Tour Shutdown Unlikely To Affect The Top Guns Of Tennis, Says Becker - UBITENNIS
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Tour Shutdown Unlikely To Affect The Top Guns Of Tennis, Says Becker

The German tennis legend believes it will be another group of players that will suffer the most from a break in the sport.

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Former world No.1 Boris Becker believes the current suspension of tennis due to COVID-19 could be a blessing in disguise for the likes of Roger Federer and Serena Williams.

 

Becker, who won six grand slam titles during his career, dismissed concerns about if the two stars of the sport could suffer from a lack of play due to their age. Both of whom will be turning 39 later this year. Federer is currently the oldest top 100 player on the men’s tour and Williams is the second oldest in the women’s after her sister Venus. Between them, they have won 43 Grand Slam singles trophies and spent 619 weeks as world No.1.

“If the year is lost, I don’t think it’s bad for Federer or Serena (Williams) because they haven’t really abused their bodies for another year, in a way they have gained a year,” Becker told Reuters.

The German tennis legend believes it will actually be the younger players who will suffer during the Tour suspension due to their inexperience. All professional tournaments have been suspended since March in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak. At present the sport is scheduled to restart on July 13th, however, it is expected that the extension will be extended in the coming weeks.

“I think it (the lockdown) is good for Andy Murray because it gives him more time to come back and get physically ready for 2021,” the 52-year-old later added.
“I think it benefits more (Novak) Djokovic, (Rafa) Nadal, Federer because they know how good they are, they know what to do, and I don’t think we are going to see a change of form from them.”

It is up in the air if Federer and Co will be seen playing in another grand slam tournament in 2020 with both the US Open and French Open having doubts cast over their events. The USTA, which is in charge of the US Open, recently confirmed that a final decision regarding the tournament will be made next month. They are currently looking at options that include potentially moving the event from New York, which is the epicentre of the American COVID-19 outbreak, to Indian Wells. Meanwhile, the French Tennis Federation is still in the process of finalising the date their event with relevant stakeholders.

Becker believes the outcome of those two events will be decisive as to if the 2020 season will resume or not. Recently Rafael Nadal said he is pessimistic that any more events will take place this year. On top of that, the organisers of the 2021 Australian Open have admitted that there is a chance the tournament could be cancelled due to the pandemic.

“I think a lot depends on the decision regarding the U.S. Open and the French Open,” he said.
“I think if that’s positive then we will have a tournament or two before the Open in America. I think it was good of the Open to say ‘listen, let’s wait and see and not make a rushed decision’.
“If it is positive then I think we will have tennis for the rest of the year. If we don’t have the Open, the French Open, I don’t think we will have tennis for the rest of the year.”

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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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