Pospisil takes out compatriot in Vienna

Four matches Wednesday completed the first round of the Erste Bank Open, an ATP 500 tier event being contested in Vienna prior to the Paris Masters 1000 next week, which, in view of the latest restrictions imposed in France, could well be cancelled.

Coco climbs the rankings

Following the WTA’s last Premier event of the year in Ostrava, Coco Gauff is rewarded for battling through qualifying with an 8-place jump in the Rankings published tis week, while champion Aryna Sabalenka and finalist Victoria Azaranka are among the other risers.

In Vienna Thiem and Djokovic struggle and Evans progresses.

Defending champion Dominic Thiem seeded two at the Erste Bank Open, an ATP Tier 500 event, found himself struggling at first when he faced Vitaly Sachko of the Ukraine in his opening round in Vienna.

Ricci Bitti takes on 3rd ASOIF term as President

Former ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti is set to be re-elected for a third and final term as President of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) after being confirmed as unopposed for the role.

Melbourne lockdown easing

The good news is that after 3 months of strict lockdown due to a surge in coronavirus, Melbourne is reopening on Wednesday, paving the way for the easing of restrictions and, hopefully, the return of spectators to sport.

Mixed fortunes on opening day in Vienna, Shapovalov beaten by wildcard

In what is being described as the strongest field ever to be gathered for an ATP 500 event, Denis Shapovalov, the eighth seed from Canada, crashed out of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, to the Austrian wildcard Jurij Rodionov in straight sets for the biggest win of his...

Sabalenka ousts Azarenka and wins Ostrava double

Aryna Sabalenka completed a remarkable transformation at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open on Sunday when she won both the singles and doubles titles, comprehensively out-striking compatriot Victoria Azarenka in the first all-Belarusian WTA Tour final in history.

Zverev does the Cologne double

Alexander Zverev won his 13th title by completing the Cologne double with a straightforward 6-2 6-1 victory over Diego Schwartzman to remain unbeaten this past fortnight at the consecutive ‘bett1HULKS Championships’ tournaments.

Humbert scores his best career win in Antwerp

In what was a battle between two future stars of the sport, Ugo Humbert of France produced an excellent performance to defeat his young Australian rival Alex de Minaur in just 97-minutes in the final of the European Open for his second title of the season.

Świątek in quarantine

On Friday, French Open champion Iga Świątek was awarded her country’s Golden Cross of Merit for remarkable sporting achievements and promotion of Poland by President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw, who has since tested positive for coronavirus, prompting the player to go into...
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Should the US Open be cancelled?

The question as to whether Flushing Meadows should be allowed to go ahead is still being heavily debated despite the assurances from the USTA that it will!

I think a lot of players are not going to go there. First for health reasons, the pandemic is far from over. And also, because you cannot compete in a Grand Slam behind closed doors. I don't even dare imagine the atmosphere it would have Henri Leconte

Henri Leconte, the popular former French Open finalist and their last national to reach the championship round at Roland Garros, believes strongly that it shouldn’t in view of the reluctance of many players about travelling to New York bearing in mind the current situation of the coronavirus pandemic which is still prevalent in the country.

Speaking to Ouest France Leconte said: “It (the US Open) is not possible, it must be cancelled.

“I think a lot of players are not going to go there. First for health reasons, the pandemic is far from over. And also, because you cannot compete in a Grand Slam behind closed doors. I don’t even dare imagine the atmosphere it would have.

“We saw it with Mouratoglou’s UTS, watching a game from your screen does not have the same flavour. The French Federation and Guy Forget (Tournament Director) had the courage to want to postpone the French Open. Already, it won’t be in camera.

“Today, we are fortunate to have a superb central office at Roland Garros, with coverage and lighting on all terrains. This will not interrupt the match. The playing conditions will obviously not be the same, but it is part of the game.”

Leconte added that the tennis bodies must work together to ensure the future of the sport during these harsh times. “We must stop always wanting more, more, otherwise we will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
It’s time to move on to another model and get back to simpler, healthier things.

We have to reinvent ourselves. The WTA and ATP could, for example, come together to organize mixed tournaments. It would bring in more people. One could also consider rationalizing circuits in a geographic area for a while. This would avoid travel and allow costs to be amortized.

“I think this is a good formula, both for the players and for those who will follow them.”

Annabel Croft watches the action

Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Meanwhile British former No.1 Annabel Croft, now a very successful TV broadcaster and pundit, doesn’t agree.

“If I was still playing now, I would be ready to get back on court at the US Open next month,” she told Kevin Palmer on Tennis365. “Having been involved with the Battle of The Brits event at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre last week, I saw all the precautions that went into making sure that event ran smoothly and confirmed to me that tennis can be played in these extraordinary times. The tournament was a huge success and we can all take encouragement from that.

“From what I hear, the way they are planning to put the US Open on is a safety-first approach on every level, with precautions to protect the players to ensure they play in a safe environment a priority for everyone.
“If I was a player and knew that all those precautions are in place, then I would take responsibility for my own health and make sure I needed to do what I need to do and play.”

All being well, the event is due to start on the 31st August, with or without some top ranked players.



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