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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Andrey Rublev, Dominic Thiem and Roberto Bautista Agut secure their spot in the semifinals at Thiem’s 7 tournament

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Andrey Rublev edged Casper Ruud 6-2 3-6 10-4 at the Thiem’s 7 tournament in Kitzbuhel. After losing the first set Ruud came back to win the second set forcing the match to the third set. Rublev won the super tie-break when Ruud made a double fault on the match point. Rublev needed a win from Dominic Thiem against Jan Lennard Struff to secure his spot in the semifinal.

 

Thiem beat Struff 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to score his third consecutive win at this tournament after defeating Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev in the first two days.

The first set went on serve until the 10th game, when Thiem converted on his first break point at 5-4 to clinch the first set in 30 minutes. In the second set Thiem did not convert two break points at 3-2 and another chance at 4-3. It came down to the tie-break. Thiem earned a mini-break to take a 2-1 lead and held on his serve to create three match point at 6-3. The home player converted on his first chance, as Struff’s backhand sailed long. Thiem set up a semifinal clash against Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Spanish player converted five of his six break points and won 73% of the rallies of the rallies in his service game in his 6-0 6-1 win over Dennis Novak to get the second point in his round robin group and secure his spot in the semifinals in the Group B.

Bautista Agut won 5 of the 7 games of the match before Novak earned his only game of the match by holding his first service game in the second set. Bautista Agut won five consecutive games to win the second set 6-1.

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Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios pull out of Berlin exhibition tournament

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Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios have withdrawn from the exhibition bett1 ACES tournament in Berlin. Both players were expected to join Dominic Thiem in the tournament, which will take place in the Steffi Graf Stadium from 13 to 15 July and in the Hangar 6 from 17 to 19 July. Caroline Garcia has pulled out from the women’s tournament due to a knee injury and will be replaced by Anastasija Sevastova.

 

“I was planning to play in Berlin this month, but I have made the decision to stay put and train with my team and not play any tournaments at the moment. It’s never nice to miss the chance to play, but I will be back soon”, said Zverev on the social media.

Zverev updated his fans on his latest news on his twitter account.

“I wanted to update you on a few things. First, on Friday I took my third test for Covid-19 and I am happy to say it also came back negative. Secondly, I am going through a trial period with David Ferrer on my team. I could not be more excited to get to work. I can’t wait for the tour to be back”, said Zverev.

Berlin organizers doubt that Zverev will play in Berlin. Last week Edwin Weindorfer said that he was considering refusing to allow Zverev to play in Berlin and warned he would have zero tolerance of any player who parties during the exhibition tournament.

“Zverev’s management said that he is not planning to play in any tournament at the moment. We are obviously disappointed, because he would have had a good opportunity to play in front of his fans”, said Weindorfer.

 Dominic Thiem, Jannik Sinner and Jan Lennard Struff in the men’s field and Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens and Andrea Petkovic are the top names of the Berlin tournament.

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Donna Vekic Splits With Coach, Disputes The Reason Behind Move

The world No.24 has questioned a statement from her ex-coach concerning the reason behind his departure.

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Croatia’s top women’s player has been left searching for a new mentor on the Tour after parting ways with her coach after more than two years.

 

Donna Vekic has confirmed that she is no longer working with Torben Beltz, who previously guided Angelique Kerber to two of her Grand Slam titles. Under Beltz’s guidance, the world No.24 reached three WTA Finals as well as the quarter-finals of her first Grand Slam at the 2019 US Open. Last year the 24-year-old also broke into the top 20 for the first time in her career.

News of the split was confirmed by Beltz after the German coach posted a statement on his Instagram account. In it, he cites ‘different views’ in practicing and scheduling as the reason behind them going separate ways.

“Unfortunately Team Donna and I had different views in setting up the practice and tournament schedule for the restart of the tour which is why we will go separate ways! Thanks Donna for the last 2.5 years, it was a great ride and I always enjoyed our time together. Good luck for you in the future. Ready for a new adventure,” Beltz wrote.

However, it appears that there is more to it than what Beltz has said. Taking to Twitter, Vekic called him out by questioning his view on why the two split. Although she didn’t comment on why the decision was made.

“Well this is the first time I’m hearing of different views in practice and tournament schedules…?” She wrote on Twitter.

The separation comes after what was a mixed start to the season for Vekic prior to the Tour suspension. In her first five tournaments she only won back-to-back matches in Adelaide and at the Australian Open. Her 2020 win-loss record currently stands at 5-5.

So far in her career Vekic has earned more than $4.2 million in prize money which is the fourth highest tally ever made by a female Croatian player. Petra Martic holds the record with $5,128,866 in earnings.

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