Muguruza downs Konta to face Azarenka

On a day of attrition and compassion in Rome, Friday’s play at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia saw Johanna Konta fall to Garbiñe Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka comfort an injured Daria Kasatkina after a nasty tumble, and top seeds Simona Halep and Karolina Plíšková...

Nadal not obsessed with records

The two tournament favourites draw closer to settling this year’s Rome Masters 1000 title as they successfully reached the last eight on opposing sides of the draw with the second seeded Rafa Nadal seemingly having the easier passage so far.

Musetti continues his Roman run

At four-all in the second set the lights went out during the Italian Open which could have disrupted the concentration of Italy’s emerging starlet, the 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, who was on his way to eliminating another top player from the Rome Masters listings.

ATP and WTA Kremlin Cup tournaments cancelled

The ATP and WTA jointly announced on Friday that the 2020 Kremlin Cup tournaments in Moscow have been cancelled by a mandate from health officials in the Russian capital, where there has been a surge in coronavirus infections.

Osaka withdraws from Paris, fans reduced

Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, while the FFT is reducing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend Roland Garros due to the worsening coronavirus situation in the country.

On the day of the Bagel 

Bagels are pretty rare in pro tennis but in Rome on Thursday, Johanna Konta and Victoria Azarenka scored three between them - Konta taking one against clay-court specialist Irina-Camelia Begu, 6-0 6-4, while just five days after losing the US Open final, Azarenka...

Battling mental health issues to return to the court

In a short film released this week, the LTA follows 38-year-old tennis player Steven McCann from North London, as he shares his inspirational story of battling addiction to reignite his love and passion for the sport. The feature brings to life Steven’s journey to...

Fans to return in Paris

No one at the beginning of this Covid year could have predicted that we here at Tennis Threads would be writing the French Open in September, just a couple of weeks after the US Open had concluded!

Fed Cup rebrands as the Billie Jean King Cup

Tying in with the 50th Anniversary of the Fed Cup, the women’s team competition has been re-named the Billie Jean King Cup by the ITF, it was announced at a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Halep and Plíšková start Rome campaigns

Top seed Simona Halep overcame an early scare as she was broken 5 times by local wildcard Jasime Paolini in her opening match of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but moved into the second round smoothly enough, 6-3 6-4, on Wednesday, while No 2 seed Karolina Plíšková...
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Indian Wells | Rain hits people’s saturday

They don’t do outside courts at Indian Wells. All nine match courts are Stadiums, and on Saturday nearly all of them were full. Stadium 1 has a capacity of 16,500, making it the second biggest tennis arena in the world after Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York; Stadium 2, opened in 2014 with a charity match between John McEnroe and Larry Ellison, the CEO of Oracle and the owner of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, holds 8000; and Stadiums 3 to 9 hold between one thousand and four thousand each.

The first Saturday is traditionally the most popular day here, and even on an uncharacteristically cool and cloudy day in the desert upwards of fifty thousand fans came through the gates. When you consider that the only way to get to this sporting oasis is by road, that is some achievement. The atmosphere was one of a summer party, with a buzz of conversation and a sea of smiling faces everywhere you looked. They come to see the greats, and great tennis; but no matter who is playing, the fans are going to enjoy themselves.

The afternoon saw both the Williams sisters win on the main court, setting up a family affair in the third round. Roger Federer’s scheduled arrival at the start of the night session was delayed, as is often the case here, by a fascinating cut-and-thrust encounter between Grigor Dimitrov, looking more than ever the natural heir to Federer’s throne, and veteran Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. Verdasco has a “fast arm” and his groundstrokes can pierce any defence, the World No.4’s included. Add a first serve that still flies down at well over 130 miles per hour, and that spells trouble, as Dimitrov quickly discovered when Verdasco won the first set on a tiebreak. The Bulgarian upped his game to draw level, but Verdasco just wouldn’t go away and took the third decisively for a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-3 victory.

Federer and his Argentinian opponent Federico Delbonis arrived on court much later than expected, with many of the night session ticket holders still waiting outside for the last of the day session spectators to leave. To make things even more surreal, the spots of rain that had been falling for hours turned into a fine drizzle. Federer looked peeved, and winning the first set 6-3 did nothing to improve his mood. He was mishitting simple shots, and generally looking out of sorts. And then it rained, and at 2-2 in the second set, play was abandoned for the day. The night session crowd may have seen just 56 minutes of play, but they had seen the great Roger Federer. It doesn’t come much better than that.




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