WTA Boss Says 50/50 If China Hosts Tennis Tournaments, But Chances Are Fading - UBITENNIS
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WTA Boss Says 50/50 If China Hosts Tennis Tournaments, But Chances Are Fading

A new notice issued by the Beijing local authority has cast doubt over the chances of tennis tournaments taking place in the city this year.

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The head of the WTA Tour has admitted that he is unsure himself if China will allow any tennis tournaments to take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Steve Simon has said he believes a clearer picture of the situation will emerge within the next two weeks in what will be a critical decision for women’s tennis. Under the revised WTA calendar, seven events have been scheduled to take place in China, including the season-ending WTA Finals. Doubts over those events started after China’s General Administration of Sport (GAS), which is the highest sporting body in the country, recommended that no international sporting events take place in 2020 unless they are related to the Olympics.

The proposal from GAS is part of efforts to control and prevent outbreaks of COVID-19 in the country where the virus originated from. However, the WTA remains optimistic that the recommendation can be adjusted for some of their events to take place. Saying that no final decision has been made.

“I think we’ll know next two weeks whether we’ll be able to play in China or not,” Simon told The National.
“We certainly hope that we do. We’ve had conversations with the governmental entities within China and they’re obviously looking at a much bigger picture than just tennis, which we have to respect and we do respect. I don’t know whether we’ll be there or not, I think it’s 50-50 right now.”

Despite the positive thinking, a fresh blow has been dealt to tennis events hoping to be hosted in the country’s capital of Beijing. On Tuesday the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports issued an updated notice saying low risk areas are allowed to have up to 500 people attend sporting events. Any more has to be reviewed by the local government. However, the notice goes on to say that ‘no other international sports events will be held except for the test events of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games in 2020.’ Interestingly the wording of the statement says the staging of no international events is based on ‘requirements’ as opposed to what was originally assumed to be a recommendation.

Should these guidelines remain unchanged, the China Open set to start on October 12th will be scrapped. The event is classed as a premier event and had a prize money pool of $8,285,274 in 2019.

Should the worse case happen and no Chinese WTA events take place in 2020, only three tournaments are currently on the calendar from October onwards. Meanwhile, the ATP Tour is yet to publish their planned calendar for the final quarter of this season.

 

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Pablo Carreno Busta beats Mikael Ymer in Metz

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Second seed Pablo Carreno Busta beat Mikael Ymer 7-5 6-2 after 1 hour and 52 minutes to reach the quarter finals at the Moselle Open

 

Carreno Busta set up a quarter final match against Danish Next Gen Holger Rune, who battled past Lorenzo Sonego 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-4 after 2 hours and 40 minutes. 

Lucas Pouille rallied from one set down to beat Brayden Schnur 3-6 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour and 59 minutes. 

Peter Gojowczyk battle past lucky loser Antoine Hoang 6-2 3-6 6-4. Gojowczyk also beat Hoang in three sets in the final round of qualifying. 

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John Millman beats Jaume Munar in three sets in Nur Sultan

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John Millman battled past Jame Munar 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 after 3 hours and 9 minutes to advance to the quarter finals in Nur Sultan. 

 

“These long matches are not good in my age, I tell you !. It was such a physical battle out there. It was such a physical battle out there. I thought the level was extremely good. I thought I improved from yesterday in terms of how I was playing: Munari s a tough competitor. His body probably let him down a little bit towards the end. I have got to tell you, my body wasn’t feeling all that great, either. It was such a physical match and just so happy to extend my stay here”, said Millman.

Laslo Djere overcame Lorenzo Musetti 6-4 6-7 (3-7) after 2 hours and 48 minutes. Djere will face either Dusan Lajovic or Soonwoo Kwon. Ilya Ivashka beat wildcard Timofey Skatov 6-2 6-3. Carlos Taberner knocked out Ricardas Berankis 7-5 6-4. 

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Iga Swiatek and Petra Kvitova in Ostrava advance to the quarter finals

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Last year’s Roland Garros Iga Swiatek beat Yulia Putintseva 6-4 6-4 in 1 hour and 47 minutes to reach the quarter finals at the J&T Open in Ostrava. 

 

Swiatek, who was playing the second indoor WTA main draw of her career after Budapest 2019, faced Putuntseva for the first time in her career. Putintseva reached the semifinal in Portoroz last week and overcame Zhang Shuai after 3 hours and 24 minutes. 

Putintseva went down 0-3 in the first set, but she broke back to draw level to 3-3. Swiatek reeled off the last eight points of the first set to win the first set. 

Swiatek missed three break points to break Putintseva at 4-4 in the second set. The Pole saved two break points with her fourth ace and a series of backhand errors. Swiatek broke serve at love in the ninth game with two consecutive backhands to win the second set 6-4. 

“It was very tough. She was running to every ball. It was really hard. It was really hard to finish her, especially with such a slow surface. She could reach everything and she was fighting to the end. Even on match point I had to finish her three times. I am really happy that I won. It’s really hard for me to play against such players. I like to risk and with risking comes unforced errors, so it’s tough to get the balance between when to push and when to stay and wait for the opponent to miss”, said Swiatek. 

Petra Kvitova edged past Anastasia Potapova 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-3. Kvitova raced out to a 6-1 4-2 lead, but Potapova won three consecutive games with a break-back to love in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. Kvitova had to save two break points in the 10th game. Kvitova rallied from 0-3 to draw level to 3-3 in the tie-break, but Potapova took the breaker 7-4. 

Potapova got an early break in the third game, but Kvitova broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Kvitova converted her second break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. 

Jelena Ostapenko, who finished runne-up to Clara Tauson in Luxembourg last Sunday, cruised past lucky loser Clara Tauson 6-4 6-0 in 66 minutes. 

US Alison Riske rallied from 1-3 down in the third set before beating Fiona Ferro 6-4 1-6 6-4 after 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

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