Steve John Slams ATP, French Open In Social Media Rant - UBITENNIS
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Steve John Slams ATP, French Open In Social Media Rant

The 31-year-old says there is a lack of transparency in the sport and has accused French Open organisers of being selfish.

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American tennis player Steve Johnson has said there is a lack of transparency among those running the governing body of men’s tennis in a series of posts published on social media.

 

The world No.85 has accused members of the ATP Board of putting their priorities ahead of others with there being conflicts of interest. Johnson argues that the current situation is ‘hurting the sport’ as he makes reference to two specific issues.

The first of those is the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells which was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organisers are instead hoping to stage the event later in the season in order to avoid it being cancelled for the second time in a row. Johnson has suggested that Indian Wells have been unable to stage their event whilst offering 100% of prize money due to opposition from other tournament directors who are on the ATP Board.

“Well, what type of system allows Masters 1000 events to pay 60% less when the BNP Paribas Open is trying to host their event at 100% but can’t get approval because other tournament directors are ATP Board members and they want to benefit from these reductions?” Johnson wrote on Twitter.
“The conflicts and lack of transparency are what hurts, not just the players but the sport.
“Everyone loves to throw around “it is about what is best for the sport,” but the actions don’t match the words.”

Johnson is not the first player to call for more transparency in the ATP. Earlier this year John Isner said there should be a clearer picture to show the reasons for the cut in prize money which has been attributed to the pandemic. This year’s prize money pool at the Miami Masters had a 60% cut with the winner claiming $300,110 compared to $1.35 million in 2019. The former world No.8 told reporters in Miami that he feels there needs to be an ‘audit’ of tournament finances by the ATP which he believes has been “plagued by conflict and lack of transparency.”

On the other side of the argument, Australia’s John Milman has hit back at Johnson’s comments about Indian Wells by describing them as ‘simply untrue.’ Saying that the tournament wanted to be held on one specific date.

“Mate they didn’t get approval initially because they weren’t flexible with when they wanted to have the event. Options were given with available weeks, they didn’t want any of them, wanted one specific week,” Millman said to Johnson on Twitter.
“Multiple tournaments were going to be disrupted with their spot that they had locked in for years.. to suggest that they aren’t getting approval because of board members wanting to benefit from prizemoney reductions (due to covid) is simply untrue.”

31-year-old Johnson, who has been ranked as high as 21st in the world, has also hit out at the French Open over their decision to postpone their event by seven days. Organisers hope the move will help maximise their chances of welcoming fans to the event with France currently being in a national lockdown.

“Roland Garros once again unilaterally decides to change the date of their event, disrupting the calendar to accommodate themselves without respect for the consequences and impact it has on the rest of tennis,” he commented.

The decision to delay the French Open did receive approval from the Grand Slam Board prior to an official announcement. As a consequence the grass-court swing has been shortened by a week.

Johnson has won four ATP titles during his career and has played in 32 Grand Slam main draws.

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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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