Tennis Returns: WTA Sets Out Desire To Go To China, But ATP Not So Sure - UBITENNIS
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Tennis Returns: WTA Sets Out Desire To Go To China, But ATP Not So Sure

Full details concerning the remainder of the 2020 season has been confirmed by the two governing bodies.

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Professional tennis will resume on August 3rd with the WTA set to play their first tournament a week before the men’s tour.

 

Both organisations have published their provision schedules at 15:00 on Wednesday afternoon to coincide with the USTA hosting their virtual press conference concerning the upcoming US Open. On the WTA Tour, the Italian city of Palmo will be where the Tour will resume. The clay-court event will take place two weeks prior to the start of the Western and Southern Open, which will also take place at the same venue as the US Open this year. A total of 20 tournaments is set to take place before the year concludes.

“Having assessed the global outlook for travel in the latter half of the year, working with our medical experts on providing the safest environment possible, and working through the diverse operational challenges for running events safely in the context of COVID-19, the WTA is pleased to release a calendar for the remainder of the 2020 season,” WTA Chairman Steve Simon said in a statement.
“For now, the vital energy of spectators in stadiums will be greatly missed, but our athletes are eager to return to competition and our broadcast and social media partners are exploring new ways to engage with our fantastic fans. It is our sincere hope and desire that we will be able to return to play this summer.”

The provisional schedule also includes the Asian Tour, which the men’s governing body is yet to commit to. Officials are hoping to stage events across China, which include the city of Wuhan. A city where the COVID-19 outbreak is said to have originated from. The WTA Finals are also set to go ahead in the country during the week commencing August 23rd.

ATP still pondering

On the men’s Tour they have published a more specific schedule that goes up only until the end of September. At present only seven events have been named on their schedule with four of those taking place on the clay. Washington and Kitzbuhel are the only men’s event that has been given the green light. However, the ATP confirms others could be added ‘should circumstances allow’ them to do so.

“Our objective has been to reschedule as many tournaments as possible and salvage as much of the season as we can,” said ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi. “It has been a truly collaborative effort and we hope to add more events to the calendar as the situation evolves. I would like to recognise our tournaments’ efforts to operate during these challenging times, as well as our players who will be competing under different conditions. At every turn, ensuring that the resumption of the Tour takes place in a safe environment will be paramount.”

The ATP is set to provide a final decision regarding the last quarter of the 2020 season by mid-July with hopes that the ATP Finals in London will be hosted as usual. Although the prospect of a crowd being at that event will be subject to government approval.

As for the ATP Challenger Tour, it will resume from the week commencing August 17th in line with the International Tennis Federation and their tournaments.

The reviewed schedules have been drawn up following a collaboration between the WTA, ITF, USTA and FFT.

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Australia fights back from losing the first match to reach the Davis Cup final

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Australia fought back from losing the first singles match to beat Croatia 2-1 reaching its first Davis Cup in 19 years. 

 

Alex De Minaur cruised past Marin Cilic 6-2 6-2 in just 44 minutes to send the semifinal to decisive doubles match. Cilic made 10 double faults, as De Minaur broke four times to draw level to 2-2 in his head-to-head matches. De Minaur has improved his Davis Cup hard-court singles record to 10-1 in the Davis Cup. 

“This is what this team is about, that never say-die attitude. I have had a couple of instances when I have been in this position and I feel like my back is against the wall, and there is only a wall to break through, and that’s going forward steam ahead and just going after every single point. My job was to keep us alive, and I am happy to do anything I can do for my country”, said De Minaur. 

Jordan Thompson and Max Purcell came back from one set down to beat Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic 6-7 (3-7) 7-5 6-4. Thompson and Purcell broke twice and never dropped a service game to come back from losing the first-set tie-break. 

The first set went on serve with no breaks of serve en route to the tie-break. Mektic and Pavic earned three mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-3. 

Thompson and Purcell broke serve in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead and held serve in the 12th game to force the match to the decider. The Australian team broke again in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and held their next two service games to close out the third set 6-4. 

Australia won its 28th and last title in 2003. 

“I am so proud. Australia has a rich history in this competition. We have been fortunate to win it all on a number of occasions. I know what it meant to me as a player to play a final, and I am glad these guys can play it”, said Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt. 

Australia will face either Italy or Canada in the final. 

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Borna Coric beats Thanasi Kokkinakis to give Croatia a 1-0 lead against Australia in Davis Cup semifinal in Malaga

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Borna Coric beat Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4 6-3 after 1 hour and 32 minutes with a break in each set to give Croatia a 1-0 lead over Australia in the first match of the semifinal of the Davis Cup by Rakuten in Malaga. 

 

Coric hit 19 winners to just 9 unforced errors. 

Kokkinakis saved a break point in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. The Croatian player converted his third break point at deuce in the 10th game to close out the first set 6-4. 

Coric faced the only break point at the second set and earned the only break in the sixth game to seal the win 6-4 6-3. 

“This means a lot to me. I was watching the guys playing Davis Cup when I was injured and doing my rehab. To play for Croatia is an amazing feeling for me. I was turning to my coach in the first set and saying: ‘I don’t know what to do against his serve’, but I started to read it later on, and thankfully I was serving well myself. When I was younger, I did not serve so well and I needed to improve it. After my shoulder injury I did not know whether I would be able to serve again at all, but I did so much work on it that I serve even better now then I used to”, said Coric.

Alex De Minaur will face 2018 Davis Cup champion Marin Cilic. In their previous head-to-head matches Cilic leads 2-1 over De Minaur and beat the Australian player 6-1 5-7 6-4 in the Group Stage of the Davis Cup finals. 

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Bianca Andreescu Reunites With Former Coach Ahead Of New Season 

How will the Grand Slam champion fair on the Tour with her latest mentor?

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BIANCA ANDREESCU OF CANADA - PHOTO: ALBERTO NEVADO / MMO

Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu has brought a familiar face back into her team as she bids to return to her best form in 2023. 

 

Andreescu, who is currently ranked 45th in the WTA rankings, has appointed Christophe Lambert as her latest coach. Lambert had been working as the performance director at Tennis New Zealand and resigned from that position to work with the former US Open champion. He had also previously worked for Tennis Canada and during that time he was a private coach for Andreescu in 2016. 

“Bianca asked me to coach her and I accepted the job. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse,” Lambert told sport.co.nz. 

Lambert, who has also spent time working with the Chinese Davis Cup team and for the British LTA, has stayed in contact with Andreescu ever since coaching her six years ago. 

“It wasn’t like every week or every month. It’s always good to have people calling you when you are up, but when she was down I was checking on her and giving her my opinion.” He said. 

Andreescu had been working with Dutch coach Sven Groeneveld for over a year before they decided to end their collaboration in October. Groeneveld has a wealth of experience in the sport after working with a series of top names, including Maria Sharapova. 

This season the former world No.4 has won 20 out of 33 matches played with her best performance being a run to the final of the Bad Homburg Open in Germany. However, her record against top 10 opposition was 2-5.

“I’m just taking it day by day, and it’s a great way to end off the year as well, just bringing back all the emotions that fire a lot in me,” Andreescu recently told reporters in Glasgow at the Billie Jean King Cup. “I think I’m going to have a great preseason. Next year I really think I can crack the top 10 again.”

Andreescu, who has been hampered by injury issues in recent years, hasn’t won a singles title of any sort since 2019. 

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