Israeli Officials Lodges Formal Complaint Over Ons Jabeur's Remarks On Gaza CrisIs - UBITENNIS
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Israeli Officials Lodges Formal Complaint Over Ons Jabeur’s Remarks On Gaza CrisIs

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The Israeli Tennis Association (ITA) has accused Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur of supporting a terrorist organization following remarks she made on social media about the Middle East crises. 

Just over a week ago, Hamas launched an attack on Israel where hundreds of militants crossed the border from Gaza and killed scores of people. Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by some countries, including the UK, but their political wing runs the de facto government of Palestine in Gaza. In the wake of the incident, Israel is retaliating with numerous airstrikes and it is expected that a ground invasion will happen soon. It is estimated that more than 3,500 people have been killed in the conflict with at least 2,215 of that tally being those living in Gaza, according to a Forbes news report citing CBS data. There have also been more than 10,000 casualties.

Jabeur, who is from Tunisia, reacted to the conflict earlier this week on social media in which she condemned the violence coming from both sides. In an Instagram story, she spoke about the long-standing conflict between Israel and Palestine. 

“What Palestinians have been going through during the last 75 years is indescribable,” she wrote.
“What innocent civilians are going through is indescribable; no matter what their religion is, or what their origin is. Violence will never bring peace; I cannot stand with violence but I also cannot stand with people having their lands taken.”

Jabeur later added that for peace to be achieved in the region, history must be taken into account. 

“So understanding context is important, looking at what’s happening today and deciding to ignore recent history is irresponsible and won’t bring peace.” She continued. 
“And peace is all we care about. Peace is what everyone needs and deserves. Stop the violence and #FreePalestine.”

It is not the first time the world No.7 has spoken publically about Palestine. In the past, she also received death threats for playing in a Billie Jean King Cup tie against Israel which the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in 2020 was contrary to ‘the official position of the state.’ 

Jabeur’s latest comments have been met with fierce criticism from Avi Peretz, who is the chairperson of the ITA. In a statement published on the Federation’s Facebook account, Peretz said a formal complaint has been lodged to the WTA via the ITF. 

“This tennis player incites and supports a murderous terrorist organization. We’re glad she’s in the minority compared to the sane athletes in the rest of the world,” he said.
“We strengthen the security and rescue forces (Isreli army), trust them to do the job and pray they return safely.’
“Because the player belongs to the WTA, they are the body responsible for handling the case. The association and the ITF are now waiting to see what measures they will take against her.”

Even though the complaint was sent via the ITF, there is no evidence to suggest that the tennis governing body was either in support or against such a complaint. Instead, they were used as a sort of intermediary between the ITA and WTA. 

Jabeur has not publicly commented on the reaction from the ITA. 

NOTE: Peretz’s statement was published in Hebrew and then translated via Google. 

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Ugo Humbert saves three match points to beat Hubert Hurkacz in Dubai

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Fifth-seed Ugo Humbert came back from one set down to beat Hubert Hurkacz 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-3. Humbert had beaten Hurkacz en route to his title in Marseille. 

Hurkacz converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3. Humbert saved three match points in the tie-break of the second set before converting his first set point to force the match to the decider. Humbert broke twice to seal the third set 6-3. 

“It was a great battle. I tried to battle for every point. In the tie-break I saved three match points, tried to do my best and thanks to those French fans for the amazing support”, said Humbert. 

Humbert set up a semifinal match against Danil Medvedev, who beats Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-2 6-3. Humbert leads 2-1 in their head-to-head matches, but Medvedev won their most recent match in three sets at the China Open in their most recent head-to-head match in Beijing last year.

“It’s going to be a great challenge against Danil tomorrow. We had a few great fights. Hopefully I will recover well to be ready for this match”, said Humbert. 

Aleksander Bublik was leading Jiri Lehecka 6-4 4-1 when the Czech player was forced to retire due to an injury. Bublik set up a match against Andrey Rublev, who was leading Sebastian Korda 6-4 4-3  when the Czech player withdrew due to injury. 

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Brazilian Rising Star Joao Fonseca Waives College Eligibility To Turn Pro

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Image via https://twitter.com/RioOpenOficial/

One of Brazil’s most promising young tennis players has made the bold decision to abandon a dream of his to play college tennis in America to turn pro. 

17-year-old Jaoao Fonseca was committed to playing college tennis at the University of Virginia but says professional tennis has called him in a way he couldn’t refuse. The rising star has played just two Tour-level events so far in his career and is currently ranked 343rd in the world. 

At last week’s Rio Open, he became the second-youngest player after Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter-finals of an ATP 500 event since the category was introduced. In his home tournament, the Brazillian beat Arthur Fils and Cristian Garin before losing to Mariano Navone.

“It was an incredibly tough decision for me and my family as I have been dreaming about living a college life in Charlottesville, playing the sport that l love with a wonderful team and coach, but, in the last months, professional tennis called me in a way that I simply couldn’t say no,” Fonseca wrote in a statement published on Instagram
“Although I will not be attending school, I think it is an extremely valuable and viable path for young players in their way to professional careers,” he added.

Fonseca has already enjoyed success on the junior circuit. Last year he was runner-up in the doubles tournament at the Australian Open boy’s event. Then at the US Open, he won his first Grand Slam junior title in singles. He is also a former ITF Junior World No.1 and is currently ranked second in the standings. 

The youngster has already been hailed by compatriot Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is currently ranked 13th on the WTA Tour. Speaking to reporters at the San Diego Open, she has offered her support to Fonseca if he needs it. 

“João is a nice person. He has a great future, if he keeps working hard and keeps doing what he’s doing. I think he has a very aggressive mentality and tennis.” She said.

“We sometimes text each other, but not that much. But I’m always following.. not only him.. but the Brazilians. I’m proud of what he’s doing. He has a long way and he needs to understand that it’s a marathon, it’s not a 100 meter race.’
“Tennis has its ups and downs. I wish him all the best, for sure. I’ll be here whenever he wants. I’m happy with what he’s doing.” 

Fonseca played at the Chile Open this week but lost in the first round to Thiago Agustin Tirante.

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Emma Raducanu Among Trio of Grand Slam Winners Handed Miami Open Wild Cards

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Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has avoided the possibility of having to go through qualifying at the Miami Open after being awarded a wild card for the event on Thursday. 

The 2021 US Open champion is among four players to have received passes into the main draw of the prestigious event, which is classed as a WTA 1000 for the women and as a Masters 1000 for the men. It will be the third straight year that Raducanu has played in Miami but she is yet to win a match there. In 2022 she lost her opening match to Katerina Siniakova before getting beaten by Bianca Andreescu 12 months later. 

Raducanu has won two out of five Tour-level matches played so far this year. Recently her agent, Max Eisenbud, hit back at those who have criticised the tennis star’s results since winning the US Open. Raducanu also missed a chunk of last season due to injury after undergoing wrist and ankle surgery. 

“The girl did everything backward. She skipped every step. She won the US Open, she went to the next tournament, she didn’t even know where the player lounge was, she didn’t know where the practice courts were,” Eisenbud told the Served With Andy Roddick podcast.
“I don’t think just being tough on her or critical on her like any other player [is wrong]. But she is still figuring it out. I just think that people should not be malicious.”

Other players to have received wild cards into Miami include Venus Williams, who is a three-time champion at the event but hasn’t won the title since 2001. The 43-year-old hasn’t played on the Tour since August and is currently ranked outside the world’s top 400. 

Carolina Wozniacki completes the line-up of former Grand Slam winners being given wild cards. The Dane was a Miami finalist back in 2017 and has made 12 appearances at the tournament. Earlier this week, she suffered a 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, loss to Anna Blinkova in the first round of the San Diego Open. 

As for the men’s tournament, the only confirmed wild card recipient is Kei Nishikori who will be making his first competitive start since July 2023. Recently the injury-stricken Japanese player added Thomas Johansson to his team. 

The Miami Open will get underway on March 17th.

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