Andy Murray set for a 2017 Roland Garros rematch with Stan Wawrinka as Dominic Thiem handed difficult draw in Paris.
The Roland Garros draw has served up some tasty first round encounters with the main talking points taking place in the third quarter.
In that third quarter, sees a rematch between two grand slam champions from an epic semi-final in 2017.
Of course that match is Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in what is Murray’s first appearance in Paris since that match.
A couple of days ago, the duo were practicing in a sign of reminiscing their past, now they will do more than that when they take on each other in the first round.
However the tasty matches don’t stop there as the recent US Open champion Dominic Thiem has been given a rotten draw which includes a first round match against another former US Open champion, Marin Cilic.
Should Thiem beat Cilic then he could face tall American Reilly Opelka and Rome semi-finalist Casper Ruud before even getting to the second week.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, Andy Murray or Stan Wawrinka could wait in round four for the Austrian while Rome finalist Diego Schwartzman could be a last eight opponent.
Gael Monfils and Alexander Bublik will also clash in the pick of the first round in the third quarter.
Thiem is also in Rafael Nadal’s half, the man who is looking to win a 13th Roland Garros title.
The Spaniard will kick things off against Egor Gerasimov with Dan Evans or Kei Nishikori potentially awaiting in R3.
After a promising first week, Nadal could face John Isner or Fabio Fognini in the last 16, with Alexander Zverev awaiting in the quarter-finals.
The German, who recently lost an epic US Open final, will begin against Dennis Novak, with Alex De Minaur awaiting Zverev in R3. While the pick of the first rounds in Jannik Sinner against David Goffin.
In the top half, Novak Djokovic will begin against Mikael Ymer as he is arguably the best player in the world right now.
Hubert Hurkacz and Karen Khachanov are likely to stand in his way en route to the quarter-finals.
Potential last eight matches include Matteo Berrettini, Jan Lennard Struff and Pablo Carreno Busta.
While Roberto Bautista Agut will face Richard Gasquet in the pick of the first round matches in the second quarter.
Finally in the second quarter Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas are on a quarter-final collision course with each other but face tough opening matches.
Medvedev takes on talented Hungarian Marton Fucsovics while Tsitsipas plays Jaume Munar.
Denis Shapovalov, Grigor Dimitrov and Andrey Rublev are among those lurking in the second quarter.
A tasty two weeks in Paris are set, with the main draw beginning on Sunday in the French capital.
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal To Quarantine In Adelaide Ahead Of Australian Open
The world’s best players are set to face off against each other in a new exhibition tournament at the end of this month.
The highest ranked players in the world of tennis will travel to Adelaide instead of Melbourne to quarantine under a new deal announced by Tennis Australia.
Under the terms agreed with the Southern Australian Government, the three highest ranked players on both the ATP and WTA Tour’s will travel to the region. The decision has been made to help ease the pressure on Melbourne who are close to their capacity of holding 1000 players and their teams. Adelaide is set to quarantine around 50 people ahead of the first Grand Slam of 2021.
Under part of the deal, an exhibition tournament will take place in the region as part of an incentive for them agreeing to help. Should all of the top three players take part, the event would feature Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem on the men’s side. Meanwhile, the women’s field will feature home favourite Ash Barty, Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka. The event will be played on January 29 and 30.
“We’re right up to the edge of people that can quarantine in Melbourne so we needed some relief,” Australian Open chief Craig Tiley told the Tennis Channel.
“We approached the South Australian government about the possibility of them quarantining at least 50 people, but they wouldn’t have any interest in doing it because there’s no benefit for them to do it to put their community at risk if the players then go straight to Melbourne.
“But it would be a benefit if they played an exhibition tournament just before they came to Melbourne, so the premier (Steven Marshall) has agreed to host 50 people in a quarantine bubble and then have those players play an exhibition event.”
The conditions of the Quarantine will be the same as it will be in Melbourne with players only allowed to leave their room in order to train during the 14-day period. Should anybody break protocol, they could face up to a AUS$20,000 fine, possible risk of criminal sanction and even deportation from the country.
“We think this is a great opportunity to launch before we go into the season. This a state and city who have just invested $44 million in building a new stadium. So this is a nice way to say thank you,” Tiley added.
Melbourne will still remain the primary location for tennis with the region hosting a series of events both before and after the Australian Open. On the men’s tour, the plan is to hold two 250 tournaments and the ATP Cup during the first week of February. Meanwhile, the WTA is set to stage two 500 events during the week starting January 31st and then a 250 tournament immediately after the Australian Open.
Speaking about Melbourne Park, Tiley is hopeful that between 50% and 75% of its usual capacity will be used by fans. To put that into perspective, last year the US Open was played behind closed doors and the French Open significantly reduced their capacity due to the pandemic.
The Australian Open will start on February 8th.
Australian Open Axes Hotel Quarantine Contract Following Legal Threat
The decision comes after residents voiced concern that international tennis players pose a potential health risk to them.
Tennis Australia has been forced to relocate one of their player accommodation venues after residents threatened to take the government to court.
Earlier this week a group of penthouse owners at the Westin Hotel in Melbourne confirmed that they were contemplating legal action, arguing that international players posed a health risk to them. The group also claims that they have been given insufficient information about the arrangements which has been disputed by the local government.
Despite assurances by officials that the residents would not be interacting with the players due to part of the hotel being sealed off, it has been decided to no longer use the Westin. It is unclear as to how many players would have been staying at the venue.
“The Australian Open team has been working closely with COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) on suitable quarantine hotel options in Melbourne. Several hotels in Melbourne have already been secured, including a replacement for the Westin, to safely accommodate the international playing group and their team members as well as allow for them to properly prepare for the first Grand Slam of the year. The health and safety of everyone is our top priority,” a statement from Tennis Australia reads.
Lisa Neville, who is the country’s minister of police, said the decision to change venue has been taken in order to prevent the risk of the Melbourne major being delayed once again. Ms Neville said she was first made aware of the concerns on Sunday.
“We became aware on Sunday that there were some concerns that had been expressed by the residents in the apartments,” she said.
“We were also concerned this may delay the standing up of the Australian Open so we’ve gone through a process of securing a new site.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, players arriving in the country must quarantine for 14 days before they are allowed to play professional events. Although they are allowed to train during this period. As a result, the Australian Open will be taking place during February for the first time in more than 100 years.
According to abc.net.au, the government will publish a list of hotels that will be used for quarantine next week. Players are set to start arriving in Australia from January 14th.
The Australian Open will start on February 8th.
Australian Open Facing Legal Action Over Quarantine Plans
Less than two weeks before players are set to enter a mandatory quarantine, residents at one hotel are considering taking Tennis Australia to court.
The Australian Open is facing a new crisis with a group of apartment owners launching a legal case to not allow players to stay at their premises.
Residents at the Westin Melbourne says they were given insufficient information about plans for players to stay at the Westin ahead of the Grand Slam and argue they pose a health risk to them. The venue has been chosen as one of the premises when players from around the globe will stay during a 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the country. During the quarantine, they are not allowed to play professional tournaments but will be permitted to train. Players are set to start arriving in Melbourne from January 14th.
“At 84, I’m in the vulnerable group and it’s shocking the way they tried to ram this through without any attempt to consult with us,” owner Digby Lewis told Fairfax.
“I’m more than happy to toss in $10,000 or $20,000 to help the legal fight, it’s bloody shocking.”
According to The Age newspaper, the legal action is being considered by the 36 owners of penthouse apartments in the hotel, including many who live there on a permanent basis. One of their plans of action could include trying to obtain a last-minute injection which would prevent players from arriving if the court agrees to issue one.
The Victorian government formally approved the quarantine plan on December 18th and apartment owners were then notified on December 23rd. Although they insist that they never agreed to the terms.
“It’s incredibly arrogant to ambush us this way as if it’s a done deal. There are substantive public health and legal issues that have not even been examined,” apartment owner Mark Nicholson told The Age and the SMH.
In a statement issued to Reuters news agency, a representative from The Westin hotel has insisted that residents will not be in contact with players throughout their stay. They will be using separate entrances and lifts into the venue in accordance with their ‘COVID safe’ guidelines.
“Their floor will remain exclusive while there will be no reticulation of ventilation between the floors,” the statement outlines.
Jacinta Allan, who is the acting Premier of Melbourne state, has also tried to ease any concerns the residents have. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Allan said a ‘rigorous assessment’ was conducted before the hotel was approved to host international athletes.
“The Westin, like every venue, went through a rigorous assessment, very strict infection prevention measures have been put in place in all of the venues,” she said.
“The very clear advice is that arrangements have been put in place so there is no contact between the existing residents and the people staying associated with the Australian Open.
“There are separate entrances, there are separate floors, there are floor monitors on every floor, there is 24/7 Victoria Police presence associated with every venue.”
The development is the latest setback for Tennis Australia and their plans for the Grand Slam. Due to the pandemic the Australian Open has had to be delayed until February for the first time in more than 100 years. Officials originally hoped for players to arrive in the country from December before the government ruled against it.
The Australian Open will get underway on February 8th.
Dominic Thiem hopes that tennis will get back to normal in 2020
Andrea Gaudenzi thinks that tennis will survive the retirement of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic
Francesca Jones reaches the Australian Open main draw despite a rare genetic impairment
Dayana Yastremska Heads To Australia Despite Doping Violation
No Special Treatment For Andy Murray, Says Australian Government
Ion Tiriac Launches Fresh Tirade Against Serena Williams
Fitness Not The Reason Behind Roger Federer’s Australian Open Withdrawal, Says Official
Australian Open Champion Sofia Kenin Loses Management Contract
Novak Djokovic Hits The Magical 300 Mark As He Closes In On Federer’s No.1 Record
EXCLUSIVE: How Matt Roberts Became One Of The Voices Behind The Tennis Podcast
Steve Flink: “Medvedev Deserved To Win, But Is This Really The Onset Of A New Era?”
Steve Flink On The Decline Of American Men’s Tennis: “We Need To Start Attracting The Best Athletes Again”
French Open, Steve Flink: “Nadal is inhuman. He can play three or four more years and retire with Djokovic”
Scanagatta And Flink: “We Both Think Djokovic Will Win The French Open, So Nadal Will Definitely Pull It Off!”
Steve Flink: “Djokovic Will Be Happy About The French Open Draw”
Hot Topics2 days ago
Dominic Thiem Heads To Australia Without Coach Massu After Positive COVID-19 Test
Hot Topics1 day ago
Andy Murry Tests Positive For COVID-19, Australian Open Hopes In Doubt
Hot Topics13 hours ago
No Special Treatment For Andy Murray, Says Australian Government
ATP2 days ago
Cristian Garin Out Of Australian Open Following Fall
Hot Topics3 days ago
Sebastian Korda Breaks New Ground In Delray Beach
ATP1 day ago
Hubert Hurkacz Aims To Build On Delray Beach Triumph
Latest news3 days ago
Veronika Kudemertova edges Marta Kostyuk to set up Abu Dhabi final against Aryna Sabalenka
Focus2 days ago
Unstoppable Aryna Sabalenka Storms To Abu Dhabi Title