ATP To Lift Bubble Restrictions After Rome As WTA Weighs Up Options - UBITENNIS
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ATP To Lift Bubble Restrictions After Rome As WTA Weighs Up Options

ATP will start lifting restrictions after the tournament in Rome while the WTA waits on a decision.

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The ATP is prepared to lift bubble restrictions after Rome with the WTA still weighing up their options heading into Roland Garros.

According to Tennis Majors and a number of documents that have been sent to players, it looks like for the ATP players that bubble life is nearing its conclusion.

Starting with tournaments in Geneva and Lyon on the week of the 17th of May, players will be allowed more freedom with the ATP set to adopt antigen testing every two days instead of conducting PCR tests every four days.

Using antigen tests will allow faster results which means ATP players will be allowed to live a less restricted life on tour and even the possibility of staying in alternative accommodation is being offered.

Here is the full list of things that ATP Players will be allowed to do on tour now:

  • Leave designated areas at tournaments
  • Eat at outdoor restaurants outside the tournament venue
  • Collect takeaway food from restaurants
  • Unlimited exercise outside
  • Share accommodation with non-credentialed individuals
  • Stay in alternative hotels outside the bubble
  • Use public transport
  • Attend a public pool or beach
  • Go to a hairdresser

However players cannot attend concerts, nightclubs or public gatherings as well as go to pubs.

The ATP have also suggested that those have been fully vaccinated for 14 days or more will not have to be tested with the ATP also amending procedures for close contacts. Although they have warned players that these relaxation of restrictions are subject to guidance by local authorities.

As for the WTA tour, they are seeming more cautious about the idea of relaxing restrictions with them being flexible about how the tour goes forward.

In an email to Tennis Majors the WTA said, “The WTA is currently holding conversations with our players and tournaments to review the COVID protocols and discuss if there should be any adjustments to the current protocols in place. Any changes will factor in a balance that allows us to keep the environment safe so we can continue operating our Tour across the globe without risking the health and safety of our players, staff, fans and local communities.”

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Novak Djokovic Withdraws From Masters 1000 Event In Madrid

Novak Djokovic will miss the Masters 1000 event in Madrid and will look to build up his Roland Garros preparations in Rome.

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Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Masters 1000 event in Madrid as he aims for quality over quantity in his bid for Roland Garros glory.

The world number one has had a rough start to the season by his standards as he is yet to win a title this season after a semi-final defeat to Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open.

Djokovic was hoping a change of surface would bring a change of fortunes but the Serb was defeated in three sets in the semi-finals of Monte-Carlo.

Now it seems that result has made Djokovic rethink his schedule as the current Roland Garros champion has withdrawn from Madrid.

No official reason has been given although the news seems to be not that surprising given Djokovic’s history in the Spanish capital.

The Serb hasn’t played since 2022, where he was beaten by Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals, and has now won the title there for five years.

It looks like Djokovic will be putting his faith into more favourable conditions in Rome, which is the most similar to Roland Garros in terms of conditions.

Djokovic is a six-time champion in the Italian capital and will aim for a seventh title when he plays there on the 8th of May.

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Thanasi Kokkinakis Questions ‘Insane’ Drug Testing

Thanasi Kokkinakis has been tested three times within the last six days.

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Thanasi Kokkinakis has questioned persistent drug testing after he revealed he was tested three times in six days.

The Australian is in good form at the moment having won the Sarasota Challenger in Florida.

Kokkinakis claimed glory with a three set win over Zizou Bergs in the final as he continues to climb the rankings.

However that glory has been overshadowed by the fact that Kokkinakis has revealed he was drug tested three times within a six day period.

The world number 94 described it as ‘insane’ and it comes after Alexandre Muller complained of persistent drug testing after his recent defeats.

Doping has been a huge topic of conversations with Simona Halep losing two years of her career after testing positive after the US Open before the Court Of Arbitration For Sport shortened her case.

Kokkinakis will be hoping that this is the last time he has to deal with persistent drug testing as he continues his clay court season.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Saves Two Match Points To Extend Winning Streak In Barcelona

Stefanos Tsitsipas survived a scare to reach the Barcelona semi-finals.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas saved two match points to defeat Facundo Diaz Acosta 4-6 6-3 7-6(8) in Barcelona.

The former finalist saved two match points against the inspired Argentinian as Tsitsipas reached the semi-finals.

It means Tsitsipas is 9-0 in the clay court season and has the chance to set up a potential rematch with Casper Ruud in the final.

The duo met in last week’s Monte-Carlo final where Tsitsipas claimed his third title in Monaco.

Speaking after the match Tsitsipas admitted it was difficult to sustain his level, “I was coming close [to losing] at certain moments in the match. It seemed like a mountain,” Tsitsipas stated to the ATP website.

“I reminded myself that I have a headband that I wear here that has a mountain and that I need to climb it, so it kept me going. It was difficult. It was extremely difficult to sustain the same level throughout the entire match and I think he played incredible.

“I think he left everything out there. He is a good clay-court player. He has a title on the ATP Tour for a reason and today it was a level he was able to bring out on the court that made it quite obvious.

“I got a little bit tense on my serve, I won’t lie. I think I started decelerating a lot, but once I got a hold of that I was conscious of that, it went back to where it belonged and helped me a lot in the tie-breaker because if I didn’t figure it out, I don’t know. It was very mental in general. I really had to go to uncomfortable places mentally and go over the limit at some point.”

Tsitsipas is currently seven in the world in the live rankings as the Greek is looking to claim his first title in Barcelona.

Next up for the Greek will be either Dusan Lajovic or Arthur Fils while Tomas Martin Etcheverry takes on Casper Ruud in the other semi-final.

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