NEW

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Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, while the FFT is reducing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend Roland Garros due to the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...
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Miami | Maternity rules to blame

Former World No 1 Serena Williams was handed the roughest of draws for Miami Open, and Tournament Director, James Blake is blaming the WTA, although spectators will relish the prospect of the encounter.

The 23-time Grand Slam-winning American was unseeded after taking 13 months off to have her first child and was drawn against the hottest ticket in town, the precocious Naomi Osaka, the Japanese 20-year-old who arrived in South Florida having lifted the Indian Wells title for her first major honour.

For someone who goes on maternity break, they should be protected. These kind of things shouldn’t happen. She has won this title so many times that she needs protection. “It’s not as if she left because of injury and lost her passion for the game. She had a kid which we should all be celebrating so when she comes back there should be a grace period where she can still be seeded. James Blake

Serena’s lengthy absence meant she was ranked 491 and although the 36-year-old could use a protected world standing to enter up to eight tournaments during a 12-month period to avoid qualifying, it did not apply to seedings.

Blake believes Williams is effectively being penalised for taking maternity leave by the WTA regulations.

Special seedings were sometimes applied to those players returning from long lay-offs but that rule was scrapped by the WTA.

Blake, the former US player and the new Tournament Director of the Miami Open believes the WTA have treated Williams harshly ahead of her opener with Osaka on Wednesday.

“I think they are going to start talking about changing the way some seedings are done and I hope they do,” Blake told AFP.

“For someone who goes on maternity break, they should be protected. These kind of things shouldn’t happen. She has won this title so many times that she needs protection.

“It’s not as if she left because of injury and lost her passion for the game. She had a kid which we should all be celebrating so when she comes back there should be a grace period where she can still be seeded.”

Williams faces a tough task in Miami, an event that she has won a record eight times.

She starts her campaign against rising star Osaka, and should she get through that match, World No 4 Elina Svitolina awaits in the second round.

Current World No 1 Simona Halep told reporters in Indian Wells that Williams ‘should have been the top seed’ in the draw.

“I think she should have been ranked as she left.” Said Halep.

“Not taking the ranking because she didn’t play tournaments, but just protected ranking for — I don’t know how many tournaments you have, like, eight. She could be the No 1 seed for that, for those tournaments. This is my opinion.”

There is yet to be any comment from the WTA regarding the current status of their maternity policy and if they do intend to review it.

Williams, who is a minority owner of the Dolphins, was all smiles as she helped unveil new plans for the Miami Open which will see the Hard Rock stadium converted into a 14,000-seater tennis arena while another 29 courts will be built in the car parks and surrounding area.

“For now I will just be a player, who knows what will happen in the future,” said Williams of her role in the new-look tournament.

“I feel every week, every day I am getting better. Having a part-ownership of the tournament is something that I will look forward to. I am always trying to inspire people to dream their biggest.”






Previous

Next

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.