No fireworks for Wimbledon

The 4th July, American Independence Day, is very different this year, and with no Championships at Wimbledon due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be no fireworks and fans must get their tennis fix virtually.

Zverev could be banned

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US and French Opens to allow spectators

The decision by the USTA and FFT to allow a limited number of spectators to their respective events comes as a bit of a surprise bearing in mind the disastrous Adria Tour mini-series where the Covid-19 spiked followed the disregard of safety protocols.

Wimbledon strawberries for NHS birthday celebrations

Ahead of the NHS’s 72nd birthday celebrations, the AELTC is saying thank you with a donation of 200 punnets of Wimbledon strawberries per day to NHS staff and frontline workers in London.

The men play for Wimbledon’s pineapple

They make their appearances over the final weekend of The Championships and are highly prized - the five Wimbledon Trophies, one of which proudly displays an unlikely pineapple on the top - but, sadly, will not be on show this year.

Serbian Prime Minister, Gomez and Tipsarevic enter the debate

The fall out of the Adria Tour continues as many struggle to find someone to lay the blame on. In the main that someone is Novak Djokovic who led the campaign for this mini circuit and as it has been repeatedly said, his intentions were good and it had the backing of...

Watson joins Progress Tour Women’s Championships field

Heather Watson has accepted a wildcard and will compete alongside GB Fed Cup teammates Harriet Dart and Katie Boulter at next month’s £30,000 Progress Tour Women’s Championships at the National Tennis Centre.

Wimbledon’s green grass of home

The courts at Wimbledon are lush and green but absent are the world’s best players, who should be completing the first round of matches today had The Championships not been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the ‘doughnut’ versus the ‘rat’

Nick Kyrgios and Boris Becker have got themselves embroiled in a major bust-up over Alexander Zverev’s recent escapade, namely caught on video partying after the cancellation of the Adria Tour which left a number of players and staff testing positive for the Covid-19...

Murray Trophy – Glasgow 2020 postponed

The Murray Trophy, an ATP Challenger tournament scheduled for 13-20 September at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow, has been postponed until 2021 due to the enforced suspension of professional tennis because of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the subsequent...
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Brisbane | Djokovic raises concerns ; Kyrgios leads fundraising

Novak DjoNovak Djokovic has called on the Australian Open organisers to consider delaying the event due to start on January 20 at Melbourne as the haze from the bushfires raging around the area could threaten players’ health.

But health is a concern for me and for anybody. Novak Djokovic

With fires getting closer to Melbourne the city is getting blanketed by smoke created by the fires burning to the east of the city compromising air quality.

Djokovic, president of the ATP Players Council, said in the early hours of Sunday in Brisbane where he is playing in the ATP Cup, that any delay would be a last resort, but it needed to be considered.

Responding to a question from the media about the bushfires, Djokovic admitted that it was a fair question.

“Obviously, you have to always… because of some extreme weather and conditions, you just have to consider it.

“But I think that’s probably the very, very last option for anything. I think they’re going to try to do anything to not delay in terms of days and when it starts.

“I mean, and I understand why, but if it comes down to those conditions affecting the health of players, I think we should definitely consider it.”

The appalling bushfires have been raging in Australia for weeks, leaving 24 dead and destroying hundreds of properties.

The situation is not being ignored by officials who reacted to the conditions when they moved an ATP Challenger and ITF World Tennis Tour event from Canberra to Bendigo.

They said play would not have been possible in the Australian capital which has been choked by smoke.

Djokovic likened the air quality problem to those experienced by players in China but pointed out the fires had created an unprecedented situation.

He himself had not spoken to the TA authorities but his team had with Craig Tiley, the head of the national governing body.

“They’re obviously tracking the situation every single day as it’s evolving and hopefully calming down with the smoke and fires,” he said. “I think they will, if it continues the same way and if the quality of air is affected… I think Tennis Australia probably will be forced to, I think, create some rules about it.

“I mean, it’s tough for them because scheduling has to be respected in terms of play and the Australian Open starts at a certain time, so there’s a lot of different things involved.

“But health is a concern for me and for anybody.”

He confirmed the ATP Players’ Council was due to meet before the Australian Open and the issue would be on the agenda.

Nick Kyrgios gets the fundraising ball rolling

Meanwhile Nick Kyrgios, the bad boy of Australian tennis, has started a major campaign to raise funds for those afflicted by the devastating bushfires by donating $200 for every ace he hits during the summer.

The situation in Canberra, his home town, was clearly in his mind when he spoke after hitting 20 aces during his first match at the ATP Cup in Brisbane raising the first $4000 for the fund.

His gesture has been followed by his compatriots, including Alex de Minaur, John Millman, Dylan Alcott and Samantha Stosur.

It has also prompted the ATP Cup organisers to promise a further $100 per ace for every ace hit during the event with their donation going to the Australian Red Cross bushfire relief and recovery efforts.

It was an emotional Kyrgios who spoke after his victory on the opening day of the event and when it was pointed out what his first contribution had raised the spectators applauded his efforts.

“I don’t really care about the praise too much. We’ve got the ability and the platform to do something. My home town is Canberra and we’ve got the most toxic air in the world at the moment, that’s pretty sad,” he declared. “It’s tough”.

He then apologised as he wiped tears from his eyes before continuing.

“It’s all going to all the families, firefighters, animals, everyone who is losing homes, losing families … it’s a real thing.

“It’s bigger than tennis,”

He added: “It’s tough to go out there and concentrate on tennis, to be honest. Every ace I was hitting that’s all I was thinking about.

“Every time I stepped up to the line that’s all I was thinking about”.

His efforts have been recognised by those in authority and his request that an exhibition match be organised to raise more funds, has been agreed.

A “Rally for Relief” exhibition match will now be scheduled for the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne on January 15th.



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