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Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury, while the FFT is reducing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend Roland Garros due to the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

Rafa and Novak back in action

The two players who have won the most Masters1000 titles between them were in action at the Rome stop for the first time having received byes in their opening matches.

Kerber falls as Muguruza kicks on in Rome

Falling victim to the quick transition from the slick fast hard courts of the US Open to the continental clay of Rome, No 15 seed Angelique Kerber was upset by Katerina Siniakova on Tuesday in straight sets, while Garbiñe Muguruza claimed the battle of Grand Slam...
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FFT pledges €21 million for French pandemic relief fund 

The Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT) has pledged €21 million to help the sport in France during the coronavirus pandemic, joining the LTA and the Italian and Spanish tennis federations announcing relief funds for the game nationally.

“The clubs will get around 60 percent of the funds, which are €21 million,” FFT President Bernard Giudicell told le Journal Dimanche.

“Seventeen percent will go to international tournaments and professional umpires, and a little more than 10 percent to independent teaching pros, who don’t have partial income.

“Finally, 10 percent for professionals that are Top 100 in France, but who will not get something from the ATP and WTA plan.”

The ATP, WTA, ITF and 4 Grand Slams have announced $6 million to help lower-ranked players while the tours are on hiatus.

While the FFT joins Great Britain, Italy and Spain among the European national associations pledging relief funds to support the sport overcome the effects of the pandemic, it is the first to include professional players as beneficiaries.

With most of its earnings coming from the French Open, which is about €260 million annually, the federation has postponed the clay court major scheduled to begin on 24 May until two weeks following the US Open in September.

No other events have officially been rescheduled.


Henri Leconte playing in the 2019 World Tennis Challenge in Adelaide last year

© Mark Brake/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Henri Leconte has hit out at plans to hold the French Open behind closed doors if necessary, saying it makes ‘no sense’.

COVID-19 led to Wimbledon being cancelled for the first time since World War II, while the US Open is still scheduled to proceed at this stage.

“I honestly think [playing Roland Garros behind closed doors] is not the best solution,” Leconte, the 1988 French Open runner-up, said.

“I think it’s more a way for the [French Tennis] Federation to keep people alert following the lockdown. It’s only been two days since the lockdown was eased.

“We’ve realised that the French public is not [very careful]. We see kids and youngsters not being careful. I just hope that we won’t face another wave.

“I also think that playing Roland Garros behind closed doors makes no sense. I don’t think that it serves the sponsors, it’s a complicated thing to deal with for the players. It’s more of a political decision.

“The federation hopes that in a few months everything will be behind us and that we will be able to play Roland Garros. They’re trying to keep that hope alive. That’s my opinion.”

France has seen more than 178,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with its death toll exceeding 27,000.





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