Leaked WTA Calendar Draft Indicates Tours Will Resume In August - UBITENNIS
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Leaked WTA Calendar Draft Indicates Tours Will Resume In August

A tweet from a player reveals the new draft calendar. Likely new start on 3 August, possibly in Palermo. Five very important events for the WTA Tour to be played back-to-back

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It may be just a matter of a few days before professional tennis announces the restart of its activity after it was brought to a screeching halt by the COVID-19 pandemic last March.

 

An incautious tweet posted (and then subsequently cancelled) by Belgian player Alison Van Uytvack shows a provisional calendar that would have the WTA Tour resume its course at the beginning of August. On the week of 3 August, the picture of a “working calendar as of 1 June” shows the WTA Premier tournament of Charleston and the WTA International of Palermo in Italy, with the International tournaments in Washington and Prague to follow on the week of 10 August.

Ubitennis has learned that the events in Charleston and Prague have now been canceled, and the WTA is working on two alternative calendars that would have Washington and Palermo take place in either of the first two weeks. With the cancelation of the tournament in Prague, Palermo would remain the only event in Europe, with all other summer tournaments to take place in North America as usual.

The Cincinnati Premier 5 should remain in its original slot on the week of 17 August, but it could be moved from Ohio to Flushing Meadows to be co-located with the US Open, still planned to start on 31 August. Following the Major in the USA, an impressive sequence of back-to-back tournaments would see players compete in the Premier Mandatory in Madrid the week after the end of the US Open, immediately followed by the Premier 5 in Rome and then Roland Garros, starting on 27 September.

After the two weeks in Paris, the WTA Tour would move straight to Beijing for the last Premier Mandatory of the season, and then it would go to Wuhan for the Premier 5 to be played in the city where the COVID-19 pandemic originated at the beginning of the year.

The Chinese swing is very important for the WTA, which is heavily dependent on the generous investments of Chinese tournaments on women’s tennis. Two more tournaments are scheduled to be held in China: a WTA International in Nanchang on the same week as the Wuhan Premier 5 (19 October), and a WTA Premier in Zhengzhou (26 October).

The tour would then terminate with two events in Europe (an International in Linz, Austria on the week of 26 October, and a Premier in Moscow on the following week) and one in Tokyo, Japan, before the WTA Championships in Shenzhen starting on 9 November.

The calendar then shows also a week dedicated to the WTA Elite Trophy, an event that is dedicated to the best players not taking part in the WTA Championships. The tournament is due to be held in Zhuhai, China for the sixth year in a row.

Of course, the situation is very fluid and things can change quickly, but if everything were to remain as it is, we would see two Majors, five Premier 5 or Mandatory and the two Final tournaments within a 15-week timeframe.

No indications have transpired as to what the ATP Tour calendar will look like. It is reasonable to assume that the two Majors and the combined tournament in Cincinnati, Madrid and Rome would take place on the weeks indicated by the draft WTA tournament, but it is unclear whether the ATP 500 in Beijing will be played alongside the WTA Premier Mandatory immediately after the end of Roland Garros, or whether the Masters 1000 in Shanghai will be slotted in instead.

We should not have to wait much longer: conference calls among the ATP and WTA management as well as the tournament directors are planned in the next few days and an announcement should follow soon.

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Dan Evans On The Look Out For New Coach

The 30-year-old has come to a surprise decision to end his current coaching agreement despite achieving a career ranking high earlier this year.

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British No.1 Dan Evans is making a big change to his team after confirming that he will part ways with coach Mark Hilton at the end of the season.

 

The world No.35 reunited with Hilton just last year after also previously working with him prior to his drugs ban in 2017. Under his guidance Evans has achieved several wins over top 10 players, reached his first ever semi-final of an ATP 500 event in Dubai and peaked at a ranking best of 28th in March.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Mark for his work and efforts over the past 12 months and we are both excited for what is next for each of our respective careers,” Evans said.

Evans’ announcement came on the same day he ended his five-match losing streak on the Tour. In the first round of the European Open on Tuesday he defeated Italy’s Salvatore Caruso in three sets. Making it his first win since the US Open when he defeated Brazil’s Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Hilton will now return to working for the British LTA. A former player himself he reached the semi-finals of the 2009 Wimbledon boys doubles championships and peaked at a ranking high of 202 on the ATP Tour in singles. His best performance at a Grand Slam occurred at Wimbledon when as a wild card he stunned Spain’s Albert Costa in the first round of the 2004 tournament. Besides Evans, he has also previously worked with the likes of Liam Broady and Kyle Edmund.

“After discussing our plans for 2021, Dan and I have made the mutual decision to part ways at the end of November,” Hilton said in a statement.
“Both of us are very proud of our collaboration this year, helping Dan achieve a career-high ranking of number 28, seven wins over top-20 players and reaching his first ATP 500 semi-final.
“I’m looking forward to taking the experience I have gained over the last three years at the highest levels of the ATP Tour and re-investing that back into the LTA’s Performance Team for the benefit of our British players and coaches.”

It is unclear as to who may step in as Evans’ next coach. The Brit will return to action on Wednesday when he plays Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

Evans’ win-loss for 2020 currently stands at 14-11 on the ATP Tour.

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Alex De Minaur rallies from a set and a break down to beat Richard Gasquet in Antwerp

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Alex De Minaur came back from one set down to beat Richard Gasquet 3-6 7-6 6-3 in the opening round of the European Open in Antwerp. 

 

Gasquet had led by a set and a break and served for the match before De Minaur rallied to take a thrilling win. 

De Minaur recently beat Gasquet 6-4 6-3 6-7 7-5 in their recent head-to-head clash in the second round of the US Open,

De Minaur earned an immediate break in the first game of the opening set with a forehand winner into the corner. Gasquet broke straight back in the second game to draw level to 1-1. Both players held serve until the fifth game before Gasquet broke serve at 30 in the sixth game. The Frenchman consolidated the break for a 5-2 lead. De Minaur held serve with a drop-shot in the eighth game for 3-5. Gasquet served out the first set 6-3 with his forehand. 

Both players went on serve in the first four games of the second set. Gasquet converted his third break point in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. The Frenchman saved a break point to hold his serve at deuce for 4-2. 

Gasquet saved three break points in the eighth game at 4-3, but De Minaur broke back on his fifth break point to draw level to 5-5, as Gasquet was serving for the match. Gasquet made an unforced error, as he was serving for the win. De Minaur won the next two points to get back on serve. 

After two holds of serve the set came down to the tie-break. De Minaur got an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead in the tie-break. Gasquet broke back on the fifth point to draw level to 3-3. De Minaur earned his second mini-break on the 11th point, as Gasquet double faulted at 5-5. 

De Minaur broke in the seventh game with an inside-in forehand winner. Gasquet fended off a first match point on his serve with a volley. The Aussie player closed out the decider on the second match match point after 2 hours and 18 minutes, as Gasquet netted his forehand.

De Minaur scored his first win on the ATP Tour since reaching the quarter final at the US Open. The 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up only dropped five service points in the decisive set. 

Daniel Evans edged past Italian qualifier Salvatore Caruso 6-2 3-6 6-3 in 1 hour and 57 minutes to  set up a second round against Frances Tiafoe at the European Open in Antwerp. Evans fired nine aces and won 77 % of his first serve points. 

In the opening set Evans went up a double break to race out to a 4-1 lead. Caruso pulled one break back in the sixth game in the sixth game for 2-4. Evans broke for the third time in the seventh game and served out 6-2 on his second set point. The world number 35 hit 35 aces and won 64% of his first serve points. 

Caruso earned the break in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead and served out the second set at love.

Evans broke serve in the fourth game to open up a 4-1, but he did not convert a double break point in the sixth game. Evans did not face any break points in his next service games to win the third set 6-3. 

Cameron Norrie rallied from 0-3 down in the second set to beat Finnish qualifier Emil Ruusuvuori 6-3 7-6 (7-4) after 1 hhour and 37 minutes setting up a second round match against either Milos Raonic or Aljaz Bedene. 

Spain’s Pablo Andujar eased past Argentine lucky loser Federico Coria 6-2 6-3. Andujar will take on fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov. Coria replaced Kei Nishikori, who pulled out of the tournament due to a right shoulder injury. 

US qualifier Marcos Giron came back from one set down to beat Italian 17-year-old player Luca Nardi 4-6 6-4 6-1. Giron got the first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Nardi broke serve twice in the sixth and ninth games to win the first set. Giron won nine consecutive games from 4-6 3-4 down with four breaks. 

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Jannik Sinner cruises past James Duckworth in Cologne

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Jannik Sinner swept past James Duckworth 6-1 6-2 in 61 minutes minutes to reach the second round at the Bett1 HULKS Championships in Cologne. Sinner converted five of his seven break points and saved both the break points he faced in the fifth game of the second set. 

 

Sinner got the first two breaks of the match at love in the first and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead. The 2019 Next Gen player and 2020 Roland Garros quarter finalist converted his third break point at deuce after a double fault from Duckworth in the seventh game to close out the first set 6-1 after just 23 minutes. 

The second serve went on serve in the first four games before Siinner saved two break points to hold serve at deuce after a 12-minute marathon game. The Italian 19-year-old star broke twice in a row to close out the second set 6-2, when Duckworth missed a forehand volley wide. 

“Not many unforced errors, I served quite well. I am very happy about my first match. I felt great on court, moving quite well. Obviously the second set there was one game when I was serving in which he pushed a little bit more the ball, so I was a little bit rushed, but I think it was a solid performance”, said Sinner. 

Sinner set up a second round match against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who came back from a break down in the third set to beat Tennys Sandgren 6-3 3-6 6-3 after 2 hours and 17 minutes. 

Sinner has moved up to world number 46 after reaching the quarter final at Roland Garros. 

Spanish Next Gen player Alejandro Davidovich Fokina beat Damir Dzumhur 6-2 6-3 with two breaks i each set scoring his 10th match win of the season. Davidovich Fokina, who lost to Alexander Zverev last week at the bett1 HULKS Indoors last week in Cologne, will face Steve Johnson in the second round. 

German brothers Alexander and Misha Zverev beat Aisam UI Haq Qureshi 6-4 6-2 to reach the second round of the doubles tournament. Sasha and Misha fended off all three break points they faced to set up a second round match against either Roland Garros champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies or Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Fernando Verdasco. 

Max Purcell and Luke Seville edged Felix Auger Aliassime and Robert Lindstedt 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (1-7) 10-7. 

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