‘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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Alexander Zverev reaches the fourth round at Roland Garros for the fifth consecutive year

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Alexander Zverev edged past Brandon Nakashima 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 7-6 (7-5) in a hard-fought match on Court Suzanne Lenglen to reach the fourth round for the fifth consecutive year at Roland Garros. 

 

Zverev had reached the quarter finals in 2018 and 2019 and the semifinals in 2021. 

Zverev had saved a match point and came back from two sets down to beat Sebastian Baez in the second round. 

The match between Zverev and Nakashima featured just three breaks of serve, including a trade of breaks in the third set. Zverev fended off two break points in each of the first two sets. 

Zverev broke in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead with a backhand winner and held serve to take a two-set lead. Zverev earned a break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead, but Nakashima broke straight back to draw level to 3-3. Seven of the 12 points went against serve in the tie-break. Zverev came back from 2-4 down in the tie-break and closed out the tie-break 7-5 with a backhand winner after 2 hours and 48 minutes.

“I think I raised my level today. I prefer this compared to the second round thriller. This is much better for me. I don’t lose too much hair. I can still grow old”, said Zverev. 

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Doubles Player Dream French Open Debut Ended By Instagram Message

Portugal’s Francisco Cabral said he found out he will not be playing in Paris through social media.

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Francisco Cabral - Image via https://twitter.com/EstorilOpen/

Playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam is the pinnacle of many players’ careers but one player missed out on that opportunity due to an unfortunate situation. 

 

Portugal’s Francisco Cabral was set to play in the men’s doubles tournament for the first time at this week’s French Open. The world No.72 is currently at a career-high after winning his maiden Tour title in Estoril last month with compatriot Nuno Borges. In Paris, he entered into the draw alongside Denmark’s Holger Rune. 

However, shortly before he was set to make his Grand Slam debut Rune pulled out at the last minute. Leaving Cabral unable to look for another partner in such a short time. Rune’s withdrawal from the doubles was based on medical advice after he hurt his ankle during his second round clash against Henri Laaksonen. The Dane tripped over the court cover at the back of the court but fortunately wasn’t seriously injured and managed to continue playing. 

“Right now I feel a huge sadness because it’s a dream to play in a Grand Slam tournament. I’ve been here since Saturday training, waiting, watching games, experiencing a new world because it was my first Grand Slam and it’s another dimension and I was really, really looking forward to being able to play,” Cabral told Raquetc. “And having waited until 15 minutes before game time to know that I wasn’t going to play after all, it cost me a lot, but I did everything I could.”

Caral went on to criticize the behavior of Rune who informed him that he would not be playing in the doubles event via a message sent on Instagram. It is unclear why the two never spoke face-to-face. 

“He only told me that he had sprained his foot, that he was at the doctor’s, and that he had told him not to play the doubles. I’m sad about his attitude because he didn’t even say this to my face, he just sent me a message on Instagram. I don’t think it went well, but as I said, I couldn’t have done anything differently, so I’ll just wait for the next opportunity.” He said. 

25-year-old Cabral is targeting Wimbledon as the event where he will play his first main draw match. 

Meanwhile, Rune will continue his singles campaign at Roland Garros on Saturday when he plays Hugo Gaston in the third round. The former world No.1 junior has shot up the rankings this season to a high of 40th. 

Cabral and Rune has been replaced in the draw by Sander Arends and Szymon Walków. 

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Seven Top 10 Seeds Fail To Reach Third Round Of Women’s Draw In French Open First

The series of high-profile exits has set a new milestone but for the wrong reasons.

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Maria Sakkari - Roland Garros 2022 (foto Roberto dell'Olivo)

The first five days of this year’s French Open have been tough going for some of the world’s best players on the women’s Tour.

 

A series of shock early losses has opened up parts of the women’s draw with 14 out of the last 32 players remaining in the tournament being unseeded. Former champions Garbine Muguruza and Barbora Krejcikova fell in the first round, as well as fellow top 10 seeds Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit. Then in the second round Maria Sakkari (No.4), Karolina Pliskova (No.8) and Danielle Collins (No.9) all crashed out.

Heading into the third round seven top 10 seeds have already been knocked out of the French Open which is a new record for Roland Garros. The tournament has featured draws including 10 or more seeds since 1978.

“I knew that I wanted to do well, but things are different every year and we have seen so many upsets over all these years,” Sakkari said following her exit.
“At this level you always have to accept that you cannot go deep in every single tournament or every single big tournament.”

Jabeur was tipped by some as a serious contender for the title this year before losing her opening match to an inspired Magda Linette. Prior to the tournament, she boasted a 17-3 record on the clay this year, winning the Madrid Open title and reaching the final of two other events (Charleston and Rome).

“I wanted to go as far as I could in the tournament because I played well on clay in Madrid and in Rome, and it’s difficult to take that one in,” she said. ”But that’s what sport is like and you need to be smart enough to move forward and get back on court.’
“Maybe it was a good thing to lose. I would rather say this and be really tough with myself than waste all the good energy that I got from Madrid and Rome.”

In recent years the French Open women’s tournament has been full of unpredictability. The past three editions being won by players who didn’t hold a major title of any sort (in singles) coming into the draw.

One player who has managed to buckle the trend of inconsistency is world No.1 Iga Swiatek who has won 30 matches in a row. The fourth longest streak on the WTA Tour since 2000 after both of the Williams sisters and Justine Henin. Swiatek is also the first player to win 13 or more matches in a row whilst at the top of the rankings since Serena Williams back in 2015.

“I was saying from the beginning that for sure I’m going to reach a point where I’m going to lose a match, and it’s pretty normal,” Swiatek said following her 6-0, 6-2, triumph over Alison Riske.
“I have been losing matches in tennis for a long time. For sure the things we (my team) are doing right now are pretty extraordinary but I know in tennis that only one person wins in the end.’
“I will be okay with that. For sure it’s not fun to lose, but I think it wouldn’t be different than any other loss that I had, you know, in my career.”

Other top 10 seeds remaining in this year’s draw are Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka.

Meanwhile, in the men’s draw all top 12 seeds have reached the third round for the first time since 2009.

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