Kristina Mladenovic Unleashes Tirade At US Open As Paire Tests Negative For COVID-19 - UBITENNIS
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Kristina Mladenovic Unleashes Tirade At US Open As Paire Tests Negative For COVID-19

The world No.44 says she feels like a prisoner after crashing out of the second round on Wednesday.

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One the players placed in the US Open’s ‘bubble in a bubble’ after coming in contact with somebody who had tested positive for COVID-19 has slammed officials at the Grand Slam for making her feel like a criminal.

 

Kristina Mladenovic says she is currently living in a ‘nightmare’ after signing up to stricter protocols enabling her to play in Flushing Meadows this year. The Frenchwoman is part of a group of players who have been issued with extra restrictions following their interaction with Benoit Paire, who tested positive over the weekend and was removed from the tournament. Under the agreement, they must stay in their room whilst at the hotel and are limited to where they are allowed to go at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center.

It’s a nightmare what we are experiencing here,” Mladenovic told reporters on Wednesday. “I have only one desire, and that’s to get my freedom back and even that we don’t have yet.”

The 27-year-old had previously described the ongoing situation as ‘mentally tough for her.’ Whilst there has been no official comment as to who else have been placed under the restrictions, a leaked document had shed light on the situation. Cracked Rackets have reported that 10 different players have been split into two groups. The first are those who have had a little bit of contact with Paire recently and can freely move around the US Open grounds. Meanwhile, the second are deemed as closer contacts and are limited with their movement. 2019 runner-up Daniil Medvedev belongs to the first and Mladenovic is in the second.

“If I had known that playing cards for 40 minutes with a mask with a player who tested positive and ultimately negative would have these consequences, I would never have set foot in this tournament,” Mladenovic said.

It has been reported that those in the most affected group are required to stay within the bubble until September 12th regardless of if they lose their matches beforehand. This term is included in the waiver that those players have signed. Although this could change in the coming days if an agreement is made with authorities as Mladenovic says she is ‘fighting for her freedom’ in New York.

“I have the impression we are prisoners or criminals,” she said. “For even the slightest movement, we have to ask permission even though we are tested every day and had 37 negatives. It’s abominable. The conditions are atrocious.”

The fierce comments comes on the same day the world No.44 suffered an excruciating defeat to Varvara Gracheva after being on the verge of a one-sided win. Mladenovic led 6-1, 5-1, at one stage and had four match points. However, she ended up losing 1-6, 7-6(2), 6-0.

In other news related to the French camp at Flushing Meadows, Paire confirmed during an Instagram Live session that he has now tested negative for the virus on Monday. Raising questions over the accuracy of his positive test and if it potentially was a false alarm. Last month 77 players and staff from the NFL falsely tested positive for the virus. The tests were analysed at the BioReference Laboratories in New Jersey.

“I tested negative two days ago. I’ll take another test to see. I feel very good, I have no symptoms, I never had anything, everything is fine,” said Paire.
“It’s hard to understand. A positive test, a negative test. But that’s the rule. We knew it. The moment you test positive once, you’re out of the tournament.”

Despite the latest development the USTA has insisted the protocols they applied were right. Spokesman Chris Widmaier told The New York Times that a negative test coming after a positive is ‘irrelevant’ and that any positive test triggers the ‘isolation protocols.’

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Marin Cilic wins his first title since Queen’s 2018

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Marin Cilic claimed the 19th ATP Tour title of his career and his first since Queen’s 2018 with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 win over Felix Auger Aliassime  after 1 hour and 50 minutes in the final of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. 

 

Cilic won 100% of his first-serve points in three of his five matches and did not drop a set this week. 

The Croatian star is not 3-3 in grass court finals and 19-14 in his overall title matches. 

Both Cilic and Auger Aliassime saved three break points in their first service games. Cilic converted his ninth break point to take a 6-5 lead in the 11th game. Cilic was not able to serve out the first set, but he cruised through the tie-break 7-2, when Auger Aliassime hit a forehand long. 

The second set went on serve in the first seven games. Auger Aliassime won 64% of his first-service points, while Cilic claimed 90% of his second serve points. Cilic earned the only break of the second set in the eighth game to seal the second set 6-3. 

Cilic will play at Queen’s next week. 

“It was a very important win. I played two semifinals and did not win a title since 2018, also on grass at Queen’s. Winning here brings out joy for me, good confidence and a good feeling. Experience plays a big part, especially on grass. The conditions can be difficult, the court plays quite quick. I felt this was a good chance for me to give it my all, keep my intensity. Even though  some games were up and others down, that was a big part of my victory today”, said Cilic. 

Auger Aliassime has dropped to 0-8 in his eight ATP Tour Finals. “Today I am not facing a final. I am facing Marin Cilic. It is two different things. There has been times when I have not played my best then I felt I was not playing well, but this time around, I felt like it was close, but overall I think he was a better player overall”, said Auger Aliassime. 

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Felix Auger Aliassime sets up Stuttgart final against Marin Cilic

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Felix Auger Aliassime beat Sam Querrey 6-4 7-5 in 80 minutes to advance to the eighth ATP Tour Final of his career at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart without dropping a set this week. 

 

Auger Aliassime did not face a break point and hit seven aces. The Canadian Next Gen converted his first break point in the ninth game to claim the first set 6-4. 

The 20-year-old Canadian rising star won 89% of his first service points before earning a break point at 6-5 to seal the win. He lost to Matteo Berrettini in the 2019 final in Stuttgart. 

Auger Aliassime will face 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who won the first set 6-3 before Jurij  Rodionov, before the Austrian wild card was forced to withdraw from the match at 0-1 due to an injury problem at the start of the second set. 

“I am feeling really good and very excited to be in the final after quite a period that I didn’t reach a final. I think this was very positive week. I have played good tennis, served very well. Considering it is a shorter season, with one week less. It was great to play this week. Losing to Roger Federer gave me more time to prepare for the week. I have not enjoyed being at a tournament so much in a long period of time, because it is the first time my son, my wife and I are together at one tournament. The set up in Stuttgart is really nice. There is a lot of grass and open space aroung the hotel for my sonto play and it is so much fun having them around”, said Cilic. Cilic leads 2-0 in his head-to-head matches against Auger Aliassime. They will play their first match on grass. 

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Barbora Krejcikova reaches both singles and doubles final at Roland Garros

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Barbora Krejcikova has qualified for the singles and doubles finals at Roland Garros this weekend, as she and Katerina Siniakova claimed a 6-1 6-2 win over Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera. 

 

Krejcikova has the chance to become the first player to win both the women’s singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros since Mary Pierce claimed both tournaments in 2000. Serena Williams is the most recently player to win both the singles and doubles titles at any Grand Slam tournament, at Wimbledon 2016.

The Czech team will take on Bethanie Mattek Sands froand last year’s Roland Garros singles champion Iga Swiatek, who beat Irina Camelia Begu and Nadia Podoroska 6-3 6-4. Swiatek reached the quarter final this year in the singles tournament. Krejcikova and Siniakova have qualified for both Grand Slam women’s doubles finals this season. They lost to Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka at the 2021 Australian Open last February. 

Krejcikova and Siniakova are bidding to win their second Roland Garros women’s doubles title. 

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