‘I Don’t Want To Be Part Of The Silence’ - Sportscaster Mary Carillo On Why She Boycotted The Laver Cup - UBITENNIS
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‘I Don’t Want To Be Part Of The Silence’ – Sportscaster Mary Carillo On Why She Boycotted The Laver Cup

One of America’s best known tennis commentators has broken her silence on why she refused to work at the team event and the allegations made against Alexander Zverev.

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Mary Carillo (right) pictured with UbiTennis director Ubaldo Scanagatta and renowned tennis journalist Steve Flink.

Renowned tennis commentator Mary Carillo says she couldn’t work at this year’s Laver Cup due to concerns over restrictions which would have been in place regarding allegations made towards Alexander Zverev.

 

Carillo, who is a former tennis player that won the 1977 French Open mixed doubles title alongside John McEnroe, believes she wouldn’t have been allowed to properly address those claims. In recent months Zverev has been accused of domestic violence by his former partner Olga Sharypova. In two separate interviews published by The Racquet Magazine and Slate Sharypova says she was mentally and physically abused, which at one stage drove her to a suicide attempt. Zverev has repeatedly stated that those allegations against him are untrue.

News of Carillo’s decision to not work for the Laver Cup started to surface last week when she issued a brief statement to journalist Ben Rothenberg who posted it on social media. Rothenberg was the person who interviewed Zverev’s ex-partner.

“I was not told that I couldn’t speak about Zverev at the Laver Cup. That conversation did not happen,” Carillo told the Behind The Racquet podcast.
“I went to the Laver Cup a couple years ago in Geneva. I loved it. I love the event, I was the MC for the Gala.”

Leading up to this year’s competition, which features players from Europe taking on those from the rest of the world, the veteran commentator questioned how organisers plan to cover the Zverev abuse allegations. At the time Carillo was set to work at the event but no contract had been signed.

“I was getting a lot of emails from the executive producer. I wrote back and said how are you handling the Alexander Zverev allegations? Obviously, one of the gravest parts of the allegations happened at the Laver Cup in Geneva,” she said in reference to Sharypova’s suicide attempted which she claimed occurred there.
“She put me in tough with one of the big Laver Cup guys and I had a long conversation with him about my hesitance. I was sure how handstrung I would be by tennis Australia.”

During what she describes as an informal conversation, Carillo said she spoke to a top Laver Cup official and questioned the tournament’s handling of the incident. Although she said the person she spoke to replied ‘I wasn’t there’ multiple times when quizzed about Sharypova’s call for help during the 2019 tournament. As for why Zverev played, they implied entrants are determined by ranking which isn’t completely accurate. Only three members of each team qualify based on their ranking and the other three are picked by the team captains.

The Laver Cup is owned by TEAM8, a management company founded by Roger Federer, Tennis Australia and the USTA. The media operations are overseen by Tennis Australia with it’s CEO Craig Tiley also being one of the directors of Trident8. Trident8 was created to help run the Laver Cup.

Carillo describes Tennis Australia’s approach to the tournament as ‘corporate’ and revealed that she was once spoken to for making a remark about Nick Kyrgios whilst commentating.

I think with Tennis Australia it is pretty well known that it is a blue sky network. You work for them and it’s kind of about a corporate deal which I didn’t understand honestly until I got there (to Geneva),” she explained.
“I made a comment that I thought was kinda stuff I say all the time. Kyrgios was playing great and the crowd was eating the dude up. I said this is a perfect outlet for him because he’s not fit enough to win majors.’
“I got spoken to about that. I thought it was obvious and by the way if you said to Nick Kyrgios are you fit enough to win a major? He wouldn’t argue, like no.’
“I also had my issues at ESPN, Tennis Channel many times.”

It isn’t just the Laver Cup where the former top 50 player has experienced challenges as a commentator on the sport. She also speaks about one experience during the Tokyo Olympics where a segment covering Zverev’s allegations on American network NBC was produced.

“One of the producers wrote back to me and said we will do a studio segment (on Zverev) after the first set. After the first set this really toothless studio segment happened and I’m like ‘wait is that it?’ Carillo recounted.
“God bless Darren Cahill because at the beginning of the second set, I had to say something that wasn’t even close to what had to be said in my opinion. Brad (Gilbert) jumped in and we both excoriated the ATP.’
“The rest of the match I didn’t have to mention it again but that kinda stuff happens all the time.”

Carillo says there have been incidents with other players apart from Zverev which has led to her not calling their matches. One example being Tennys Sandren’s run at the 2018 Australian Open. She wanted to speak about the tennis player’s political views which generated some attention among fans but felt she was unable to do so and therefore refused to cover his match.

As for Zverev, Carillo has publicly said for the first time she believes the allegations made against him are true.

“I don’t want to be part of the silence. If you’re quiet it suggests you’re complicit. There wasn’t a real investigation in Geneva, it’s crazy.” She concluded.

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Playing Clay Events After Wimbledon Was A Mistake, Says Diego Schwartzman

The former French Open semi-finalist is seeking to win his first title since March 2021 at the Tel Aviv Open this week.

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Diego Schwartzman (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Diego Schwartzman will likely reevaluate his schedule for next year after admitting that part of his plans for this summer backfired. 

 

The world No.17 enters into the final quarter of the season with 31 wins against 22 losses on the Tour but is yet to win a title. Although he did reach back-to-back finals back in February in Argentina and Brazil. He has won two out of eight matches against top 10 opposition, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Barcelona. 

Reflecting on his performance, Schwartzman admits that his decision to return to European clay after playing at Wimbledon was a mistake. He lost his second match in Gstaad to Pablo Carreno Busta and then his first in Hamburg to Emil Ruusuvori. 

“It’s difficult to play at the same level every tournament, I’ve made a bad decision playing clay tournaments after Wimbledon, I didn’t have time to rest,” he said during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tel Aviv Open. “I paid the price and had some bad losses. But I started to feel much better in USA hard court season, lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final in Cincinnati and to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open. Now I am feeling very good, I really love playing indoor tournaments.”

The 30-year-old has headed straight to Tel Aviv from the Laver Cup where Roger Federer played the last match of his career. Despite Schwartzman’s Team World winning the title for the first time, his only contribution to the tie saw him lose 6-1, 6-2, to Tsitsipas. 

Retirement was very much the topic of conversation during the Laver Cup with others such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic questioned by reporters about their plans in the sport. As for Schwartzman, he stayed coy about how much longer he would continue playing after saying in the past he might stop at the age of 33. 

“33 — is a good age to retire, isn’t it? South Americans are in different situations compared to European players. We travel too much, and sometimes we are not coming back home for 2-3 months, while Europeans can fly home every week. It’s tough,” he said. 
“As for Roger — he’s a special player, I think he is just the greatest in our sport.”

The Argentine is seeded third this week in Israel and will begin his campaign against Arthur Rinderknech who defeated qualifier Marius Copil in his opening match. 

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Botic Van de Zandschulp beats Joao Sousa to reach the second round in Tel Aviv

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Botic Van de Zandschulp cruised past Joao Sousa 6-2 6-3 to reach the second round at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. Van de Zandschulp won 83% of his first serve points and hit 28 winners to Sousa’s six. 

 

The Dutchman will face Liam Broady, who Serbian wild-card Hamad Medjedovic 7-5 6-3. 

Tomas Martin Etchevery edged past 2021 Australian Open semifinalist Aslan Karatsev 6-2 6-7 (0-7) 6-4  scoring the biggest win of his career. 

Arthur Rinderknech came back from one set down to beat Romanian qualifier Marius Copil 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3. Rinderknech set up a second round against third seed Diego Schwartzman. 

Emil Ruusuvuori broke serve five times in his 6-3 6-2 win over J.J Wolf. 

Sebastian Korda beat Turkish qualifier Cem Ilkel 6-4 6-4 setting up a second round match against Maxime Cressy. Novak Djokovic is the top seed of the Tel Aviv tournament, which returns for the first time since 2021.

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Holger Rune reaches the second round at the Sofia Open

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Danish Next Gen rising star Holger Rune edged past Tim Van Rijthoven 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (8-6) to reach the second round at the Sofia Open in his first appearance at this tournament. 

 

Both players went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Rune earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. 

The second set started with a trade of breaks in the first two games. There was little to separate both players in the next games, which went on serve en route to the tie-break. Rune saved a set point at 5-6 in the tie-break of the second set and won the final three points to close out the second set 8-6. 

Rune won his first title in Munich and reached his maiden Grand Slam quarter final at Roland Garros. 

 “I did not want to go to three sets. I had the break and led 5-2 in the second set tie-break. If it had happened, I was going to fight for sure and try to take it in three, but I am very happy to win in two. I am really working hard every day and trying to improve any small things I can. I think today I stayed very focused all the time. I lost my focus one time on serve, when maybe I should not have been broken, but other than that I am very happy with my first match. The first match is always a  bit difficult”, said Rune. 

Australia’s Alexander Vukic beat Fabio Fognini 7-6 (13-11) 7-5 after 1 hour and 11 minutes. Vukic broke serve in the fifth game to take a 4-2 lead. Fognini converted his fourth break-back point to draw level to 4-4 before saving a break point at 5-5. Fognini went up a 6-3 lead, but he wasted six set points in the tie-break. Vukic closed out the tie-break 13-11 on his third set point. 

Fognini earned a break to take a 2-1 lead. Vukic broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2 in the fourth game. Fognini lost four consecutive points from 4-5 30-0. Vukic earned the decisive break on his first match point to seal the second set 7-5. 

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