Steve Flink: “Djokovic Was Unlucky, But The US Open Officials Had No Other Option” - UBITENNIS
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Steve Flink: “Djokovic Was Unlucky, But The US Open Officials Had No Other Option”

The Serbian’s default loss was a watershed moment in the history of tennis. Ubaldo Scanagatta and Steve Flink break down what happened in a special reaction video, and speculate on who will be the 150th Slam champion – Medvedev, Thiem, or someone else?

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UbiTennis CEO, Ubaldo Scanagatta, organised a last-minute, impromptu chat with his friend and colleague, the Hall-of-Famer Steve Flink, to discuss the long-term impact of Novak Djokovic’s disqualification from the 2020 US Open after he unintentionally hit a lineswoman with a ball during his fourth round match against Pablo Carreno Busta. The tournament will now crown a new Slam champion, but will there be an asterisk next to his name? How will this episode impact Djokovic’s chase for the Grand Slam titles record? All of this is discussed in the following video:

 

VIDEO SCHEDULE

00:00 “We can only be sad about what happened, but the officials had no choice.” The sequence of events, from the squandered set points to the shoulder injury to Carreno’s break of serve: “He wasn’t even looking, he was just annoyed and careless…” 

02:30 – A few similar episodes: Pescosolido in Sydney, Henman at Wimbledon, Nalbandian at Queen’s, Shapovalov in the Davis Cup…

05:15 – “What kind of precedent would have been set, had he not been disqualified?” A comparison with the 2018 US Open final between Williams and Osaka. 

06:15 – What will Federer and Nadal be thinking? 

08:40 – Last week, Aljaz Bedene wasn’t disqualified after hitting a cameraman – can the two situations be compared? 

11:30 – Nick Kyrgios’ comment – is he right or is he just being immature? “Well, the reactions would have surely been different…” 

13:30 A new, younger Slam champion, the 150th in history. How does the draw shape up now that the Serbian is out? 

15:20 – Who’s the favourite now? Steve’s pick is Daniil Medvedev, but Ubaldo isn’t that sure – who might be the highest hurdle for the Russian? 

19:05 – The asterisk debate: what will the champion need to do to prove doubters wrong? 

20:46 – Nole’s shoulder injury – will he recover in time? “He’ll need to think about what happened and why.” 

22:00 – Will the new champion be able to win more? “Thiem definitely would, but he’s not the only one…” 

Translated by Tommaso Villa

UbiTennis’ coverage of the incident

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Rafael Nadal joins star-studded Rotterdam field

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World number 2 and 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will return to Rotterdam to play at the 48th edition of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament from 1 to 7 March 2021. 

 

Nadal joins a star-studded line-up which already features 2020 ATP Finals champion Danil Medvedev three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori, 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion and 2020 Sofia ATP 250 Tour winner Jannik Sinner. 

Nadal made his debut in Rotterdam in 2008 but he lost to Italy’s Andreas Seppi in the second round. One year later the Spanish legend lost to Andy Murray in the final. 

Nadal claimed his 13th Roland Garros title and his 20th Grand Slam trophy last year tying Roger Federer for most Grand Slam men’s singles titles. He was ranked in top 10 for record 800 consecutive weeks from 25 April 2003, including 209 total weeks as World number 1 following 160 consecutive weeks as world number 2. He earned his 1000th career win in Paris 2020 and boasts most ATP Masters 1000 match victories (389) and second most titles, including 11 in Monte-Carlo, 9 in Rome and 5 in Madrid. He joined André Agassi as the first to male players to complete career Grand Slam and win Olympic gold medals in singles in Beijing 2008 and in doubles in Rio de Janeiro 2016 alongside his compatriot Marc Lopez.   

“What applied to his debut in 2008 in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, still applies. Rafa is again in second place in the ATP Rankings. That shows how unique it is. Non-stop in the top 10 since April 2005. There is no one who will be close to this, or will match him for a long time to come. We had annual contact about him playing in Rotterdam, but it did not fit into the schedule. Now that the season looks different in terms of planning, he was open to coming back to Rotterdam. Of course we seized the opportunity. It would be great if we could add to our Ring of Champions next March. It’s no secret that Nadal is one of my all-time favourite players. The intensity he brings to the court is unparalled. His fighting spirit in combination with his unique technique is an example for everyone. The fact that he returns to Rotterdam after so many years makes it extra special, of course”, said Tournament Director and former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek. 

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina decides to skip the Australian Open

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina decided to skip the Australian Open after being tested to covid-19. Fokina is asymptomatic, while his coach had minor symptoms. The young Spanish player should have faced 14 days of quarantine before training for three days ahead of the Australian Open, but decided to focus on the European Indoor tournaments. His season will start with two Challenger tournaments. Davidovich Fokina reached the semifinal in Estoril in 2019 as qualifier and the fourth round at the US Open in 2020 at the age of 21. 

 

“My coach and I tested positive to Covid-19 14 days ago and could not get on our plane to Melbourne last Thursday. Jorge had minor symptoms and I was practically asymptomatic. We have thought that even with the possibility of travelling in the next three days, having to do another 14-day quarantine, training three days and playing to the best of five sets could be dangerous and harmful for the rest of the season because the probability of injury is very high. We will try to obtain some wild cards to play at two challengers and start getting the rhythm and shape to face the European Indoor Tour the best way possible. On one hand I feel very sad because I am missing the first Grand Slam of the year but on the other hand I am glad that we have confronted the virus without any complications and I am ready to start training and competing again”, wrote Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on his twitter account. 

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Monte-Carlo postpones the ticket sales for the 2021 edition

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The uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic in Europe forced the tournament management of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters to postpone the start of the ticket sales for the 2021 edition scheduled from 11 to 18 April 2021. 

 

This decision affects Italian and French tennis fans. A large part of the crowd who attend the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters comes from France and Italy. 

The management of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters confirmed that the tournament will be held with a partial presence of the crowd. The 2020 edition of the monegasque tournament was cancelled. 

The tournament management published this brief announcment on its official website: 

“Dear viewers, we remind you that the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters will take place from 10 to 16 April 2021, no doubt with limited public access. Unfortanetely, given the current unfavourable health situation, the opening of our ticket office, which we hoped to keep on 19th January, must be postponed. In any case, we hope to be able to give you positive news shortly, and at the moment we invite to consult our website and our social networks for up-to-date information. We remain confident that we will be able to welcome you to the Monte-Carlo Country Club from 10 April 2021, for the 114th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters”. 

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