral said he found out he will not be playing in Paris through social media.

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Francisco Cabral - Image via https://twitter.com/EstorilOpen/

Playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam is the pinnacle of many players’ careers but one player missed out on that opportunity due to an unfortunate situation. 

 

Portugal’s Francisco Cabral was set to play in the men’s doubles tournament for the first time at this week’s French Open. The world No.72 is currently at a career-high after winning his maiden Tour title in Estoril last month with compatriot Nuno Borges. In Paris, he entered into the draw alongside Denmark’s Holger Rune. 

However, shortly before he was set to make his Grand Slam debut Rune pulled out at the last minute. Leaving Cabral unable to look for another partner in such a short time. Rune’s withdrawal from the doubles was based on medical advice after he hurt his ankle during his second round clash against Henri Laaksonen. The Dane tripped over the court cover at the back of the court but fortunately wasn’t seriously injured and managed to continue playing. 

“Right now I feel a huge sadness because it’s a dream to play in a Grand Slam tournament. I’ve been here since Saturday training, waiting, watching games, experiencing a new world because it was my first Grand Slam and it’s another dimension and I was really, really looking forward to being able to play,” Cabral told Raquetc. “And having waited until 15 minutes before game time to know that I wasn’t going to play after all, it cost me a lot, but I did everything I could.”

Caral went on to criticize the behavior of Rune who informed him that he would not be playing in the doubles event via a message sent on Instagram. It is unclear why the two never spoke face-to-face. 

“He only told me that he had sprained his foot, that he was at the doctor’s, and that he had told him not to play the doubles. I’m sad about his attitude because he didn’t even say this to my face, he just sent me a message on Instagram. I don’t think it went well, but as I said, I couldn’t have done anything differently, so I’ll just wait for the next opportunity.” He said. 

25-year-old Cabral is targeting Wimbledon as the event where he will play his first main draw match. 

Meanwhile, Rune will continue his singles campaign at Roland Garros on Saturday when he plays Hugo Gaston in the third round. The former world No.1 junior has shot up the rankings this season to a high of 40th. 

Cabral and Rune has been replaced in the draw by Sander Arends and Szymon Walków. 

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French Open Crowd Crossed The Line, Says Frustrated Alex de Minaur

The Australian explains why he wasn’t entirely happy with the atmosphere in the French capital.

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Alex de Minaur didn’t hide his irritation with fans at Roland Garros following his shock exit from the tournament on Tuesday.

 

The 19th seed fell to home player Hugo Gaston in a five-set epic that lasted more than four hours. De Minaur had a 3-0 lead in the decisive set but ended up losing 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(10-4) to the world No.74. He has now lost in the first round of the French Open in four out of six appearances.

During the match De Minaur had to contend with a boisterous crowd who were cheering on Gaston. He faced some booing and jeering from those in the stands which the world No.20 was not happy about.

“I think there is a difference between a great atmosphere and supporting your fellow countrymen, which is completely fine and it’s great. I’m sure for him was an amazing atmosphere, he enjoyed every second of it.” De Minaur said afterwards.
“But there is a line that, when I’m getting told things by people in the crowd, making eye contact with me after I hit a double fault, I think there is a certain line that needs to be kind of looked at.”
“Good on him (Gaston) for playing a great match in front of his home crowd and being able to feed off that, and you know, having a moment that I’m sure he won’t forget.”

De Minaur refused to go into what exactly was being said to him from certain members of the crowd but insisted that he was not being intimidated by what was occurring on the court. Towards the end of the match a series of unforced errors, including double faults, costed him dearly.

“I’m pretty sure I dealt with it pretty well, all things considering,” he said. “I was in the moment. I was in the heat of the moment battling out there. It felt like kind of an away Davis Cup match, and I thrive on that. It was a lot sometimes and sometimes you do your best to focus on playing a tennis match. There are outside factors that you do your best to control.“

Heading into Paris, De Minaur had shown encouraging results on the clay with semi-final runs to tournaments in Barcelona and Lyon. He also reached the third round in Rome and took a set off Andrey Rublev when they clashed in Monte Carlo.

Given those recent results on the Tour, it is clear that the latest defeat is one that will sit with him for a while.

Ideally, I will sleep tonight and I will forget all about it, but I have a feeling that won’t be the case,” de Minaur admits.
“It’s disappointing, as everything is, it is what it is. It’s a sport that we are playing. You have your good days, your bad days. You win absolute battles; you lose absolute battles.”

As for Garon, he will face Argentine qualifier Pedro Cachin in the second round. This year’s draw is a golden opportunity for the Frenchman with him guaranteed to not play a seeded player until at least the last 16 if he makes it that far.

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Novak Djokovic Opens Up About Wimbledon Points Removal

The world No.1 states that he will always support the views of his peers.

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Novak Djokovic (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

By Kingsley Elliot Kaye

In his press conference following his win over Yoshihito Nishioka at the French Open, Novak Djokovic expressed his views about the ATP decision to remove points from Wimbledon.

 

Negatively affected by such a decision – he will drop 2000 points – the world No.1 praised the ATP’s stance and called for players’ unity.

“I think collectively I’m glad that players got together with ATP, the governing body of the men’s tennis, and showed to the Grand Slam that when there is a mistake happening, and there was from the Wimbledon side, then we have to show that there are going to be some consequences. So I support the players, unification always. I have always done that. I will always do that.” He said.

Djokovic criticized the lack of communication between the parties involved, in particular with regard to a document of recommendation by the English Government which contained diverse options. Had it been discussed by the All England Club with ATP and players, a compromise may have been reached.

“I think it was a wrong decision. I don’t support that at all. But, you know, during these times, it’s a super sensitive subject, and anything that you decide, it’s unfortunately going to create a lot of conflict, a lot of separation instead of unification.” He continued.

Djokovic also mentioned other suggestions coming from WTA and ATP, that possibly men’s and women’s players from Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia could play together at some exhibition event during the slam or something like this and prize money could go to the victims in Ukraine. There were different ideas, but there was never really a strong communication coming from Wimbledon.

He stressed that removing the points from Wimbledon, therefore not allowing players to earn or to defend points, is a decision that affects everyone, a lose-lose situation for everyone, as he called it.

Nonetheless, the charm and prestige of Wimbledon shall rest unaltered and its meaningfulness extends far beyond: “A Grand Slam is still a Grand Slam. Wimbledon for me was always my dream tournament when I was a child. You know, I don’t look at it through the lens of points or prize money. For me, it’s something else.”

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