New Ranking Rules ‘Best Option’ For 2020, Says Djokovic - UBITENNIS
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New Ranking Rules ‘Best Option’ For 2020, Says Djokovic

The world No.1 is back in the public eye following his COVID-19 diagnoses as he addresses the fallout caused by the Adria Tour.

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World No.1 Novak Djokovic has lent his full backing behind the ATP and their recent review of the ranking system.

 

The governing body of men’s tennis has made adjustments to how a player’s position on the Tour is calculated in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which has put competitive tennis at a standstill since March. Players can now use their best results from 18 tournaments to determine their ranking based on a 22-month period instead of 12 months. Although they can’t use the same tournament twice. The ATP said that changes have been made to help support those who may not want to travel to certain tournaments or places in the world due to health fears links to the pandemic.

Djokovic, who is the president of the influential ATP Players Council, told Sportski Zurnal that the board fully supports the new move. Under the new guidelines, Djokovic will be the favourite to end the season as world No.1. He will retain his points from winning Wimbledon last year, which has been cancelled. Furthermore, he will also keep his points from titles won at the 2019 Madrid and Paris Masters even if he skips those events later this year or doesn’t do well.

“We discussed it in the council and that decision was made because we wanted to protect the players who don’t want to put themselves at risk and travel,” said Djokovic.
“Some won’t play until the end of 2020 and in this year the list protects them, they are not losing points. On the other hand, players who play will have a chance to earn new points.’
“In this situation, I believe it was the best option.”

Rival Rafael Nadal is another player to have benefited from the changes. Originally the Spaniard would have had to defend 5000 ranking points over a six-week period in three tournaments (US Open, Italian Open and French Open). Now this is no longer the case, he also has the chance to pick up extra points in Cincinnati if he plays to close in on the top spot.

Questioned about the prospect of Nadal closing in and even potentially overtaking him in the rankings with the help of the new changes, Djokovic played down that motion. Arguing that not everybody will be pleased with the changes.

“I don’t want to comment on that, I think this is the most (fair) just towards everybody,” he stated. “Someone will always feel damaged, but I repeat, the ATP and the council wanted to protect the players that don’t want to play. Someone will say that it is not fair, that those who can’t lose any points can have a mental advantage but.”

The ‘witch-hunt’

This week is the first time Djokovic has spoken with the media since the fallout caused by the Adria Tour, which was scrapped following an outbreak of COVID-19. The Serbian caught the virus along with his wife, but both have since fully recovered. Djokovic has been criticized for his role in the event which lacked social distancing and saw players attending various public gatherings. Although all of those events were done in accordance with local government rules.

Addressing the criticism, Djokovic described it as a ‘witch-hunt’ against him as he admits that certain things ‘probably’’ could have been done differently. Making reference to the procedures that were in place at the events in Belgrade and Zadar.

“We’ve learned our lessons and some things could have probably been done in a different way,’ he said.
“I can only see criticism lately and much of it is malicious. It’s obviously more than just criticism, it’s like an agenda and a witch-hunt are on. Someone has to take the fall, a big name.”

Looking ahead to his return to the Tour, Djokovic says he is still undecided on the US Open. Although it is one of the events where he could increase his ranking points tally. Last year he retired injured in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.

“I still haven’t decided whether I will play in the US Open. The upsurge in registered Covid-19 cases in the United States and New York in particular are not playing into the event’s hands,” the 17-time Grand Slam champion concluded.

Djokovic returned to the practice courts on Tuesday and had a hitting session with fellow player Viktor Troicki.

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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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No US Open For Rafael Nadal Due To COVID-19 Concerns

The will be no men’s world No.1 in New York this year.

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BY EMIL EVTIMOV

The 2020 US Open will be staged without it’s defending champion Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has withdrawn from this year’s tournament which is set to start in New York later this month.

 

The reason for his decision is the ongoing COVID-19 situation and the increased number of cases lately. His participation was always in doubt given his interviews in the previous weeks where he stated his concerns about the situation with the pandemic.

The world No.2 announced his decision through the social media. He thanked the organizers for their efforts staging the event and described the decision as a one he “never wanted to take”.

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Tras pensarlo mucho he decidido no participar en el US Open de este año. La situación sanitaria sigue muy complicada en todo el mundo con casos de COVID-19 y rebrotes que parecen fuera de control. Sabemos que el calendario de este año tras 4 meses sin jugar es una barbaridad, si bien entiendo y agradezco los esfuerzos que todas las partes están poniendo para que se jueguen torneos. Acabamos de tener la noticia de que el torneo de Madrid también ha sido anulado. A dia de hoy la situación es complicada para hacer torneos y todo mi respeto a la USTA, organizadores del US Open y a la ATP por los esfuerzos que están haciendo para que se juegue el torneo para los millones de fans que lo verán por TV o en las plataformas digitales. Esta es una decisión que no querría tomar pero en este caso sigo mi corazón para decidir que por ahora prefiero no viajar. After many thoughts I have decided not to play this year’s US Open. The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it. We know that the reduced tennis calendar is barbaric this year after 4 months stopped with no play, I understand and thank for the efforts they are putting in to make it happen. We have just seen the announcement of Madrid not being played this year. All my respects to the USTA, the US Open organisers and the ATP for trying to put the event together for the players and the fans around the world through TV. This is a decision I never wanted to take but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel.

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This means that for the first time since the 1999 US Open there will be a Grand Slam tournament (if played) that will not have either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal in the field. With the absent of the Spaniard the second seed in New York should be Dominic Thiem. The other big names missing in the entry list are Gael Monfils, Fabio Fognini, Stan Wawrinka, Nick Kyrgios, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lucas Pouille. At the moment, the last direct entry in the main draw goes to world No. 127 Sumit Nagal.

As for Nadal, after the cancellation of the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid and his decision about US Open, his 2020 season can restart at the earliest in Rome, the only one clay Masters tournament still in the calendar, starting on 20 September.

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