Return of British Tennis Tour Opens The Door For Andy Murray’s Latest Comeback - UBITENNIS
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Return of British Tennis Tour Opens The Door For Andy Murray’s Latest Comeback

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Andy Murray at the 2019 Australian Open (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Great Britain has become the latest country to take the route of domestic tennis to fill in the void of the ongoing Tour suspension due to COVD-19.

 

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has announced the return of the British Tour during July. A total of four events will take place over as many weeks. Each tournament will have a field of 32 players with 16 men and 16 women. Participants are eligible to take part based on their current ranking providing they are a member of the LTA. All four tournaments will be held over three days (Friday-Sunday) at the National Tennis Center in Roehampton. There will also be doubles action with eight teams featuring in a FAST4 format over one day each week.

“Since the coronavirus crisis, we have been working incredibly hard to support all our players, venues, coaches and officials through this very challenging time,” LTA CEO Scott Lloyd said in a statement.
“I’m delighted to announce today the next stage of elite tennis’ return to competing safely behind closed doors as part of a five-phase plan coordinated by UK Sport with Government.”
“The LTA is actively engaged in developing the necessary guidelines for behind closed doors events, which we hope will be determined by the Government in the coming weeks to ensure the safest environment for anyone involved in returning to competition and look forward to bringing tennis back into people’s lives this summer.”

It is yet to be confirmed who will be playing at the tournament. Although both Andy Murray and Johanna Konta are expected to feature at some stage. Murray hasn’t played a competitive match since the Davis Cup finals last November due to pelvic bruising. The three-time grand slam champion had recently said that his rehabilitation is going according to plan but gave no further comment on when he expects to be back to full fitness. During an Instagram Live chat with Rafael Nadal on April 20th he said that he ‘felt pretty good’ without going into specifics.

In weeks two and four of the British tour there will be Premier-level events with a prize money pool of £16,000. Each of the winners will take home £2250. Meanwhile in weeks one and three those tournaments will be classed as a ‘Tier 1.’ The prize money is a 50% increase compared with previous British Tour events.

The British Tour is set to take place between July 3-26 but is still subject to government approval.

Top five British players

Men
1.Dan Evans (No.28)
2.Kyle Edmund (No.44)
3.Cameron Norrie (No.77)
4.Andy Murray (No.129)
5.Jay Clarke (No.167)

Women
1.Jo Kona (No.14)
2.Heather Watson (No.50)
3.Harriet Dart (No.146)
4.Sam Murray (No.180)
5.Naiktha Bains (No.212)

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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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