Sister defends Court

June Shanahan, Margaret Court’s sister, told Sydney radio station 2GB on Saturday that she was ‘disgusted’ at remarks made by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews condemning the awarding of the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) to the legendary player.

Murray will not be travelling down under

Andy Murray will not be competing at the season opening grand slam and admits he is ‘devastated’ to be missing the Australian Open after testing positive for Covid-19 12 days ago.

Laura Robson undergoes more surgery

Britain’s Laura Robson’s hopes of making a full on-court comeback took another downturn when she underwent a third hip surgery last week.

ATP Cup draw is made for Feb 1 kick-off

In eleven day’s time, the tennis news will switch from recalcitrant players discussing the problems they are facing during quarantine to actual action on the court. That will be a moment to celebrate as the game moves closer to the first grand slam of the season when...

Is Australia shooting itself in the foot?

Australia seems intent on shooting itself in the foot, as participants in the first Grand Slam of the year continue to draw criticism while fur flies over the funding of the quarantining of some 1,200 overseas visitors and Margaret Court is tipped to receive the...

Barty joins Adelaide exhibition

Ash Barty’s hopes of joining the elite group of players in Adelaide for an exhibition on 29 January have been fulfilled as the women’s World No 1 has been named to take part with Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Bernades taken to Melbourne hospital

Brazil’s professional umpire Carlos Bernardes suffered a heart attack In his Melbourne quarantine hotel room and was rushed to hospital on Wednesday, where he is said to be ‘doing well’.

ATP-WTA merger notion stalls

The newly-elected 2021-2022 ATP Player Council includes the return to duty of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray, all of whom have supported the notion of merging the ATP and WTA Tours, but the proposal has since stalled.

Murray still negotiating

While the coronavirus problems grow in Melbourne and a minority of quarantined players grumble at the inconvenience of the safety measures imposed on them, British tennis fans await the news as to whether Andy Murray will be allowed to compete

ATP Calendar update

The ATP has announced additions to their 2021 calendar as they continue to fit in opportunities for players to compete during these challenging times which have thrown the traditional calendar into disarray.
Tennis News, Tennis Results, Live Tennis Scores & Interviews

Preview: AO Women’s Qualies start in Dubai

The Australian Open women’s singles qualifying draw was revealed on Saturday, as 128 players, from newcomers to veterans, will battle in Dubai over the next 4 days for 16 coveted main-draw slots at the year’s first Grand Slam event, which starts in Melbourne on 8 February.

From the beginning of all our planning for the Australian Open, our objective has been to provide the players with as many competition opportunities, and the ability to earn prize money, as we possibly could. Craig Tiley, Australian Open Tournament Director

“From the beginning of all our planning for the Australian Open, our objective has been to provide the players with as many competition opportunities, and the ability to earn prize money, as we possibly could,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley previously said.

At the top of the draw, No 1 seed Kaja Juvan of Slovenia faces an Australian right off the bat when she takes on wildcard Storm Sanders in their opener.

20-year-old Juvan hopes to continue her burgeoning Grand Slam successes: she pushed Serena Williams to three sets in the second round of Wimbledon in 2019, and reached the same stage at Roland Garros and the US Open last season.

Powerful Frenchwoman Oceane Dodin is the No 2 seed as the former Top 50 player continues her comeback from medical struggles, improving her ranking nearly 100 spots during last season.

Dodin plays Bulgaria’s Isabella Shinikova in the first round on Sunday, and could face crafty No 28 seed Monica Niculescu of Romania in the final qualifying round.

Belgium’s Greet Minnen, Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam, and Poland’s Katarzyna Kawa round out the top five seeds.

Friedsam has an eye-opening first-round encounter set up against former Top 20 player Ana Konjuh, who is coming back from injury and has gone 13-4 in ITF Challenger events since September.

Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria will also continue her meteoric return to the tour as the No 21 seed, where she will play Japan’s Kyoka Okamura in a first-rounder that will take place late on Sunday.

In her first professional tournament in over three years, Pironkova made a stunning run to the 2020 US Open quarter-finals, where she fell to Serena Williams in three sets.

Pironkova, a former Wimbledon semi-finalist, followed her US Open performance with a third-round showing at Roland Garros, and went from unranked in August to World No 136 by season’s end.

Previous Grand Slam finalists Eugenie Bouchard of Canada and Sara Errani of Italy are also in the mix in Dubai.

2014 Wimbledon finalist Bouchard, seeded No 25, will meet Aussie wildcard Abbie Myers in the first round, while 17th seed Errani, the 2012 Roland Garros finalist, will open against Liang En-shuo of Chinese Taipei, the 2018 Australian Open junior singles champion.

Hungary’s Timea Babos, the WTA Doubles World No 4, is seeded No 7 in the singles qualifying draw, and she will play Russia’s Marina Melnikova in the first round.

Babos could play No 20 seed and three-time WTA singles titlist Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the final qualifying round if seedings hold.

No 9 seed Katarina Zavatska of Ukraine will meet 2019 Australian Open junior singles champion Clara Tauson in another intriguing opening round, which opens Court 1 play on Sunday.

The 18-year-old from Denmark qualified for her Grand Slam main-draw debut at Roland Garros last season, and promptly shocked US Open semi-finalist Jennifer Brady in the first round on the clay courts of Paris.

Also, two more recent junior stars will square off in an all-teenager first-round clash, as No 12 seed Caty McNally of the United States, a two-time Grand Slam junior doubles champion, will meet Daria Snigur of Ukraine, the 2019 Wimbledon junior singles champion.

Additionally, the reigning Australian Open junior singles champion, Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva of Andorra, received a wild card.

The 15-year-old meets Cagla Buyukakcay in Sunday’s opening round.



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