Category: Tennis

ATP, IMG Launch Legends Team Cup

Tomas Berdych, Tommy Haas and Radek Stepanek are the first players to compete to the new event.
The senior circuit will launch a team tour this summer.

The ATP, IMG and Top 12 Group are partnering to launch a new series of tennis team events as part of the ATP Champions Tour.

More: Pavlyuchenkova Pulls Plug on Season

The Legends Team Cup – ATP Champions Tour will pit two teams of tennis legends against each other across three action-packed, competitive three-day tournaments, with the first event set to take place in Pula, Croatia from August 1-4th.

Tennis Express

Eight-time Grand Slam winner Ivan Lendl and Wimbledon champion Pat Cash have been appointed as captains of the two seven-player teams that will face off at the three tournaments hosted in exclusive destinations across the world.

Alongside the non-playing captains, the first players to be announced for the series are two-time doubles Grand Slam champion Radek Štěpanek, former World No. 2 Tommy Haas, and Wimbledon finalist Tomáš Berdych.

The Legends Team Cup – ATP Champions Tour will announce the additional players over the coming weeks, with a team draft set to take place during the UK’s famous grass-court season, at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic’s ATP Champions Tour event at London’s Hurlingham Club. There, team captains Lendl and Cash will draft the full lineup of players into their respective teams, which they will go on to represent for the season. Locations of the second and third tournaments will then be revealed in the weeks leading up to the Pula event.

The Legends Team Cup – ATP Champions Tour will be played in spectacular venues at exclusive destinations for this one-of-a-kind series of events. The first location is Pula- Istria, Croatia, at the breathtaking Amphitheater, the second and grand finale sites will be revealed in the weeks leading up to the first event.

Each tournament day will consist of two singles and one doubles match, with the team with the most points at the end of the three days being crowned the winners. The teams will also play to become the series champions, which will be awarded at the end of the third tournament in November.

Željko Franulović, the Tournament Director for the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters for the past 17 years, will serve as Tournament Director for Legends Team Cup – ATP Champions Tour from July 1st.

Photo credit: Australian Open Facebook

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World No. 2 Krejcikova Signs with Fila

Reigning Roland Garros singles and doubles champion was named WTA Most Improved Player in 2021.
Barbora Krejcikova will sport a new look in her tournament tennis return.

World No. 2 Krejcikova has signed an endorsement deal with Fila, the brand announced today.

More: Pavlyuchenkova Pulls Plug on Season

It's a major signing for Fila, which saw its top brand ambassador, Ash Barty, retire after winning her third Grand Slam title at the Australian Open last January.

Reigning Roland Garros singles and doubles champion Krejcikova has been sidelined with an elbow injury since she lost to Jelena Ostapenko in Doha last February.

However, in a release announcing the pact, Fila said "Krejcikova will make her Fila debut as the defending champion in Paris, sporting the brand’s new Center Court Collection."

Krejcikova practiced in Paris today. Wearing taping across her elbow, Krejcikova said she's looking forward to wearing Fila on court.

"It is an honor to step onto the court and represent a brand with such an iconic history in the game," said Krejcikova. “I am grateful to Fila for the support and the opportunity to join the elite group of athletes who have worn the brand. I look forward to working together as I take my career to the next level." 

Krejcikova

Krejcikova delivered an outstanding 2021 season that saw her capture three singles titles at Strasbourg, Prague, and most notably, her first major in Paris.

The Roland Garros triumph was Krejcikova’s maiden major singles title, making her the first Czech woman to win the title since Hana Mandlikova in 1981.

In addition, Krejcikova also captured the Paris doubles title alongside partner Katerina Siniakova, capping off a clean sweep at the year’s second major tournament.

The 26-year-old Krejcikova also registered her first career singles appearance at the Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara and closed out the year by earning two of the WTA Tour’s season-ending awards: Doubles Team of the Year (with Siniakova) and Most Improved Player. Krejcikova continued winning form into 2022, collecting the Australian Open doubles title alongside Siniakova this past January, before the elbow injury stopped her season.

Prior to signing with Fila, Krejcikova wore Head clothes and shoes.

Photo credit: Fila

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Andreescu, Swiatek Talk Rome Face-Off

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek rides a 25-match winning streak into the Rome quarterfinals vs. Bianca Andreescu.
The first time Iga Swiatek met Bianca Andreescu on court it was a confidence builder.

When the pair square off for the first time as pros in the Rome quarterfinals on Friday, Andreescu will try to play streak buster.

Watch: Shapovalov Screams At Fans "Shut The F–k Up!"

World No. 1 Swiatek set up the clash of Grand Slam champions "winning ugly" against former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, 6-4, 6-1 today.

Reigning Rome champion Swiatek recalls her lone junior match vs. Andreescu as one that strengthened self-belief.

"I remember it was really tight. I remember it was Junior Fed Cup," Swiatek said. "It was kind of a breakthrough match for me because after that we beat Canada, we played against Russia and States. It was the first match I actually felt that I can do it and I can win with anybody, because she was also playing really solid game at that time."

"I remember I just was really proud of myself, yeah."

Tennis Express

The 21-year-old Andreescu saved six of seven break points stopping Petra Martic 6-4, 6-4 in one hour, 43 minutes today.

Andreescu, who took down 10th-seeded Emma Raducanu in an opening-round clash of US Open champions, said this quarterfinal duel is a dream come true.

“I’m definitely very excited,” Andreescu told Tennis Channel’s Prakash Amritraj afterward. “I usually don’t look at the draw before I play, but my coach before the first round said who do you want to play?

“I said is it Iga? And they’re like no. And actually, my second guess was Emma because I wanted to play both of them so I guess both of my dreams are coming true so I’m very excited.”

Photo credit: Getty

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John McEnroe Academy Scholarship Tryout Set for June 11th

The goal is to award full or partial scholarships to JMTA programs at SPORTIME Randall’s Island.
New York area juniors can play their way to a scholarship at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy.

The John McEnroe Tennis Academy’s (JMTA) will host its 10th annual tryout and scouting combine for juniors on Saturday, June 11th, as SPORTIME on Randall's Island in New York City.

Watch: Shapovalov Screams At Fans "Shut The F–k Up!"

The goal of both the tryout is to award full or partial scholarships to SPORTIME and JMTA programs at SPORTIME Randall’s Island, starting in fall 2022. The event is a joint initiative of the Johnny Mac Tennis Project (JMTP) and SPORTIME/JMTA. A 501(c)(3) charity.

JMTP strives to change young lives through its commitment and effort to remove the racial, economic and social barriers to success through tennis. Offering free tennis programs and means-tested scholarships to under-resourced young athletes from the NY Metropolitan area, JMTP provides a pathway to success through competitive tennis, leading to college scholarships, careers in the industry and, for a few, professional tennis careers.

Open only to players with tennis experience, ages 7-16, who do not currently participate in SPORTIME/JMTA programs, the tryout will take place on Saturday, June 11th , from 9-11 am, with check-in at 8 am.

Novak Djokovic

Participants will be evaluated by a Selection Committee, consisting of SPORTIME/JMTA directors, coaches and leaders, including JMTA Co-Directors Lawrence Kleger and Patrick McEnroe, and, of course, John McEnroe. The tryout will include tennis and athletic drills, point/match play and athletic/fitness testing.

“We look forward to our scholarship tryout day each year, as it is an opportunity to meet new talented athletes," said JMTA Co-Founder John McEnroe. “Our mission is to provide access to the great sport of tennis to those who may not otherwise have that opportunity. I look forward to another great tryout and I urge anyone interested in learning more to be sure to attend on June 11th.”

The scouting combine will be held from 11 am to noon, with check-in at 10:30 am, on Saturday, June 11th, and is open to kids, ages 6-10, with little or no tennis experience, who currently excel in other sports and/or who demonstrate an above-average athletic skill set.

The combine is publicized throughout SPORTIME Randall’s Island’s neighboring communities, including East Harlem, the South Bronx and Queens, although participants from other neighborhoods are welcome. Participants will engage in a variety of physical tests and games, designed by SPORTIME/JMTA coaches, to assess objective, measurable capacities such as speed, strength, agility and hand-eye coordination. Other attributes such as attitude, concentration, energy and competitive spirit will be considered in the awarding of scholarships.

Scholarship winners for both the Tryout and the Athletic Scouting Combine will be notified at a later date. Means testing is a requirement for JMTP scholarships, so winners will be required to submit requisite financial information prior to approval. SPORTIME Randall's Island and JMTP are located at One Randall’s Island, in Randall’s Island Park, Manhattan.

For more information, parents of interested players/athletes can email [email protected] or visit www.SportimeNY.com/JMTA.

Photo credits: Johnny Mac Tennis Project

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Djokovic, Tsitsipas Praise Alcaraz In Rome: ‘He’s The Talk Of The Sport’

Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas enter the Internazionali BNL d’Italia after semi-final losses in Madrid, but both men are feeling good about their games in Rome. Both have also fallen victim to the red-hot Carlos Alcaraz in recent weeks, Djokovic in Madrid and Tsitsipas in Miami and Barcelona.

With the young Spaniard the talk of tennis following his second ATP Masters 1000 win at the Mutua Madrid Open Sunday, the World No. 1 and No. 5 were asked for their perspectives on his rapid rise during their Monday press conferences. Alcaraz is up to a career-high of No. 6 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, just behind Tsitsipas.

“He definitely is special,” Djokovic said, answering the first question of his presser. “Already he’s breaking a lot of records as a teenager, winning two Masters events this year, a couple of 500s. So far he’s the best player in the world, no question, this year with the results that he’s been doing.”

Tsitsipas made similar comments, revealing that he looks up to the Spanish star nearly four-and-a-half years his junior.

“His tennis is very impressive,” said the 23-year-old. “I think he puts a lot of energy into every single shot. He is quick. He has a good reaction time. He reads the game well. He inspires me a lot. I really want to be like him. I look up to him.

“I know he’s at a young, early stage of his career. I can see him becoming big in a very short time. I’d really like to get to the level he is right now. I think he’s one of the best players in the world, to be honest. He has proved it with consistent results, thriving in the biggest tournaments. There is nothing you can take away from that.”

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Both Djokovic and Tsitsipas also commented on Alcaraz’s fearless mentality as he ascends to the top of the game.

“The way he was dealing with the pressure… In our match few days ago, how calm he was all the way till the [end] was impressive,” said Djokovic, who called the Spaniard “one of the main favourites” at Roland Garros. “He deserved to win the trophy. Everything about his game is really impressive. He’s a really complete player, can play equally well offensively and defensively. He’s the talk of the sport.”

Added Tsitsipas: “He plays very fresh and hungry, like has nothing to lose. It kind of reminds me of my early days when I was introduced to the ATP Tour. I didn’t really know what to expect along the way. I was just playing carelessly, completely free-spirited. It’s a nice thing to see.

“But with him in most of the draws, the lineup is getting even tougher. I will for sure have to work harder to get the results that I ever wanted.”

Djokovic will also be working hard to make sure he can level his ATP Head2Head against Alcaraz in their next meeting. After two strong weeks, reaching the Belgrade final and the Madrid semis in succession, the Serbian is edging closer to top form as he seeks a sixth title in Rome.

“I think it’s closer to [my] desired level every week,” he explained. “Madrid, even though I lost in the semi-finals, I still think I played really good tennis. Felt physically 100 per cent, even after an almost three-and-a-half-hour battle against Alcaraz. I recovered well the next day, was ready to go. That’s a positive and encouraging factor prior to Rome and also, of course, the big goal, which is Paris.

“I think I’m in the right direction. I know I can always play better, and I know that I’m very self-critical on the court. At the same time, realistically looking, I think the tennis, quality of tennis, level of tennis, is really high now. Hopefully I can maintain that level throughout this week and build, go deep in this tournament hopefully — that’s the goal — and come to Paris well-prepared.”

[NEWSLETTER FORM]

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Nadal: Adrenalized Alcaraz Nearly Unstoppable

"Carlos can win perfectly. I don't see any reason why he cannot win," Rafael Nadal said of Carlos Alcaraz's hopes vs. world No. 1.
By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, May 6, 2022

An adrenalized Carlos Alcaraz is practically invincible, says Grand Slam king Rafael Nadal.

A fired-up Alcaraz broke Nadal three times in the first set, suffered a fall to the court and a five-game slide in the second then recharged toppling Nadal 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to reach his maiden Madrid semifinal.

More: Alcaraz Knocks Nadal Out

In a battle of the ages, the 19-year-old Alcaraz made history as the first teenager to defeat the king of clay on dirt.

Tennis Express

The 21-time Grand Slam champion said when Alcaraz is firing on adrenaline fuel he's "unstoppable." Nadal asserts if Alcaraz can ride the adrenaline and minimize sloppy stretches of play he can upset world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in tomorrow's semifinals.

"Carlos can win perfectly. I don't see any reason why he cannot win," Nadal told the media in Madrid. "It's true that he cannot have the downside that he had on the second set, talking about today's match, but, well, it's true that Carlos plays a lot with adrenaline, with momentum. When adrenaline goes up, he's practically unstoppable, but then in some moments he commits errors, but it's logical because he plays with a lot of risk.

"It's his way of playing, and in that sense I think he has the level to be able to win anyone of the world. But what can happen tomorrow, we will see what happens."

World No. 1 Djokovic, who reportedly beat Alcaraz in a practice set earlier this week, praised the teenager's game and rise.

"Well, there is a lot of things that are special about him," Djokovic said of Alcaraz. "I mean, he has broken a lot of records as the youngest player, top 10, obviously in the recent decades, because we had some amazing champions like Michael Chang when he was 16, you know, won a slam and so forth.

"But, you know, nowadays we are not used to seeing somebody who is teenager and already getting to top 10 and playing on such a high level. His growth, his improvement, and his journey particularly the last six months has been amazing."

Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty

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Nadal: Alcaraz Is Better Than Me Today

King of clay talks challenge of potentially playing Carlos Alcaraz tomorrow.
By Alberto Amalfi | Thursday, May 5, 2022

Grand Slam king Rafael Nadal touts Carlos Alcaraz as a future Slam champion.

Today, Nadal celebrated Alcaraz's 19th birthday presenting him with a new honor. Nadal says the teenage phenom is now "better than me."

More: Nadal Saves Four Match Points in Madrid Thriller

Miami Open champion Alcaraz beat 2021 Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie, 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3 to set up a spectacular Spanish blockbuster quarterfinal rematch vs. Nadal in Madrid tomorrow.

Asked about facing Alcaraz for the second straight year in Madrid, Nadal said the Barcelona champion is the better player now.

"Well, it's a very, very tough match, of course. I think that today, he is better than me and he has a good dynamic, a good momentum," Nadal said of Alcaraz. "I am conscious on what we have right now. I think I am a very realistic person, and that doesn't take me to not believe that I can win or that I can do it, but today I think that Alcaraz is in a better physical state of mind, is more fit.

"I came here without playing. He's younger, so he has that extra energy. I'm clear who, from the beginning, has some kind of advantage in tomorrow's match. But in that regard, I will try to do as much as possible to be competitive. Of course tomorrow's match will try to win, but whatever the outcome is, that it's something positive for me in the future."

Tennis Express

Last May, a fired-up Nadal won nine of the first 10 games rampaging through Alcaraz's 18th birthday with a 6-1, 6-2 sweep to roar into the Mutua Madrid Open round of 16. They played an epic three-hour semifinal in Indian Wells in March with Nadal prevailing despite suffering a fractured rib.

Nadal knows this is a much more mature and confident Alcaraz from the teenager he toasted in Madrid last spring.

Though five-time Madrid champion Nadal is excited about the prospect of playing Alcaraz again, he said their 16-year age gap mutes the prospect of a rivalry.

"As a supporter of tennis and sportsperson, I think it's great to have a player like Carlos that has been able to reach this level and this strength," Nadal said. "I think he's a player that's going to give us a lot of good moments in the next, I don't know, 10, 12 years, 14. This is reality I'm talking about. Talking about rivalry, well, I don't know. If I had 8 or 10 years less, perhaps if Carlos had reached 10 years ago this moment, we could be talking about a new potential rivalry.

"I think that at this moment he's going to be someone that is going to win a lot of things, in my opinion, or at least he's going to have a lot of options to achieve good things."

Photo credit: Mutua Madrid Open Facebook

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Healing Power Helps Muguruza in Madrid

Garbiñe Muguruza cited a simple approach aiding her first Madrid win in four years.
Healing power helped Garbiñe Muguruza earn her first Madrid win in four years.

Playing her first match since Indian Wells, Muguruza saved seven of nine break points overcoming Australian No. 1 Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5, 6-2 in her Mutua Madrid Open opener.

More: Becker Sentenced to Jail

It was Muguruza's first Madrid win since she defeated Donna Vekic en route to the 2018 round of 16, which remains her best performance in seven prior appearances at the Magic Box.

A left shoulder injury pained Muguruza at Indian Wells. She said taking a break to fully heal was the best remedy.

"I felt like I needed it because I was training a lot, and my body was not really taking on the training," Muguruza told the media in Madrid. "It was one pain here, one pain there. It was accumulation of pain.

"So I said, you know what? I told my team, I think we should take 10 days at least off so I get to recover naturally my body."

Putting her racquet down gave her body proper time to repair—and permitted Muguruza to focus on preparing for clay season.

"As soon as I stopped playing, my shoulder start healing, my leg, my back, everything start to be where it should," Muguruza said. "I said, I think we should focus more this year on clay court. It was a natural feeling. You know, also the schedule, it's pretty intense.

"So I felt, you know, nothing's going to happen if I skip one or two tournaments if after I'm gonna come back and feel better."

While Muguruza grew up training on clay, her 2016 Roland Garros crown remains her lone-clay court tile in her collection of 10 career championships.

Tennis Express

The seventh-seeded Spaniard faces 37th-ranked Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina, who beat Sloane Stephens, next.

Muguruza concedes self-imposed pressure to perform her best in front of home fans—combined with the city's higher altitude which can pose problems controlling her flat drives—are among the reasons she's struggled in Madrid. After improving to 6-7 lifetime at the Mutua Madrid Open, Muguruza said she's taking a new approach this week.

"I think that I all the time thought that being the only tournament in Spain is, you know, it's a lot of pressure, because you only have one opportunity to really shine," Muguruza said. "You know, this year I said, you know what, the opposite, I'm here, it's a great tournament.

"Just go out there, play your best tennis and whatever happens happens instead of just putting that baggage, you know, in my back all the time."

Photo credit: Mutua Madrid Open Facebook

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Gauff Picks Alcaraz to win Roland Garros

Coco Gauff on why she's so high on world No. 9 Carlos Alcaraz. 
By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, April 29, 2022

Coco Gauff knows what it takes to make a deep run on Roland Garros' red clay.

In a clash of former French Open girls' champions, Gauff defeated Ons Jabeur 6-3, 6-1 charging into her first career Grand Slam quarterfinal in just her seventh major appearance at the 2021 Roland Garros.

More: Simona Halep Finds Fire

Assessing Roland Garros title contenders, Gauff tabs fellow 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz as "my favorite to win Roland Garros."

In a new interview with AS.com's Jaime Davila, Gauff calls Miami Open and Barcelona champion Alcaraz "an amazing tennis player" and one of her favorites to watch.

"Carlos is an amazing tennis player, I love watching him play," Gauff told AS.com. "I have known him for many years, we coincided in several tournaments while still children. I entered the professional circuit before, and I did well in my first tournaments. Now he's entered the men's circuit and he's doing really well.

"[Carlos is] someone I try to learn from, he's my age and I think even guys have a little harder time getting good results when they're so young. It is more common to see young girls having early success. But Carlos has the potential to go very, very far, and I always support him. In fact, it's my favorite to win Roland Garros."

Tennis Express

Gauff and partner Jessica Pegula made a winning doubles start in Madrid today.

After Pegula saved a match point edging Camila Giorgi 7-5, 2-6, 7-5 in singles, she joined forces in doubles with Gauff scoring an emphatic 6-1, 6-4 victory over the formidable team of Paula Badosa and Aryna Sabalenka.

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

A post shared by Coco Gauff (@cocogauff)

Gauff, who has sharpened her net skills in doubles and applied that aggression to singles, said she plans to keep playing both and reveals her secret to doubles success: She doesn't really practice, or stress, doubles.

"I see myself able to combine it. To be honest, I don't train any doubles," Gauff said. "People think that, since I'm doing well in it, I train a lot. And it's not like that, maybe the day before a match I do something.

"But I focus on preparing for singles, which is my priority. I love playing doubles and the successes are coming luckily, but I don't prepare too much."

Photo credit: Mutua Madrid Open Facebook

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Belarusian Tennis Federation Blasts Wimbledon

Wimbledon's ban "only incites hatred and intolerance on the basis of nationality," Belarusian Tennis Federation says.
Belarus has sent a blistering reply to Wimbledon's ban.

Wimbledon announced it has banned Russian and Belarusian players from the 2022 Championships in condemnation of Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

More: Djokovic Does Not Support Wimbledon Ban on Russians

The Belarusian Tennis Federation ripped the ban as as "destructive action" that "in no way contributes to the resolution of conflicts, but only incite hatred and intolerance on the basis of nationality."

Calling out "incompetence" in Wimbledon's decision making, the Belarusian Tennis Federation said in a statement this is a clear case of politics intruding on sport.

Tennis Express

The Federation also questioned why players from nations involved in past conflicts were not previously banned from the grass-court Grand Slam.

"Throughout tennis history, the world has experienced armed conflicts – in Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Yugoslavia and other countries, but never until now have tournament organizers excluded athletes from the UNITED STATES, Great Britain and other countries from participating, and other athletes have not pushed the public to divide tennis players on a national basis," the Belarusian Tennis Federation said. "We once again note the policy of double standards applied to the current situation.

"All this only confirms our confidence that world sport and international sports organizations have now been turned into an instrument of political pressure and manipulation and, unfortunately, have nothing to do with the development of sports and its popularization."

Last July, Belarusian No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka reached her maiden major semifinal at Wimbledon.

Pointing out Grand Slam champions including Novak Djokovic and Martina Navratilova have publicly opposed Wimbledon's ban, the BTF said it will take legal action to "neutralize the current situation and assures that it will continue to defend the rights of Belarusian tennis players to participate in international tournaments."

"Absolutely politicized decisions lead our entire sport to global destabilization – the ASIA-Pacific and the WTA have already sharply criticized the decision to suspend athletes from the tournament," the BTF said in its statement. "Famous athletes such as Novak Djokovic and Martina Navratilova also condemned the decision. The decision goes against the joint statement of international tennis organizations, which allowed the players of Belarus and Russia to their personal competitions in a neutral status.

"Obviously, the reason for such a tough decision was the direct pressure of the British government, for example, the statements of the Minister of Sports Nigel Huddleston about the need to allow Belarusian and Russian tennis players to participate in the tournament only after signing a special declaration condemning the special operation and providing guarantees that athletes do not support the current government in their countries and do not receive state funding. Such statements indicate the incompetence and ignorance of officials from the UK of the state system of supporting sports in Belarus and Russia."

Photo credit: Getty

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It’s Completely Discrimination Against Us – Rublev Disappointed in Wimbledon Ban

The Russian and his peers had hopes that an alternative decision might be made by Wimbledon organizers.
By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday April 21, 2022

World No.8 Andrey Rublev spoke to reporters about Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from this year’s Championships (and other grass-court events in the U.K. this summer) on Thursday at Belgrade, after he qualified for the quarterfinals with a 4-6, 7-6(1), 6-2 victory over Jiri Lehecka.

Tennis Express

Rublev says that he and several other players joined a call with Wimbledon management on Wednesday, and added that the players were committed to donating all their prize money to Ukrainian relief efforts.

“To be honest, the reasons that they gave, there is no even logic [for what] they propose,” Rublev said. “And I understand, for example, if they banned us—if they banned Russian players and Belarusian players—and at least it made like a half-percent or something of change or help. But it’s not gonna do anything and it’s not gonna change anything.

"Because the thing that’s happening now, it’s completely discrimination [against] us.”

Rublev said that he and other players hoped that Wimbledon would give them the chance to play, and added that they were ready to forfeit all of their prize money to do it.


“What we proposed to Wimbledon—and I hope that it will make sense and I hope that they will think about it—is to [give us] a chance to choose if we want to play or we don’t want to play,” he said. “And if there is a statement that we need to sign, on top of that, [we will give] all the prize money to humanitarian help—to the families who are suffering, to the kids who [are] suffering.”

The AELTC’s decision came after high-level meetings between the LTA and the British government. They left room to change the policy if there are signifcant changes in the week’s and months to come.

“If circumstances change materially between now and June, we will consider and respond accordingly,” The AELTC said.

The ban has been criticized by the ATP and WTA Tours, as well as icons Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and others.

Wimbledon says that their goal was to "limit Russia's global influence through the strongest means possible."

"In the circumstances of such unjustified and unprecedented military aggression, it would be unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships,” their statement read.

Photo credit: Serbia Open Facebook

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A Dive for the Ages – Tsitsipas Seals Win after Epic Flight in Monte-Carlo

The Greek has a reputation as one who can soar through the air – and he lived up to it on Friday in Monte-Carlo.By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday April 15, 2022

Stefanos Tsitsipas has never been shy to put his body on the line on a tennis court.

Tennis Express

He’s put on a masterclass in the art of diving over the course of his blossoming career, and the 23-year-old reminded us all of his diving aptitude again on Friday at Monte-Carlo as he pulled a rabbit out of a hat against Diego Schwartzman in the waning moments of his extraordinary 6-2, 6-7(3), 6-4 triumph.


Tsitsipas, who trailed 4-0 in the final set, says he didn’t start to believe he could win the match until after he struck that perfect dive on the penultimate point.

“I have to say I think the very last point probably,” Tsitsipas said, when asked when he realized he could win. “It was very close, extremely close. I don't know. I never really felt anything.

“I guess I was really close in the second set serving for the match. Didn't work out for me. That was probably the moment that I thought I had a big chance of closing it out. But Diego is Diego. I had to be Stefanos in the third set.”

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