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

It has been asked on many an occasion over the past few weeks – what punishment will be handed down on those who break the Covid-19 safety regulations at a tournament?

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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Millman defends Thiem

Australia’s John Millman has defended Dominic Thiem after the World No 3 refused to help fund lower-ranked players struggling during the coronavirus shutdown, while American Reilly Opelka has criticised ATP officials for not taking a pay cut to help overcome problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Look, players outside 100 are struggling all year round whether there is coronavirus or not. I don’t think it should come down for someone like Dominic to prop up the tour. John Millman

Millman says it should not be up to top-ranked players to ‘prop up the tour’, and pointed the finger at the ATP, WTA and ITF for not addressing pay disparity concerns.

Australian Open finalist Thiem, who has more than $37 million in career earnings, has been criticised for saying he had no interest in contributing to a proposed relief fund for lower-ranked players, saying ‘none of them are going to starve’ and he would rather give to people or organisations that really need it.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic, who is also the ATP Player Council President, has asked players to add to a fund to help lower-ranked players during the tour shutdown, which looks set to continue until at least early August.

Under the proposal, the top five players would donate about $50,000 each, while those between 50 and 100 would give up almost $10,000.

“Look, players outside 100 are struggling all year round whether there is coronavirus or not,” World No 43 Millman told AAP.

“I don’t think it should come down for someone like Dominic to prop up the tour.

“It should be managed better by the ATP, the WTA and the ITF.

“There should have been a bigger effort earlier on for these organisations to have made it a priority to grow the game and help people make money from the game.

Millman added that it was a shame that it took a pandemic, which shut down the sport in March, to spur discussion on tennis’ pay fairness concerns.

“My biggest problem is that it has taken coronavirus for us to be talking about it,” he said.

“There have been plenty of opportunities over the years to try and get more people making money out of the sport and I don’t think we have done a good enough job.”

Asked if he believed the debate would lead to a better distribution of prizemoney at tournaments, Millman said: “We will see. I have sat in Grand Slam meetings where it hasn’t been spoken about.

“I don’t know what the answer is, but there has to be a way better than the way we are currently doing it.

“Maybe this starts the discussion, but I won’t hold my breath.”

Reilly Opelka won the UTR Pro Match Series in West Palm Beach last week

© Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Meanwhile, USA’s Reilly Opelka, 22, criticised the ATP for not handling the coronavirus pandemic better, leaving players in the dark.

The World No 39 Opelka also wondered why the ATP executives had not taken a pay cut as WTA and ITF executives have done.

“The ATP? I think they couldn’t have handled it much worse. We’re completely left in the dark, we don’t know what’s going on,” Opelka told Racquet Magazine. “And the execs haven’t taken pay cuts.

“You know, the WTA execs are taking pay cuts, the WTA [players] have gotten first-round prize money at Indian Wells.

“I rented a really expensive house for two weeks there. Way in the red there. I don’t think it’s a good look when the ATP execs are gonna be making more money than Roger Federer’s prize money this year.

“And again, I don’t know what the reasoning is.

“We’ve been left in the dark completely as players so we don’t even know what they’re really doing right now.”

Opelka, who achieved a career-high ranking of No 31 toward the end of the last season, has earned $1,809,190 over the course of his short career and last week, the rising American won the UTR Pro Match Series exhibition event in West Palm Beach.



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