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Some of the stories in and around the second week of the US Open.

I heard that the Queen was coming and I literally said to myself, ‘I’m going to be there. It might be my one and only chance and I’m going to win’. So I had this destiny in a way. It was a motivation because everybody gets very nervous at all these big events so the determination has to override the trepidation. Virginia Wade

Virginia Wade reflects key role The Queen played in her Wimbledon victory

The late Queen presented Virginia Wade with the Wimbledon trophy in 1977 on one of only 4 visits she made to The Championships, while she also spent time with Her Majesty on her next visit in 2010.

After watching the TV coverage from her home in New York, she told the PA news agency: “I was totally wrung out by the end of the day watching it all.

“Not only is it a very sad thing but also such an extraordinary historical story and all the stages of her life. It was very moving to watch. I think when somebody dies when they’re older it’s a different sort of grief. It’s very final.

“She was for so many years a link to the past. The Queen was just an extraordinary person. I know she meant so much to so many people but to me she really meant a lot.

“She was the extra motivation for me to get to the final of Wimbledon and then win.

“I was fortunate enough to get invited to Buckingham Palace in a very small group with The Queen. I was very fortunate when The Queen came to Wimbledon in 2010.

“We sat at lunch at a small table. There was Roger Taylor, Ann Jones, Angela Mortimer. I think there were only eight of us. Roger was completely taken with her. She was so intelligent, just completely on the ball.

“Every meeting you had with The Queen was memorable. I had quite a few just shaking hands and not saying anything but it was really special to get to know her in a small way, to find there was a real person at the other end and with no airs and graces.

“She was the most important woman in the world and she was totally down to earth. She had a very definite sense of humour and she was very warm but I don’t think she stood any nonsense at all.”

Their 1977 meeting is the one that has gone down in history, as the Queen marked her Silver Jubilee by presenting the trophy at the women’s final and Wade resolved to be the one receiving it.

Wade was nearly 32 and had won the US Open and Australian Open titles several years before but had never been beyond the semi-finals at Wimbledon.

“They closed the entries for Wimbledon about six weeks before and I was thinking, ‘I’ve never fulfilled my potential at Wimbledon and I’m running out of time here’,” she said. “Then I heard that the Queen was coming and I literally said to myself, ‘I’m going to be there. It might be my one and only chance and I’m going to win’. So I had this destiny in a way.

“It was a motivation because everybody gets very nervous at all these big events so the determination has to override the trepidation.”

Footage of Wade receiving the trophy, her pink cardigan matching The Queen’s outfit, has been shown numerous times since and remains one of the monarch’s most famous sporting occasions.

Princess Diana’s death overshadowed Rusedski’s greatest moment

The former British No 1 made his one and only career Grand Slam final in the week of Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris, 25 years ago

In New York, it was a showpiece occasion: the first men’s final in the newly built stadium, named after the great Arthur Ashe, on one of the biggest sporting weekends of the year.

In Britain, people barely noticed that Greg Rusedski had become the first British man to reach a Grand Slam final for 20 years. Instead, the country was in mourning.

The seismic impact of what happened in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, Paris on the night of 31 August 1997 cannot be overstated, when Princess Diana was a passenger in a car that crashed and she was killed.

Three thousand miles away, Rusedski was on the run of his life, arriving in New York never having won a match there, garnering just 2 sets in his 4 previous visits.

“God was that 25 years ago? It feels like yesterday,” Rusedski told ‘i’ recently. “It was the first year ever of the Arthur Ashe Stadium, so everything was new and it was exciting.

“My preparation was good in the run-up. I didn’t lose a set in the first week.”

Then the news, which broke overnight in the UK, hit TV screens in primetime in the US, the home of rolling television news.

Once the UK woke up, almost all professional sport was called off out of respect. Rusedski meanwhile had no choice but to play on, wearing a black ribbon of mourning on his shirt.

“I obviously felt terribly sad for Harry and William because for anybody losing their mother, no matter whether it’s Princess Diana or anybody, is a terrible time,” Rusedski added. “So sport was the least important thing in the country at the time, but I had people send me nice messages who watched and people called up to wish me well.”

His progress in the tournament continued unabated, but after a win over 1996 champion Richard Krajicek, Rusedski started to feel ill before his semi-final, which took place on the same day as Diana’s funeral.

“I didn’t have a great record against [Jonas] Björkman and I beat him in five sets, the epic way, to get into my first slam final,” he recalled

Rusedski prepared to play Australia’s Pat Rafter in the final on 7 September, a week after Diana’s death, but his illness was getting worse, and he went to see a throat specialist who recommended a steroid shot, the USTA offering to arrange a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) from anti-doping rules to allow him to take it.

“They were wondering if I was going to pull out,” Rusedski says, his voice tinged with regret. “So they were legally allowed to give me TUE but I decided against it.

“There is a little part of my back of my mind thinking, ‘Should I have taken it?’ because in the fourth set I got a little bit tired.

“I’d just won the third and then Rafter broke and that was a match and I was like, ‘What if? Could, shoulda, woulda. What if I could have pushed that into fifth?’

“I’ll never know, I might not have ever won. I still might have lost. But you, kind of, have that little thing in the back of your head that says, ‘What if?’

“I thought at the time I just didn’t think it was right [take the TUE] and that’s why I didn’t do it.”

Rusedski lost to Rafter, the No 13 seed, who would go on to defend the title a year later and reach two Wimbledon finals.

The British No 1 was gutted but flew home on Concorde to compete in Bournemouth, few greeted him at the airport.

Rusedski won1997’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year, something he holds dear as it puts him alongside Virginia Wade, Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu. It was the kind of recognition he would have got at the time of the final itself, were it not for the circumstances.

Serena Williams swan-song breaks records

Serena Williams, considered by many to be the greatest women’s tennis player ever, is also the GOAT on   Twitter among female athletes.

Williams was defeated by Ajla Tomlijanovic of Australia during their women’s singles 3rd-round match at the US Open in a loss that likely marks the end of the American’s 27-year tennis career, as she earlier this month said she planned to ‘evolve away from tennis’.

“It’s been the most incredible ride and journey I’ve ever been on in my life,” an emotional Williams said in an on-court interview after the match, which was broadcast on ESPN.

Twitter Sports then announced that the 23-time Grand Slam champion was the most tweeted about female athlete ever on the social network.

According to Twitter, 74% of those who tweeted about Serena in August and through 2 September had not previously tweeted about her all year.

On the first day of the US Open tournament, Twitter launched an exclusive GOAT emoji — with a tennis skirt and racket — to honour Williams’ final tournament and greatest-of-all-time-level career.

The special emoji appears in tweets that include the following hashtags: #Serena, #SerenaWilliams and #ThankYouSerena. She is among an elite group of athletes whom Twitter has introduced a GOAT hashmoji alongside the likes of Tom Brady, Simone Biles, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Williams’ final match also was the most watched tennis match in the history of host broadcaster ESPN, as an average of 4.6 million viewers watched her lose to Tomljanovic, 7-5 6-7 6-1, breaking the previous record of 3.9 million viewers for the 2012 Wimbledon men’s singles final between Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Britain’s Sir Andy Murray.

The channel reported a 101 per cent increase in viewing numbers from the first 5 days of the US Open compared to last year’s tournament, averaging at 1.1 million across its networks.


Margaret Court and husband Barry seen here in the Royal Box at Wimbledon this summer

© Julian Finney/Getty Images

Margaret Court slams Serena

Margaret Court took a swipe at Serena Williams when she broke her silence over the drama surrounding the ‘GOAT’ debate, claiming the American had ‘never admired her’ despite the fact she holds the record for most Grand Slam titles.

The 80-year-old is considered by many to be the greatest female player of all time (GOAT) after winning 24 slams, and a total of 192 titles in an illustrious career.

Williams retired just one Major short of Court’s record, and bizarrely claimed in the lead-up to the US Open that she had ‘already broken the record’, citing the fact 13 of Court’s wins came in the amateur era.

The Aussie has previously declined to comment on Williams, until now.

“Serena, I’ve admired her as a player, but I don’t think she has ever admired me,” said Court, whose record at the Majors included singles, doubles and mixed, and amounted to 64 titles to Williams’ 39, a huge difference between the pair on the biggest of stages.

Yet Court, and her outstanding record, have been completely glossed over and almost airbrushed from history over the past decade or so, probably because of her controversial and outspoken views on gay marriage being legalised in Australia.

The Pentecostal Minister said she has copped ‘a lot of bullying’ over her beliefs, and while they are controversial and hurtful to many, they are not illegal, and certainly do not change what she achieved in tennis.

“I became a Christian when I was No 1 in the world,” she explained. “You will never change me from that.”

Williams claimed that having a baby, her daughter Olympia is 5, destroyed her chances of winning more Grand Slams.

“The way I see it, I should have had 30-plus Grand Slams. I had my chances after coming back from giving birth,” said Williams. “I went from a C-section to a second pulmonary embolism to a Grand Slam final. I played while breastfeeding. I played through postpartum depression.”

Court refuted that argument, saying she too had children during her tennis career.

“I came back after two babies!” she said. “After having the first baby, I won three out of the four slams. And Serena hasn’t won a slam since.

“I would love to have played in this era – I think it’s so much easier.

“As amateurs, we had to play every week, because we didn’t have any money. Now, they can take off whenever they want, fly back whenever they want.

“We would be away for 10 months. That’s why I first retired in 1965, because I used to get homesick,” she added.

Some argue that Court’s achievements cannot be compared to players today because 13 of her Grand Slam triumphs occurred before the Open Era, while it has been suggested that her 11 Australian Open titles have less value than Williams’ total of 7.

“I often hear Billie Jean [King] saying that people didn’t come down to Australia in my early years,” Court said “But Maria Bueno, the World No 1, came down. So did Christine Truman, Ann Haydon and Darlene Hard.

“Plus, Australia had some wonderful players. We had five girls in the top 10. Lesley Bowrey won two French Opens.”

Draper’s dad airbrushed from story of his rise

British media at the US Open in New York were alerted by the LTA’s communications operation to a potentially helpful piece on their website about Jack Draper, the rising star of the domestic game.

Published ahead of his 3rd-round match against Karen Khachanov, from which he was forced to retire, it told the story of his progress from promising junior to the world’s top 50.

The press pack was bemused to find one of the most interesting biographical facts had been airbrushed from this official history – there was no mention that Jack’s father Roger was Chief Executive of the LTA from 2006 to 2013.

Two fans removed from US Open after haircut prank

Two US Open fans were removed from the stands at Arthur Ashe Stadium after drawing attention away from the Nick Kyrgios-Karen Khachanov quarter-final match by orchestrating a haircut prank when one buz-cut the other’s head.

They had clippers and the sort of cape a barber usually uses to keep a customer clean, and, soon enough, social media users were excited about how a YouTuber known for his pranks had pulled this one off.

Tournament security removed the two from the match.

“When someone saw it, security went to the two individuals,” USTA spokesman Brendan McIntyre said, adding: “They were escorted out of their seats and then off the grounds for disruption of play

“There’s a first time for anything.”

Khachanov went on to defeat Kyrgios, 7-5 4-6 7-5 6-7(3) 6-4, to advance to his first career Grand Slam semi-final.


Simona Halep's divorce from husband Toni Iuruc is said to be in part because of the coaching contract with Patrick Mouratoglou, who has helped her regain the form that took her to the World No 1 spot and two Grand Slam titles.

© Julian Finney/Getty Images

Halep to divorce billionaire husband Toni Iuruc

Simona Halep’s shock 1st-round exit at this year’s US Open was followed by reports she is getting divorced from her husband, Romanian business tycoon Toni Iuruc.

The former World No 1 and two-time Grand Slam winner and the billionaire were married on 15 September last year, with news of their separation breaking just days out from their first wedding anniversary.

Iuruc, a Macedonian who had been married twice before he started dating Halep in 2018, confirmed the separation to Romanian reporters.

“We decided together with Simona to break up,” he said. “Stop insisting, it’s my last public appearance.

“The rest will be handled by the lawyers in the most civilised way possible. Thank you for understanding.”

Halep, 30, fell at the first hurdle at Flushing Meadows, losing to 124th-ranked Ukrainian qualifier Daria Snigur in 3 sets despite entering the tournament after winning the WTA 1000 event in Toronto.

Halep and her husband’s religious marriage was to have taken place in November, but the rumoured reason for the split is the big distance between the two.

This week, Halep took to Instagramto confirm the news and requested the media to respect her privacy.

“Toni and I decided by mutual consent to go our separate ways,” Halep wrote on Instagram Story. “I would like the press to respect our privacy, and treat this subject with decency and discretion.”

A later report by Romanian tabloid Cancan suggested that Halep’s coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, may have contributed to the couple’s split.

Cancan claims that Halep signed a contract with Mouratoglou in April and that Iuruc has not attended any of her matches since.

The tabloid also suggested that at Roland Garros, where Halep lost in the 2nd-round, Mouratoglou had posted a message in which he took the blame, prompting the Romanian to defend her coach and fire her manager Virginia Ruzici ahead of signing a management agreement with a Swede, Nina Wennerstrom, Mouratoglou’s close collaborator.

Wennerstrom, a former tennis player, is the most influential woman in Scandinavian sports.

Also, even though Halep trains at Mouratoglou’s academy on the Côte d’Azur, Iuruc has never been there with her and she is now apparently is looking to buy a home there.

Nadal furious after video of wife leaked online

Rafael Nadal was reportedly furious after a video was leaked online of his pregnant wife Xisca Perello] being admitted to hospital in Spain.

Xisca, who is believed to be about 32 weeks pregnant, was admitted to hospital late last month as a precaution due to complications with her pregnancy, but things took a nasty twist after the video emerged on social media.

Nadal and the couple’s families were reportedly ‘very angry’ about the leaked video and considered moving Xisca to a different facility after claiming private medical information was also leaked to the media.

They were said to be ‘looking for the guilty parties’.

Xisca reportedly was out of danger but would remain in hospital as a precaution.

The Spanish champion confirmed the wonderful news in a pre-tournament press conference.

“If everything goes well, I’m going to be a father,” he said. “I’m not used to talking about my private life.

“We live more peacefully with a lower profile. I don’t expect that my life will change much with it.”

The couple are reportedly having a baby boy, due to arrive in October.

16-Year-Old Czech says father will no longer pat her butt

Czech qualifier Sara Bejlek, who lost in the first round of the US Open, found herself in hot water when her father and her coach celebrated the 16-year old’s win in her final qualifying match by hugging her and patting her backside.

“It was a spontaneous reaction of the whole team. We rejoiced,” Bejlek explained to reporters. “It may certainly seem inconvenient and uncomfortable to some, but we have already discussed it with the team. It won’t happen again.”

A jubilant Bejlek defeated Britain’s Heather Watson to advance to her first US Open main draw but fell in the first round on Monday to Liudmila Samsonova, 6-1 6-3.

“Dad is my dad and always will be. And I’ve known the coach since I was 8 years old. He tapes me, he massages me,” Bejlek said when asked about the video. “If something similar happened in the Czech Republic, no one would deal with it.

“But since we are in America, everyone comments on it.”


Kim Clijsters, seen here with Todd Martin, ITHF CEO, is the new Honorary President of the International Tennis Hall of Fame

© Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Clijsters named Honorary President of the ITHF

As Honorary President, Kim Clijsters will represent the organisation in an ambassadorial role publicly and will also collaborate with ITHF staff and tennis industry partners on initiatives that support the ITHF’s mission of preserving and celebrating tennis history.

This will include a focus on connecting current players with tennis history and with the ITHF.

Additionally, Clijsters will work in close partnership with Hall of Famer Gigi Fernandez, who has recently been named Hall of Famer Vice Chair as a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame Board of Governors.

Together, Clijsters and Fernandez will put a special emphasis on fostering community among the Hall of Famers.

“I am thrilled and humbled by this new opportunity to serve the sport,” Clijsters said. “The International Tennis Hall of Fame does important, inspiring work through preservation efforts, impactful content, and celebrations.

“I am always eager to find a new way to be actively involved in tennis.

“I look forward to helping the organisation continue to grow and thrive, and to connecting tennis fans around the world with our sport’s incredible history.”

Clijsters is the first female and first European to serve in this capacity as a lead ambassador for the International Tennis Hall of Fame, succeeding Stan Smith.

She was inducted into the ITHF in 2017, in recognition of her extraordinary career, which included achieving the World No 1 ranking in both singles and doubles, and winning 6 major titles, 4 in singles and 2 in doubles.

Clijsters is currently a broadcaster for Eurosport.

WTA criticised for Texas Finals

The WTA announced during the US Open that this year’s WTA Finals tournament will be held in Fort Worth, Texas, but there is criticism over the choice of venue, given the cruelty of the Texas anti-abortion laws that make this a terrible place to host the season-ending championships.

Billie Jean King, the WTA’s founder, led the women’s movement in the 1970s, and has been a trail-blazer ever since but, according to some, putting the Finals in a state that has been one of the most draconian when it comes to post-Roe law-making is not a good move.

Texas is the state that pioneered a program to incentivise people to sue someone they suspected was involved in helping someone get an abortion, and to receive up to $10,000 in damages from that person if they win in court.

Because a person who is suing based on this law does not have to be correct, and there are no damages for anyone who has to defend an unjust suit, the opportunity for mischief is obvious.

Nor are there any exceptions in the cases of rape, incest, or the life of the mother in Texas, where the laws supersede the advice of doctors, the well-being of the mother, and the simple kindness of letting a family grieve the loss of an anticipated addition.

Many feel the WTA should have taken this into account when deciding where to host its Finals, especially since the organisation made an incredibly principled stand when it came to China after Peng Shuai was detained before the Beijing Olympics.

Peng had accused a Chinese official of sexual misconduct and assault on a social media post, but then the post was scrubbed, and Peng was kept from contact with the WTA and friends.

The WTA pulled its tournaments out of China, including the WTA Finals, which took a significant financial hit, and is the reason why this year’s tournament needed a new location.

Osaka identifies reason for disappointing US Open first round loss

Naomi Osaka’s US Open campaign ended in the 1st-round in a loss to Danielle Collins because she played ‘a bit too defensively’.

The 2018 US Open champion exited this year’s tournament after Collins handed her a 7-6 5) 6-3 loss, her 4th in a row.

“I didn’t really trust my forehand that much, and I think that maybe you could see that a little bit,” she said. “I also felt like I was on my back foot a lot.

“So, yeah, overall I wouldn’t say that I played very well, but I tried the hardest with what I could do. I feel like I lost in the first round of France, too, so, This year hasn’t really been a great year.

“I mean, it was pretty hard for me. I think it was just special to play on Ashe. I think a lot of players would die for that opportunity. For the tournament to let me still play on that even though I’m unseeded, I’m very thankful.”

Osaka sells modernist Beverly Hills home

While her dreams of winning the 2022 US Open were crushed early, it was reported that 24-year-old Naomi Osaka has sold her home in Los Angeles and was viewing New York City condos priced up to $6 million.

The very first home she ever purchased, a strikingly angular and contemporary residence in Beverley Hills, was reportedly sold in an off-market deal inked in late August for $8.7 million, which turned in a substantial profit over the $6.9 million she paid for the property 3 years ago, when she bought the house from pop music star Nick Jonas.

The home was purchased by Bosnian-born tech entrepreneur Milun Tesovic, 37, a partner at Uber co-founder‘s Expa venture capital fund.

This is not the only expensive LA home owned by Tesovic who, less than two years ago, paid $9.6 million for a Hollywood Hills mansion sold by Nile Niami, that was previously owned by Scooter Braun.

The former Osaka residence is tucked deep into the mountains above Beverly Hills, in a neighbourhood known as Beverly Hills Post Office.

Originally built in 1965 but completely reconstructed and expanded in 2016, the 3,000-square-foot main structure sprawls over its half-acre hillside lot, offering 3 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.

Walls of disappearing glass doors spill out to a flat backyard with a grassy lawn and a swimming pool hugged by a wooden deck.

There’s also a one-bed, one-bath guesthouse with a gym seemingly cantilevered over the canyon below, and backyard views take in the rugged surrounding hills.

Osaka has moved to the San Fernando Valley, where earlier this year she shelled out $6.3 million for Nick Lachey’s big Tarzana estate.


Martina Navratilova, seen here with her latest canine friend Lulu, was one of the first to have a dog with her on tour

© Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Dogs are the new coaches on tour

Psychologists say dogs can help players ‘decompress’ and relax between matches, while Bianca Andreescu actually looks to her dog for support during the match.

There were a surprising number of dogs at the US Open this year, not just those specially trained hounds and German shepherds held by police officers, sniffing out trouble, many in the locker room also.

Competitors are given dispensation not necessarily afforded to fans to bring their dogs to the US Open.

“Players are allowed to bring their dogs on site, but not permitted to bring them on court,” a USTA source said.

This did not appear to apply to practice courts, with Serena Williams’ dog – a Yorkshire Terrier named Christopher ‘Chip’ Rafael Nadal – a regular attendee at her practice sessions this year.

Fans may bring animals on site if they are service animals and are ‘harnessed, leashed or tethered’.

Some fans were confused to see a black-and-white Dalmatian in the stands seemingly watching Carlos Alcaraz’s two matches, its red jacket with a medical symbol indicated its role as a service animal, rather than just a pet.

Those wandering into Louis Armstrong Stadium to watch Andreescu’s clash with Beatriz Haddad Maia may have seen the Canadian player’s mother Maria carry a slightly furrier handbag than normal, containing Andreescu’s toy poodle Coco.

“Usually, tournaments allow dogs. Sometimes.. I don’t necessarily sneak her in, but I’ll talk to some people, and they’ll be like, ‘OK … and let her in’,” Andreescu said.

“During my matches she’s the best. She’s super quiet, she stays in her little bag.

“My mom will hold her up sometimes so I can look at her, so I can smile if I’m stressed out. It really helps. It’s more for me than the cameras

“Whenever I’m in her presence, I’m never thinking anything negative. It’s about being in the present moment too: all I’m thinking about is the dog.”

Andreescu may now have been joined by any number of players bringing dogs on tour, from Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams to John Isner and Jiri Vesely, but the trend was started long before she ever set foot on a match court.

Martina Navratilova adopted a stray called Racket, who was found abandoned at the side of the road in Dallas, back in 1976 and took the dog everywhere she went on tour.

“You’re trying to bring some kind of normalcy to a very abnormal lifestyle – some kind of consistency and constancy,” Navratilova, who has appeared at Flushing Meadows this year with her dog Lulu, told The New York Times back in 2009.

Judy Murray heading to Rutherglen Tennis Club for Davis Cup inspired event

Rutherglen Lawn Tennis Club are excited to welcome Judy Murray back to their courts for an action-packed ‘Mini Murray Day’ that will help promote the Davis Cup being played in Glasgow.

Judy, who helped open the club’s Burnside courts in 2017 and has dropped by for visits down the years, will make her latest appearance on Saturday, 10 September, ahead of elite tennis coming to Scotland later in the month.

She will be in town to see son Sir Andy compete for Great Britain in Group D of the Davis Cup at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, where the team will face United States, Netherlands and Kazakhstan between 13-18 September.

It is the first time in 7 years that Andy Murray has played competitive tennis on home soil as he continues to work his way back up the world rankings following hip surgery in 2019 .

The Mini Murray day sees Judy host tennis fun for all ages, including parent and child games, adult beginner sessions, a team doubles competition, fun fitness circles, a girls-only ‘miss-hits’ session and a Battle of the Brits skills challenge.

ITF posts $5.5 million deficit

The ITF has posted a second consecutive annual deficit, as COVID-19 continued to cast a long shadow, with the pandemic costing the governing body it $75.2 million (£64.3 million/€75 million) in revenues over two years.

Aggregate income across 2020 and 2021 amounted to $102.2 million (£87.4 million/€102 million), so this amounts to a hefty hit.

At the end of 2021, nonetheless, the body’s reserves totalled $44.4 million (£38 million/€44.4 million) – an adequate level.

The overall deficit was down somewhat from 2020, at $5.5 million (£4.7 million/€5.5 million) versus $6.9 million (£5.9 million/€6.9 million).

Annual income recovered to $66.6 million (£56.9 million/€66.5 million), nearly double the previous year’s $35.6 million (£30.4 million/€35.6 million), though still well below 2019’s $88.7 million (£75.8 million/€88.6 million).

The Davis Cup licence fee accounted for $19.7 million (£16.8 million/€19.7 million) of this.

The men’s team competition took two years to complete and was won by a Russian Tennis Federation team.

The women’s counterpart, the Billie Jean King Cup, was also played over two years, and was also won by the Russian Tennis Federation, with the finals being played last November in Prague.

The hosting fee contributed only $3 million (£2.57 million/€3 million) to the ITF’s 2021 income, down from $5 million (£4.275 million/€5 million) in 2020.

René Stammbach, chairman of the ITF’s finance committee, attributed this to termination of the original contract to host the event in Budapest.

Notes to the new ITF accounts reveal that the ITF filed a request for arbitration with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and while a hearing is said to have taken place after the balance-sheet date, no decision had been communicated by the time the financial statements were signed.

The note states that there are ‘a range of potential outcomes from the hearing’.

These include ‘a contingent liability up to a maximum of $8 million (£6.8 million/€8 million) and a contingent asset up to a maximum of $52 million (£44.5 million/€52 million)’.

Total expenses surged to $76.7 million (£65.6 million/€76.6 million) in 2021, up from $47.5 million (£40.6 million/€47.5 million) a year earlier, with the professional game absorbing $45.5 million (£38.9 million/€45.5 million).

Stammbach said that $21.7 million (£18.6 million/€21.7 million) of receipts were received in 2021 from the International Olympic Committee relating to the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A further estimated $2.7 million (£2.3 million/€2.7 million) was expected after the year-end.

Only $8.8 million (£7.5 million/€8.8 million) of this total was included in the ITF’s 2021 income, with the remaining $15.6 million (£13.3 million/€15.6 million) set to be released in 2022 and 2023.


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