Australian Olympic Boss Hopeful Nick Kyrgios Will Go To Tokyo - UBITENNIS
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Australian Olympic Boss Hopeful Nick Kyrgios Will Go To Tokyo

It it is looking increasingly likely that the former top 20 star will skip the games but officials are not giving up hope just yet.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) falls over in pain during his match against Ugo Humbert (FRA) on No.1 Court in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 3 Wednesday 30/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jon Super

The chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Open team says he respects whatever decision Nick Kyrgios makes regarding his participation at the upcoming Games in Tokyo.

 

Kyrgios was named in the 11-player team just last week along with the likes of Ash Barty. However, since then the world No.60 has cast some doubt over his attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions which will be implemented. Some of the rules include requiring athletes to eat alone, daily testing and refraining from talking in confined spaces such as elevators. The measures have raised concern among some athletes that they will not be able to get the proper Olympic experience whilst in Tokyo.

Recently speaking about the event during Wimbledon, Kyrgios has admitted that he is one of those athletes who has reservations. The Australian says he has always wanted to play in the Olympics but is weighing up his options and could play in another tournament.

“If I’m to play the Olympics, I want to do it the right way,” he said.
“I want to do it with full crowds, with my guests there. I want to do it when I’m able to watch other athletes do their thing. That’s the Olympics for me. The Olympics, the way it is going to go, (are) not the Olympics.”

Chef de mission Ian Chesterman says the current circumstances are far from ideal but he is hopeful that the tennis star may compete in the event. Australia has won five Olympic medals in tennis but only one of those occurred in single competition when Alicia Molik claimed a bronze medal back in 2004.

“It has been a very difficult lead-up for all athletes,” Chesterman said when asked about Kyrgios. “We’ve had a number of athletes … decide they won’t go for a whole lot of different reasons [given the delay].
“We would still love to see Nick over at these Games. He knows he is welcome at these Games and I still think it would be a fantastic outcome for tennis and for our team if he was there.
“But I understand and respect his decision, whichever way he goes, because the [Tokyo] Games are different. People have to believe they can perform under these circumstances.”

In reality it is looking more likely that Kyrgios will not be participating in the Games given his latest injury setback. At Wimbledon he was forced to retire from his third round match against Felix Auger-Aliassime due to an abdominal injury. Following the retirement he said his body ‘wasn’t where it needed to be to continue to play at this level.’

Another issue which may deter Kyrgios from playing in the Olympics could be that it coincides with the start of the North American hardcourt swing with valuable ranking points at stake. Due to adjustments being made to the ranking system because of the pandemic players have a larger period of results which they can use to determine their place. Kyrgios’ place in the top 100 has been aided by his triumph at the 2019 Washington Open and he could fall down the rankings if he misses that event this year.

The Olympic tennis tournament will start on July 24th.

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Richard Gasquet upsets Danil Medvedev in Geneva

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Richard Gasquet upset Danil Medvedev 6-2 7-6 (7-5) with three breaks of serve in 90 minutes to reach the second round at the Gonet Geneva Open. 

 

Gasquet scored his first win over an opponent ranked in the top 2 since he beat world number 1 Roger Federer at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters 2005. 

Medvedev had beaten Gasquet in their only previous head-to-head match at the 2021 US Open en route to his first Grand Slam title. 

Medvedev was playing his first match since Miami in March after undegoing hernia surgery.

Gasquet won six consecutive games from 2-2 in the first set and built up a 6-2 2-0 lead.  

Medveved dropped his serve after three double faults with three double faults. The Russian player broke back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3 and held serve at love with an ace. 

Medvedev recovered from a mini-break down in the tie-break. Gasquet earned his third mini-break to win the tie-break 7-5. 

The Frenchman will face Kamil Majchrzak, who cruised past Marco Cecchinato 6-2 6-3.

Thanasi Kokkinakis earned his first win on clay in seven years with a 6-4 6-3 win over Fabio Fognini in 1 hour and 28 minutes. 

Kokkinakis went up a break to take a 4-1 lead. Fognini broke back in the seventh game to draw level to 4-4.  Kokkinakis broke serve at love in the tenth game to claim the first set 6-4. 

Fognini made two double faults and missed three game points before dropping serve in the second game of the second set. Kokkinakis did not face any break points in his remaining four service games. 

Christopher O’Connell edged past Albert Ramos Vinolas 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 to set up a second round match against Reilly Opelka. 

Paulo Sousa cruised past 2021 semifinalist Pablo Andujar 6-1 6-4. Sousa will face Nikoloz Basilashvili, who was leading 6-4 before Facundo Bagnis retired from the match.

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Former Finalist Marketa Vondrousova To Miss French Open Following Surgery

The Olympic silver medallist will miss a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in two-and-a-half years.

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Image via https://twitter.com/WTA_insider

Czech world No.35 Marketa Vondrousova has pulled out of next week’s French Open after undergoing what she describes as a ‘small surgery.’

 

Vondrousova, who reached the final at Roland Garros back in 2019, underwent a procedure on her left wrist after experiencing recurring pain. She decided to do so following a medical consultation and will be soon going through rehab. It will be the first Grand Slam event she has missed since the 2019 US Open which she also withdrew from due to a wrist injury.

“The last few weeks were not easy, I have been experiencing recurring pain in my wrist,” Vondrousova wrote in an Instagram post published on Monday. “After seeing a couple of doctors I decided to get this small surgery done to be able to play pain-free.”
“Staying positive through the recovery and can’t wait to be back on the court soon,”
she added.

The 22-year-old last played on Tour at the Stuttgart Open where she lost in the first round to Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur. So far this season she has achieved a win-loss record of 13-5 with her best run being to the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships as a qualifier. Vondrousova also reached the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and defeated Emma Raducanu in the Billie Jean Cup.

A former junior world No.1, Vondrousova has been ranked as high as 14th in the world. So far in her career, she has won just one WTA title which was back in 2017 at the Lugano Open in Switzerland. However, she has reached the final at another four events with the last being at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She has scored a total of six wins over top 10 players.

Another player in doubt for the French Open is defending champion Barbora Krejcikova who hasn’t played a match on the Tour since February. The world No.2 has been sidelined from action due to an elbow injury but remains on the entry list for the Grand Slam which will begin on Sunday.

The French Open draw will take place on Thursday.

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Roger Federer’s Team8 Considering Bid To Buy Cincinnati Masters Rights From USTA

The potential move has gained support from one former world No.1 player who says ‘it is nice to see responsible names’ in the mix to buy the prestigious event.

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Roger Federer Wimbledon 2021
Roger Federer (SUI) playing against Adrian Mannarino (FRA) in the first round of the Gentlemen's Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 2 Tuesday 29/06/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

It is understood that sports and entertainment company Team8 which was co-founded by Roger Federer is looking into potentially submitting an application for ownership of the Cincinnati Masters, according to two sources.

 

Sports business publication Sportico and Steve Weissman from The Tennis Channel have both reported that the business is among a number of interested parties who want to buy the event that is best known as the Western and Southern Open. In February this year it was confirmed that the USTA is selling their 93.8% stake in the tournament for a ‘nine-figure sum.’ It is understood that the organization doesn’t want the event to be relocated from Cincinnati in part of any deal.

“The USTA’s Board of Directors believes now is the right time to explore potential strategic options and alternatives in order to optimize the long-term growth of the tournament and take the tournament to the next level,” the USTA said in a statement published by tennis.com.

The USTA brought the rights to the men’s event back in 2009 for $12.5M and has since spent an additional $65M. Whilst Cincinnati is a combined tournament, the ongoing negotiations only apply to the men’s section. The women’s tournament is overseen by Octagon management.

Neither Federer or a member of Team8 have commented on the reported plans. The company was founded by the 20-time Grand Slam champion and his agent Tony Godsick back in 2013. Since then they have been involved in the creation of the Laver Cup, became a ‘major investor’ in the Universal Tennis system and are a ‘strategic investor and partner’ to On Running.

Should Team8 become the new owners, questions may arise about conflicts of interest with Federer still being an active player on Tour. The 40-year-old is currently sidelined from action due to a knee injury but is aiming to stage a comeback at the Swiss Open later this year. However, former world No.1 Andy Roddick has given his full backing to the possible takeover.

“In the world of tennis, where conflicts of interest know no bounds at all, Roger can do this. He has, obviously, been a great steward for the game and has created an incredible relationship with the fans in the city of Cincinnati. You’d like to see it stay in the tennis family with someone who actually knows and loves our sport.” Roddick told The Tennis Channel.

Federer has won the Cincinnati Masters a record seven times in his career.

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