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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Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, while the FFT is reducing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend Roland Garros due to the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 | Staying on track

The conditions here are so perfect that it is not surprising that everyone seems to play their best tennis. The respective world No.1s are still on track to claim the men’s and women’s singles titles, but only Roger Federer looks like a champion-in-waiting.

Simona Halep keeps battling through, but far from convincingly, and all the other players in both draws have had moments of looking decidedly vulnerable. On the men’s side Hyeon Chung and Juan Martin Del Potro seem to be looking better and better as the tournament progresses, although the latter had to survive a tough three set battle against fellow countryman Leonardo Mayer on Wednesday.

Whilst the fans on site are seeing some fine matches, the absence of so many big name players will be a concern to some. The reasons for this are complex; injuries and illness we know about, for these have denuded other recent tournaments, but what has also been interesting here is the way veteran players like Feliciano Lopez, Philip Kohlschreiber and Marcos Baghdatis have been able to chalk up such good results. Add to that the success of doubles expert Pierre-Hugues Herbert in reaching the last sixteen of the singles and you have a decidedly odd-looking drawsheet as the men’s tournament enters its last four days.

Billie Jean King’s suggestion that men should start playing best of three set matches in the grand slams has received a muted response. Offered as a contribution to the equal-pay debate, her comments have gained little traction amongst the cognoscenti here. They do however focus attention on the fact that this is a rather strange time at the top of world tennis, with the leading stars being much older than is usual, and the younger generation neither fit enough nor consistent enough to replace them. If Grigor Dimitrov, Sascha Zverez or Dominic Thiem ever learn how to consistently win three sets out of five, Roger Federer and his fellow thirty-somethings had better watch out.

 






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