Bid To Rename Top Swiss Sports Venue After Roger Federer Fails - UBITENNIS
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Bid To Rename Top Swiss Sports Venue After Roger Federer Fails

A campaign set up in support of the Swiss maestro has failed but supporters have not given up yet.

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Despite being one of his country’s most famous athletes Roger Federe will not be having a sports venue in his home city of Basel named after him.

 

The ‘Roger Federer now’ campaign was launched in March 2009 for the St. Jakobshalle to be renamed in honour of the 20-time Grand Slam champion. Under local rules, such a motion can only be debated by officials if it receives 3000 signatures. However, a press release issued on Monday confirmed the initiative has fallen short by 1200.

According to Swiss news agency Keystone-ATS, there have been plans for a ‘major collection’ to occur but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, supporters still sent their petition to the Cantonal Chancellery of Basel-City in a hope that it will be accepted. Furthermore, they have also sent a separate petition that has 2600 signatures that they hope local officials will take into consideration.

St. Jakobshalle is the venue of the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament that has been dominated by Federer in recent years. He has won the title a record 10 times, including the past three editions between 2017-2019. This year’s event has been cancelled due to the pandemic. Overall, Federer has a win-loss of 75-9 in Basel and has earned more than $4.5 million in prize money.

During an interview with newspaper Tages Anzeiger last year, the former world No.1 said he would be ‘honoured’ to have the venue named after him.

“I would be very happy. It would be an absolute, incredible honour for me,” he said. “I see what it means to Rod Laver or Roy Emerson when you can have a stadium named after you and experience it.”

Earlier this year Federer was named the highest earning athlete in Forbes Magazine annual list with earnings of $106 million. According to their findings, he has made $6.3M in prize money and a further 100M in endorsements between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020.

Due to injury, Federer has only played one tournament this year at the Australian Open where he reached the semi-finals before losing to Novak Djokovic. Since then he has undergone two surgeries on his knee.

The 39-year-old is aiming to return back to competitive tennis at the start of next year.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas ‘Happy’ To Follow In Grandfather’s Footsteps At Olympics

The Greek speaks out about carrying his family’s legacy at the Games.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas never met his grandfather but the two of them do have something in common – they are both Olympians.

 

The world No.4 has already created history in Tokyo by winning his first round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber on Sunday to become the first male player from his country to win a singles match since 1924. Greece has won two medals at the Games but both of them were during its inaugural edition back in 1896.

Tsitsipas’ debut in Tokyo enables him to continue his family legacy of playing in the sporting extravaganza. His grandfather was Sergei Salnikov who played football for the Soviet Union during the 1950s. In 1956 Salnikov was part of the team who won Olympic gold in Melbourne. After retiring from the sport, he went on to manage the FC Spartak Moscow and the Afghanistan national team before passing away in 1984 aged 58.

“I’ve never had the opportunity to meet him. But my mom told me stories of his career and how he got it…. He kind of inspires me in a way,” said Tsitsipas. “I know what kind of athlete he was, with all the achievements and all the trophies. I’m proud of him.
“It’s something good, a legacy that is being carried on in the family. I’m happy to be the next in the family to be competing at the Olympics.”

It isn’t just a medal in the singles Tsitsipas has his eyes on, he will also be bidding for success in the mixed doubles alongside Maria Sakkari. The two previously paired up at the 2019 Hopman Cup where they finished second in their group.

“We have already played once (together), and we had great success,” Sakkari told reporters on Monday. “We know each other really well, and we are much better players two-and-a-half years later, and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”

Tsitsipas will return to action tomorrow in the men’s singles where he will play Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

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Carlos Alcaraz reaches his first ATP Tour final in Umag

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Spanish Next Gen star Carlos Alcaraz secured a spot in his first ATP tour-level final with a 6-2 7-6 (7-3) at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open in Umag. 

 

Alcaraz has become the youngest ATP Tour finalist since 18-year-old Kei Nishikori won the Delray Beach title in 2008. 

Alcaraz broke twice to open up a 4-0 lead and held his next service games to close out the first set 6-2. 

Ramos Vinolas came back from a break down three times in the second set, when Alcaraz served for the match. Alcaraz battled through the second-set tie-break to clinch the win after two hours. 

Alcaraz set up a final against Richard Gasquet, who battled past German qualifier Daniel Altmeier 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-3 after three hours and 11 minutes. 

Gasquet has become the second oldest finalist in tournament history. The 35-year-old saved seven of hi sten break points, but he converted just just 3 of his 17 break points.  

Gasquet rallied from a break down twice to draw level to 4-4 before winning the tie-break 7-2. Altmeier converted his third break point in the eighth game to win the second set 6-3. Altmeier saved three break points in the second game, before Gasquet converted his second break point in the sixth game to win the second set 6-3. 

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Novak Djokovic Cruises Past Dellien In Olympics Opener

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a historic golden slam continued in Tokyo.

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Novak Djokovic (@ITFTennis - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic cruised past Hugo Dellien 6-2 6-2 to open his bid for a gold medal at the Olympics.

 

The world number one’s bid to achieve the golden slam is on after thrashing the Bolivian in humid conditions.

A perfect start for the Serbian who is looking to achieve the one thing he is yet to achieve and that’s win a gold medal.

Next for Djokovic will be Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.

In 32C temperatures, Djokovic was looking to start his campaign off against Bolivian veteran Hugo Dellien.

The slow paced courts would suit Dellien as he engaged in some long rallies with the world number one early on.

Despite creating three break points in the fourth game, Djokovic would fail to break early on.

However Djokovic increased his level mixing up the pace and depth of his shots to create angles for simple winners.

On his fifth break point Djokovic would break for a 4-2 lead and the top seed would break for a second time as Dellien had no answers for the Serb’s defensive skills. First set to Djokovic in 33 minutes.

A similar pattern evolved in the second set only this time Djokovic did get a break in the fourth game, breaking to love.

Accurate serving and construction of points gave Djokovic an easy first round match as another break secured the match and sealed his spot into the second round.

A fine performance in tough conditions gave Djokovic’s bid for history the best possible start.

Next for Djokovic will be Jan-Lennard Struff who beat Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4.

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