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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Taylor Fritz saves two match points to upset Alexander Zverev in Indian Wells

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Taylor Fritz saved two match points to score the second top 5 win of his career against 2021 Olympic champion Alexander Zverev at he BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Fritz has reached his first Masters 1000 semifinal. 

 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the opening set, Fritz saved two break points in the fifth game. Zverev broke serve in the seventh game to win the first set 6-4. 

Fritz broke in the fourth game to open up a 4-1 lead and served out 6-3 at deuce in the ninth game. 

Zverev earned an early break to take a 2-0 lead at the start of the third set and held on his next service games to open up a 5-2 lead. Fritz broke back in the ninth game, when Zverev made two double faults, as he was serving out the match.  

Fritz came back from 2-5 down in the third set and fended off two match points at 3-5 30-40 and 4-5 30-40 to beat Zverev 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-3) after 2 hours and 22 minutes. 

Despite today’s defeat Zverev still leads 3-2 in his head-to-head matches against Fritz. The US player will face Nikoloz Basilashvili, who beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 2-6 6-4 to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal. 

“I was really down and out but I found a way to put myself into it. I really wanted to make him have to close me out and I was able to get back into the match Normally you would be so nervous in those situations and in the third set tie-break, but I felt so confident being aggressive, going after my game. It feels really great to play well with the pressure on”, said Fritz. 

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Nikoloz Basilashvili upsets Stefanos Tsitsipas in Indian Wells to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal

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Nikoloz Basilashvili upset world number 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 2-6 6-4 to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semfinal. 

 

Basilashvili, who was playing in his first Masters 1000 quarter final, went up a 4-1 lead with a double break in the first and fifth games. Tsitsipas pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4. Basilashvili held on his next service games to claim the first set 6-4. 

Tsitsipas broke twice in the fourth and eighth games and did not face a break point to seal the second set 6-2. 

After a trade of breaks in the first and fourth games of the third set, Basilashvili earned his second break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and fended off a break point in the eighth game to hold serve after three deuces. He served out the win on his first match point in the 10th game.   

Despite the defeat Tsitsipas still leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Basilashvili. The Georgian player had never won a main draw match in Indian Wells in his four previous appearances at this tournament. Earlier this year he won two titles at Doha and Munich. 

Tsitsipas was aiming to reach his third consecutive Masters 1000 semifinal in North America after advancing to the last four in two consecutive hard-court tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati. 

“I have played really great matches this tournament. I was not played with how I played today but I was happy with how I managed my stress levels. First time in the quarter finals and it is a big court and Stefanos is still a tough player. I had to keep my physical levels and energy levels in a really good shape because I knew mentally I would be a little bit tight and stressed”, said Basilashvili.

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Carlos Moya, Flavia Pennetta and Ana Ivanovic are among the candidates for the 2022 International Tennis Hall of Fame

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Carlos Moya, the first Spanish player the number 1, and former Grand Slam champions Flavia Pennetta and Ana Ivanovic are among the candidates for 2022 International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

 

Ivanovic lifted the 2008 French Open Trophy after a final at the 2008 Australian Open and a semifinal at 2007 Wimbledon and claimed 15 WTA titles during her career. Since her French Open triumph, she spent 12 weeks as world number 1 player. She would become the first player representing Serbia to be voted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

“Many of the women who I looked up to as a young girl are Hall of Famers and to be nominated to receive an honour that places my career alongside those who inspired me is just incredible”, said Ana Ivanovic. 

Flavia Pennetta became the oldest first-time Grand Slam champion when she beat her childhood friend Roberta Vinci in the all-Italian US Open Final in 2015. Pennetta teamed up with Vinci in guiding Italy to four Fed Cup titles. 

“I loved competing and to have my tennis career recognized in this way among the sports all-greats is such an incredible honour”, said Pennetta. 

Moya won the 1998 Roland Garros title and reached the 1997 Australian Open final. He became the first Spanish player to reach the top of the ATP Ranking and won 20 ATP titles, including three ATP Masters 1000 trophies. Moya lifted the Davis Cup title in 2004 for Spain after taking his his second singles win of the tie with his straight-set win over Andy Roddick. 

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