Dominic Thiem’s Agent Proves There Are Conflicts Of Interest In Tennis, Says Top American Player - UBITENNIS
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Dominic Thiem’s Agent Proves There Are Conflicts Of Interest In Tennis, Says Top American Player

Reilly Opelka explains why he is backing the PTPA.

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Dominic Thiem - Australian Open 2020 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

One of America’s highest ranked tennis players have come out in support of the recently formed Professional Tennis Player Association by saying there are issues with the current structure of the ATP.

 

World No.39 Reilly Opelka is one of a series of players to have joined the PTPA, which was co-founded by Novak Djokovic and Vasek Pospisil. The objective of the organisation is to campaign for a greater say on behalf of athletes when it comes to decision making. Although the move has been publicly condemned by the ATP Council, whose members include Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The council has previously urged their peers not to join the PTPA.

Amid the debate over the need for a union-type movement in tennis, 23-year-old Opelka argues there are various cases of conflicts of interest within the sport which he describes as ‘insane.’ Ironically Djokovic was recently forced to withdraw his application for the ATP Council after the governing body decided his PTPA involvement was a conflict of interest.

“I mean, we need one 100%. If you look at the issues, how many conflicts of interests we have, in the ATP structure, it’s insane… You can’t be on the board of the ATP and you can’t be a tournament director and then a player’s agent. That can’t happen. That absolutely can’t happen,” Opelka told the Behind the Racquet podcast.
“There are like so many conflicts of interest, you know, for a big organization… and PTPA wants to get rid of all these conflicts of interest,” he added.

Elaborating further, Opelka singled out Dominic Thiem’s manager Herwig Straka as a prime example. A law and business graduate, Straka also serves as the tournament director of the Vienna Open and is linked with the ATP.

“You know Dominic Thiem’s agent… for example, owns a tournament in Austria. He owns Vienna, so how could he, and he’s on the board in ATP, so essentially he has a vote on prize money… I really doubt he abuses that ’cause he is a good guy, but just the fact that’s there is there is wrong,” Opelka argues.

Since its launch shortly before the US Open, the movement of the PTPA has slowed in recent weeks and it is uncertain what the future has in store. From the onset, members have said they want to work alongside the ATP but the chances of this occurring at present are low.

“The PTPA has yet to be structured with the strategy and long term vision yet to be clearly defined, and although the PTPA has made it clear it does not intend to be combative, it is unclear how the ATP will view the association in the future,” Djokovic has stated.

At present only male players are members of the organisation but there is speculation that it will be open for women to join at some stage next year.

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Monte Carlo Breakthrough Leaves Andrey Rublev With Mixed Emotions

The world No.8 takes confidence from his latest run but admits it is ‘impossible’ to play at his very top level every week on the Tour.

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After achieving a career milestone at the Monte Carlo Masters, Andrey Rublev was sent crashing down to earth on Sunday.

 

The Russian tennis star broke new territory at the tournament by reaching his first ever Masters 1000 final at the age of 23. However, he was denied the title by Stefanos Tsitsipas who produced a clinical performance to seal victory in just 71 minutes. Ending Rublev’s run of winning seven finals in a row.

“I feel happy with the week, and I feel super sad with the final, that I couldn’t show my game,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“Of course, I’m happy with the week because I beat so many great players and I beat one of the best players in history. It’s a special week.”

Earlier in the tournament Rublev stunned the draw when he upset Rafael Nadal in three sets en route to the semi-finals. Making it the fourth time in his career he has scored a win over a player ranked No.3 in the world. He is also the first player in history to come back from a set down to defeat Nadal at the tournament.

Besides the king of clay, Rublev also dismissed Roberto Bautista Agut and Casper Ruud. He has now won 24 matches on the ATP Tour this season which is more than anybody else. However, he is reluctant to link all of his match play with his latest performance.

“I feel tired after all the matches that I play, exhausted. But this is not excuse. He was just better than me, and that’s it,” he stated.
“Not always everything goes your way. It happened today. I was completely exhausted. Stefanos, he showed great game. He was just better than me, and that’s it.”

Despite his recent success, Rublev is eager to not get too far ahead of himself heading into the French Open. A Grand Slam where he has only played in the main draw twice before, including last year where he reached the quarter-finals.

“I would like to play really good in Madrid and I would like to play really good in Rome. I would like to play all of the weeks good. But it’s impossible,” he explains.
“Some of the weeks for sure will be better, some will be worse and some will be amazing.’
“For the moment I’m playing really consistent. I’m really happy I’m playing my best season so far. We’ll see what’s going to happen.”

Rublev is set to return to action next week at the Barcelona Open where he will be the third seed.

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Former Australian Open Semi-Finalist Kyle Edmund Undergoes Surgery

It has been reported that the world No.69 may not be able to return to the Tour for ‘several more months.’

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British world No.69 Kyle Edmund is set to be sidelined from the Tour for some time after having surgery to treat a long-standing problem in Switzerland. 

 

The former British No.1 has confirmed he had a ‘small procedure’ on his knee after being hampered with issues in the area ever since 2018 when a scan revealed that he had fluid behind his left knee. Details of the surgery have not been disclosed by the person who conducted the operation was Dr Roland Biedert, according to BBC Sport. A specialist Orthopaedic surgeon who has also operated on Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro.

“I had a small procedure on my knee. I’m currently rehabbing. The recovery is going well and I hope to be back on court as soon as possible.” Edmund said.

Currently ranked 69th in the world, Edmund hasn’t played a competitive match since losing in the first round of qualifying at the Vienna Open last October due to his knee. 2020 saw mixed fortunes for the 26-year-old. After winning the New York Open during February of that year, he lost seven out of 10 matches played during the rest of the season. Including five defeats in a row.

No return date has been outlined by Edmund or his team following the surgery. However, British media have reported that he may be out for ‘several more months.’ Casting doubts over his chances of being ready in time for Wimbledon which starts on June 28th. He hasn’t been absent from a Wimbledon main draw since 2012.

Edmund has been ranked as high as 14th in the world with his best Grand Slam run being to the semi-finals of the 2018 Australian Open. Overall, he has won two ATP titles and has earned more than $5.7 in prize money. 

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Grigor Dimitrov Blames Poor Monte Carlo Performance On ‘Big Infection’

The 29-year-old reveals the reason behind his error-stricken performance at the Monte Carlo Country Club on Thursday.

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Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov said he simply ‘didn’t play’ in his latest match at the Monte Carlo Masters after winning just two games against Rafael Nadal.

 

The world No.17 fell 6-1, 6-1, to the 20-time Grand Slam champion in less than an hour on Thursday. He won 48% of his first service points and 32% of his second, as he hit 32 unforced errors. A dismal performance from Dimitrov who had beaten Jan-Lennard Struff and Jeremy Chardy earlier in the tournament.

Whilst it was never going to be easy playing somebody of Nadal’s calibre, Dimitrov has revealed that he had been troubled by an issue away from the court. He has been suffering from a ‘big infection’ in his tooth which has had an impact on his preparation for the match.

“I’ve been struggling with a massive tooth problem for the past four or five days,” he said. “I have a big infection in my tooth. It’s been hard. I haven’t been able to sleep well or eat well or anything like that.’
“I was bearing it for a while this whole week.”

It is another case of bad luck for Dimitrov on the Tour this season. At the Australian Open he reached the quarter-finals in what was his best Grand Slam performance since the 2019 US Open. However, in his last eight showdown with Russia’s Aslan Karatsev he was hindered by a back injury.

“It’s straight to the doctor’s, unfortunately,” he commented on his tooth. “Very, very unpleasant moment. It is what it is.’
“At least I’m glad it happened on a home soil so I can go see my dentist and figure this problem as soon as possible.Hopefully it’s not too serious and I’ll be able to come back as soon as possible.”

Speaking in his press conference, Nadal said he ‘felt sorry’ for his opponent who ‘played a bad match.’ During the match the world No.3 wasn’t aware of Dimitrov’s problem but was told about it afterwards.

“I wish him all the best. He’s a great guy, a good friend. I just hope the situation is to improve as soon as possible,” he said.

Nadal, who is seeking a record 12th title in Monte Carlo, will play Russia’s Andrey Rublev next.

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