Uncertainty Over Start To 2021 Season Fails To Dampen Spirits At ATP Finals - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Uncertainty Over Start To 2021 Season Fails To Dampen Spirits At ATP Finals

Players reacts to news that they will not be allowed to travel to Australia in December.

Avatar

Published

on

Novak Djokovic (image via https://twitter.com/ESPNtenis)

At the season-ending ATP Finals the focus of players is usually on the event but this year they have to contend with the unwanted extra of trying to work out what to do during their off-season.

 

Earlier this week the local government in the Australian state of Victoria refused to approve a plan that would have welcomed an estimated 550 players to the area next month. The decision has sent ripples throughout the sport with unanswered questions left over what tournaments will be played, if any, outside of the Australian Open in January. The issue isn’t the players arriving in the country on January 1st. It is the fact they will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

“I’m planning to play Australian Open for sure. I would like to go there and I’m ready to quarantine for two weeks and whatever is necessary for me to be able to play,” reigning Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic said after his loss to Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Finals on Wednesday.
“I hope that there is going to be support and understanding from the Victorian and Australian government for the players and for Tennis Australia and that they will allow players to compete in the second week of quarantine.”

It has been reported by Australian sources that at present officials have said no to allowing players to participate in competitive matches whilst in quarantine. Although they are allowed to practice during that period. Should this prove to be the case, there will be just four days between quarantine ending and the first Grand Slam of 2021 starting. Leading to some thinking that a slight delay to the Australian Open appears to be the most logical solution.

“I just hope the Australian Open happens because right now everything is so unsure that we don’t know. Australia is definitely one of my favourite slams, and I would love to go there next year,” Alexander Zverev commented.
“Credit to Tennis Australia and to Craig Tiley. I think they are doing the best they can. I think the Australian government is being very cautious about it,” he added.

Diego Schwartzman believes the best approach to the situation is a case of wait and see. After the ATP Finals he will return back to his native Argentina where there are currently no direct flights to Australia. The French Open semi-finalist points out that travel to the region during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will be better for some than others.

“I think it depends on where you are from and what your plans are for the start of the year. So every single case, every single player is going to be a different scenario, so I will see what we do.” He said.

Bruno Soares, who is from Brazil and is a member of the ATP players Council, is another to speak out about the potential travel complexities. Although he has played down any serious concerns by pledging his full confidence in the tennis Authorities.

“I trust what they are doing, how they work,” he said. “They have always been very supportive in helping players, so I think we’ve got to be patient.’
“It’s crazy times. I think Australia even has managed to control the virus, and we know they don’t want any other foreign people maybe bringing something. So I guess it’s time to be patient and let them do the work and hope the government helps us to have a good summer.”

There are ongoing discussions going on behind the scene with Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley, who had initially planned for Victoria to host a series of tennis tournaments at the start of next year. Although it is unclear as to what the final verdict will be.

Unfortunately for Tiley, he will not be the one who has the ultimate say – it will be the government. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has reiterated that his main focus is on the safety of those he is in charge of. Although he has shown support for the creation of a ‘players bubble’ which is a major aspect of Tennis Australia’s plan.

“Whilst I mean no disrespect … I think the safety of Victorians is my priority. There’ll be some inconvenience for tennis players and their support teams for a little while longer while we finalise these detailed, detailed arrangements,” Andrews stated.

The Australian Open is set to start on January 18th.

ATP

The ATP announces the nominees for the 2020 ATP Awards

Avatar

Published

on

Nominees have been announced for the ATP Awards for all player-voted categories (Comeback Player of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Newcomer of the year, Stefan Edberg Sportmanship Award) and Coach of the Year. 

 

The Fans’s Favourite Award and and the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award Award will be announced later this month. Fans can vote for their favourite singles player and doubles team through 11 December. 

Three-time winner and 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will be up against 2020 Rome finalist and Roland Garros semifinalist Diego Schwartzman, US Open champion Dominic Thiem and John Millman in the Sportsmanship category. 

Schwartzman is among the nominees in the Most Improved player category and will be against Ugo Humbert, five-time ATP Tour titlist Andrey Rublev and 2020 Sofia ATP Tour champion and 2019 Next Gen ATP Tour champion Jannik Sinner. The Most Improved player of the Year reached a higher ATP Ranking by year’s end and showed an increasingly improved level of performance through the year. 

The nominees for the Comeback Player of the Year are Kevin Anderson, Andrey Kuznetsov, Vasek Pospisil and Milos Raonic. The Compeback Player of the Year has overcome a serious injury in re-establishing as one of the top players on the ATP Tour. 

The contenders for the Newcomer of the Year Award are Carlos Alcaraz (winner in three Challenger tournaments in Trieste, Barcelona and Alicante), Sebastian Korda (winner of his first Challenger title in Eckental), Lorenzo Musetti (title in Parma and third-round in Rome Masters 1000), Jurij Rodionov (first Challenger titles in Dallas and Morelos) , Emil Ruusuvuori (semifinalist in Nur Sultan) and Thiago Seyboth Wild (first title in Santiago de Chlle)

The Coach of the Year Award contenders are Juan Ignacio Chela (Diego Schwartzman), Gilles Cervara (Danil Medvedev), Nicolas Massu (Dominic Thiem), Riccardo Piatti (Jannik Sinner) and Fernando Vicente (Andrey Rublev). 

Continue Reading

ATP

French Legend Leconte Speaks Out On Upcoming Return Of Roger Federer

The Grand Slam finalist gives his view on Federer’s chances for 2021.

Avatar

Published

on

A former star of French tennis says he is hopeful but wary that Roger Federer will be able to return to the pinnacle of sport next year.

 

Henri Leconte, who is a former French Open finalist that achieved a ranking high of No.5, admits that the Swiss Maestro may find it tough on the Tour given the rise of what he describes as the ‘younger generation.’ This season Dominic Thiem won his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open at the age of 27. More recently Daniil Medvedev defeated both Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal en route to the ATP Finals title.

We want to believe it. We all want to believe it! It’s been a long and difficult year. Will the motivation still be there? Will this break, the fact of having been able to enjoy his family, have changed something or will he still have that renewed motivation that has always fascinated us?” Leconte told TennisActu.

Federer hasn’t played a competitive match since his semi-final loss at the Australian Open in January. Since then, he has been sidelined from action due to a right knee injury which required two surgical procedures. The second took place after the first failed to produce the desired results.

Despite the setbacks, 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer is eyeing a return to the Tour in 2021. He is currently the oldest player in the world’s top 100 and one of two to be aged 39. The other is Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.

No one can say it. We all wish him, we would like him to stop on a Grand Slam title but the train (momentum) is gone with this younger generation which has put in an extra speed,” said Leconte.
“I would like to believe it. Roger has done so many things, that’s why he makes us dream, we would like to see him at the top. It will be very, very hard. ..”

It is not the first time Federer has taken a lengthy break due to injury. He missed six months of the 2017 season due to another knee issue before returning to action the following year when he won the Australian Open.

Earlier this week it was confirmed that Federer will head into the new season being able to use his iconic ‘RF’ logo. He hasn’t been able to use the logo for the past two years after switching from Nike, which held the rights, to UNIQLO. However, he has managed to regain control of ownership which means he will be allowed to use it on his apparel once again.

“The RF cap is back,” Federer said in a video message to fans on Twitter.
“After a long wait and extensive fine-tuning, UNIQLO and I are extremely excited to announce the return of the RF hat in 8 fresh colours starting December 8th, 2020,” he also wrote.
“This hat has meant so much to me and to my fans over the years.
“It has given us a way to visibly connect, and I have appreciated the opportunity to thrive off this supportive energy.”

As it currently stands Federer’s first tournament is set to be the Australian Open. The tournament had been scheduled to start on January 18th but it is believed that the date has been delayed until February 8th due to travel and quarantine arrangements.

Continue Reading

ATP

Casper Ruud Opens Up About What It Is Like Playing Roger Federer

The 21-year-old explains what it is like to face somebody who is considered by some as the ‘greatest legend’ in tennis.

Avatar

Published

on

Norway’s top tennis player admitted that he had difficulty sleeping the night before he was set to play Roger Federer for the first time in his career.

 

Casper Ruud has shed light on what it was like for him playing the Swiss Maestro during an interview with TV 2. The 21-year-old took on Federer in the third round of the French Open last year which he ended up losing 6-3, 6-1, 7-6. At the time it was only Ruud’s fourth appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam.

“When you meet the man who is considered the greatest legend in your sport in history, it is clear that then you were a little extra nervous,” he said of 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer.
“I remember before I was going to play against Federer, it was a bit difficult to sleep the night before. When you lie with your head on the pillow, your thoughts come.”

Ruud says Federer’s achievements in the sport made him feel more nervous about playing him. Overall, the 39-year-old has won 103 ATP titles and currently holds the record for most time spent holding the world No.1 ranking at 310 weeks. He played his first ATP event at the 1998 Gstaad Open, which was a year before Ruud was born.

Although the Next Gen star says he has admiration for all members of the Big Three, which also include Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The two highest ranked players currently on the men’s tour.

“It was in Melbourne a few years ago, and then I remember that we sat in a large cafe where all the players sit to eat. When Federer came in, it was completely quiet and everyone turned around. Now the legend is here,” he said.
“These three legends, they look taller than they might be. They are probably around 1.85 meters, but it may seem that they are two meters because of the respect you have for them.”

Since his meeting with Federer in Paris, Ruud has managed to make a name for himself as he gradually climbs up the world rankings. In February he won the Argentina Open to become the first Norwegian player in history to have won a title on the ATP Tour. He also reached the final of another tournament in Santiago. In September he defeated Matteo Berrettini in the Italian Open to record his first and so far only win over a top 10 player in his career.

“I do not remember everyone in my career. But there are some matches that stand out a bit, and that you remember extra well. Some ball exchanges, some punches here and there that you get, which you usually do not do. It is something that stands out a bit,” Ruud explains.

Unusually Ruud confirmed that both of his parents are now classed as his employees. He is coached by his father Christian who is a former player himself. Christian is a former world No.39 who was his country’s highest ranked male player in history until his son.

“The ultimate boss is probably (my) mother. She rules over both of us. In between at least,” he jokes.

After ending his season with three consecutive Tour losses, Ruud closes out 2020 with a win-loss record of 22-13 and has won $965,653 in prize money. He is currently ranked 27th in the world.
.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending