Svetlana Kuznetsova Becomes Latest Grand Slam Winner To Skip US Open Over Virus Fears - UBITENNIS
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Svetlana Kuznetsova Becomes Latest Grand Slam Winner To Skip US Open Over Virus Fears

Nine top 40 players on the WTA Tour have now pulled out of the Grand Slam.

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This year’s US Open has taken another blow with their 2004 women’s champion pulling out of the event due to what she describes as an ‘unfavourable situation.’

 

Svetlana Kuznetsova has become the latest figure in the sport to pull out of the New York major amid concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic in America. The country has recently seen a spike in cases but in New York itself the levels haven’t been as high. Although officials at the tournament are taking no chances with fans being banned for attending for the first time in history and players are being kept in what is being described as a ‘bubble.’

Despite assurances from the United States Tennis Association, who runs the US Open, Kuznetsova still has her concerns. In a statement published on her Instagram account, the Russian said the pandemic has made it too complex for her to travel to the region. Citing the restrictions placed on players with how many members of their team they are allowed to bring with them.

Due to an unfavourable situation caused by coronavirus, and therefore the inability get together all my team I made a difficult decision to refuse to participate in Cincinnati and the US Open,” the world No.32 wrote.
“I feel very sad, because I have been waited for these tournaments so much, but the pandemic changes all plans.’
“I hope the situation will be more positive by the next tournaments.”

It will be only the second time Kuznetsova has missed the US Open since making her main draw debut back in 2002. She also missed the 2012 event due to a knee injury. Overall, she won 35 out of 51 matches played in Flushing Meadows.

Another player skipping the event is Barbora Strycova, who is currently playing in the Prague Open. The Czech is a two-time doubles semi-finalist at the US Open with her best run in the singles being to the third round.

Following the latest developments, nine players out of the current top 40 on the women’s Tour have officially pulled out of the US Open. Including top 10 players Ash Barty (No.1), Elina Svitoliva (No.5) and Kiki Bertens (No.7). Meanwhile, Simona Halep is yet to make a final decision about her plans.

There are also notable absences in the men’s field with reigning champion Rafael Nadal and former winner Stan Wawrinka both opting to miss the event due to concerns related to COVID-19. Novak Djokovic is also yet to confirm is he will play or not.

The US Open will get underway on August 31st.

List of women’s singles player withdrawals (as of 10/8/20)

1 Ash Barty AUS
5 Elina Svitolina UKR
7 Kiki Bertens NED
29 Qiang Wang CHN
30 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS
31 Barbora Strycova CZE
32 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS
34 Saisai Zheng CHN
38 Julia Goerges GER
74 Lin Zhu CHN
85 Anastasia Potapova RUS
92 Ana Bogdan ROM
97 Sam Stosur AUS
103 Shuai Peng CHN
108 Xiyu Wang CHN
118 Barbora Krejcikova CZE

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Hsieh Su-Wei and Elise Mertens win their second title as a team in Indian Wells

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This year’s Wimbledon doubles champions Hsieh Su-Wei and Elise Mertens lifted the Indian Wells doubles title after their 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 win over Veronika Kudemertova and Elena Rybakina after 1 hour and 34 minutes. 

 

Hsieh Su Wei and Mertens won their second title as a team following their Grand Slam triumph at Wimbledon. 

Hsieh teamed up with Mertens for the first time during the clay-court season this summer. They fended off match points to beat Kudemertova and Elena Vesnina in the Wimbledon final. 

Hsieh has won her 30th career doubles title third Indian Wells doubles title with three different partners following her previous triumphs with Peng Shuai in 2014 and Barbora Strycova in 2018. Mertens has lifted 14 doubles titles. 

Kudemertova and Rybakina played their third doubles tournament as a team. Rybakina qualified for her first doubles final. 

Hsieh and Mertens earned an early break. Kudemertova and Rybakina got the break back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Hsieh and Mertens earned a second break at love in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead after a double fault from Kudemertova. Rybakina and Kudemertova pulled back on serve from 0-30 down to draw level to 6-6. Kudemertova won the first point with a overhead winner. Hsieh and Mertens earned two mini-breaks to open up a 4-1 lead, as Kudemertova made two double faults. Hsieh earned two set points with an ace. Hsieh and Mertens converted their first chance after Kudemertova missed a overhead. 

Both teams traded breaks twice at the start of the second set. Hsieh and Mertens earned the crucial break at 5-3. Mertens served out the win in the ninth game. 

“We tried to play aggressive. Su-wei at the net, me from the back so she can cross. I think it all clicked a little bit better in the second set. So we are really happy with the win and qualified for the WTA Finals, so we are very happy for that too”, said Mertens. 

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John Peers and Filip Polasek claim their first team doubles title in Indian Wells

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John Peers and Filip Polasek won their first team title with a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win over Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. 

 

Peers and Polasek were not able to convert two match points at 5-3 on Rublev’s serve and were broken in the next game when they were serving for the match. Both teams traded breaks en route to the tie-break. The Australian and Slovakian team came back from 3-5 down by winning five consecutive games to claim the second set 7-5. 

Peers and Polasek reached the San Diego final in the build-up to Indian Wells. 

“It’s always great fun getting back to the desert and playing here. To be able to say we have won the title here is very special. We started pretty slow as but we put in some good work pre-US Open. It’s been a lot of fun since and we have continued to work and enjoy playing together. We were riding the doubles rollercoaster and will try to get results like this more often. We are looking forward to continuing together”,said Peers.  

Polasek claimed his 16th title and his second Masters 1000 trophy following Cincinnati in 2019. 

“I am really happy the way we played. We came here early, which helped us to adapt to the conditions. It was very different to play in the day than in the night sessions, which we played in our last matches. We were able to adapt the best of all teams”, said Polasek. 

Rublev and Karatsev were on a eight-match winning streak. They claimed the Doha title earlier this year. 

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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