Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of the day the "Original Nine" women tennis players signed pro contracts for $1 each and started their own tournaments and tour.
Do not count the WTA among those who were either surprised or upset that Simona Halep earned 10 euros (about $12) less than Novak Djokovic did for winning the Italian Open. On Tuesday, a day after the two finals in Rome, a spokeswoman for the women's professional tour - much like the head of the tournament itself - basically shrugged off the discrepancy, chalking it up to a matter of math. ''This comes down to a simple rounding situation, that's all,'' WTA spokeswoman Amy Binder wrote in an email to The Associated Press.
HAMBURG, Germany (AP) -- Daniil Medvedev lost his first match since reaching the U.S. Open semifinals as he was beaten 6-4, 6-3 Tuesday by unseeded French player Ugo Humbert in the first round of the Hamburg European Open.
A tennis coach who failed a coronavirus test for the French Open, forcing his player's withdrawal from qualifying for the Grand Slam tournament, sharply criticized organizers on Tuesday for their handling of the case. Damir Dzumhur, a former top-30 player from Bosnia now ranked 114th, traveled to Paris for this week's qualifying tournament. Dzumhur's test was negative but he was excluded from the draw because they had shared a room together, the coach told The Associated Press in a phone interview from his native Serbia.
Bianca Andreescu, last year's U.S. Open champion, will sit out the French Open and the rest of 2020. At New York in 2019, Andreescu became the first tennis player from Canada to win a Grand Slam singles championship. Barty won the 2019 title at Roland Garros, and Osaka won the U.S. Open this month for her third Grand Slam trophy.
The Bosnian player Damir Dzumhur says that he plans to take the French Tennis Federation to court. Dzumhur was ejected from the French Open’s qualifying event this week because his coach tested positive for Covid-19. According to a report in L’Equipe, Dzumhur is particularly frustrated because his coach Petar Popovic had already contracted Covid in the summer and is thus still showing the remains of antibodies. On his return to Serbia this week, Popovic was tested again and came up negative. “It's a scandal and a huge frustration,” Dzumhur said. “I'm sure we'll win in court, but it hurts a lot.” The news comes on top of a rocky start to the French Open, which starts in earnest with the first round of the main-draw event on Sunday. Six players have already been withdrawn from this week’s qualifying event because of positive Covid tests. Behind the scenes, players and coaches have reported a less sophisticated operation than the one run by the United States Tennis Association in New York earlier this month. “Organisation wise, it is not at the same level,” said the American player Noah Rubin on his Behind the Racquet podcast. “The US Open has demolished them.” There are also informal reports of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) taking a high-handed approach to those who object to the way the qualifying event has been run. According to one source involved in qualifying: “Their general attitude is that they are doing the players a favour by staging the event at all.” While recording his podcast at the weekend, Rubin highlighted his concerns about the lack of an immediate quarantine for those arriving at Roland Garros. “You didn’t get a test as soon as you walked into the bubble,” he said. “Players showed up on Wednesday, actually hit on site that day, went out to dinner in Paris, then got a test on Thursday. That just doesn’t make that much sense to me.” “It’s not a bubble at all,” added Rubin, who explained that he had not played a warm-up tournament in order to arrive at Roland Garros in good time. “We know how long it takes for Covid to get into someone’s system or to test positive at times. For some players to come maybe less than 48 hours before their first match, you’re rolling the dice.” Earlier this month, the US Open created much ill-feeling among a group of players – the so-called “Paire 11” – who were confined to their rooms in New York after spending time with the French player Benoit Paire, who then tested positive. Those worst affected were probably Kristina Mladenovic and her partner Timea Babos – the top seeds in the women’s doubles – who were ordered to remain in their hotel in Long Island by public health officials, and thus had to concede their second-round match without taking the court. But while individuals may have suffered, there were no further positive tests, and the event was widely perceived as a success.
Organisers of the Italian Open and the tennis Tours came under fire on social media after it emerged that Rome men's champion Novak Djokovic took home €10 more in prize money than women's winner Simona Halep. Djokovic, who beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 for a record 36th ATP Masters 1,000 crown, received €205,200 for his triumph while Halep won €10 less for sealing the WTA Premier 5 title after Karolina Pliskova retired from the final with injury while trailing 6-0, 2-1. But even as tennis' biggest events — the Grand Slams — have pushed for parity in prize money for winners, some fans online vented their ire that while Halep's prize came close to that of Djokovic, it frustratingly fell short. The issue generated plenty of discussion on social media, with some individuals pointing out the "pathetic" difference. "People who made a pay gap in cents are misogynists. Period," one individual said on Twitter. "I almost feel like — if they so badly need those 10 euros to feel better about their manhood — hell's bells give it to 'em," another said. Organisers of the tournament as well as the men's ATP Tour and women's WTA Tour did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Last year, Rafael Nadal took home €958,055 euros as the men's winner in Rome, almost double the prize money given to women's winner Pliskova. The financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic had reduced the overall prize pot of the men's event to around €3.47 million while the women's fund was around €1.69m. ATP Masters 1,000 events are the biggest on the men's Tour after the Grand Slams and the season-ending ATP Finals, while Premier 5 events are lower than Premier Mandatory tournaments and the WTA Finals.
Halep won the Dubai title before the WTA Tour's suspension in March and lifted the Prague crown on its resumption, before claiming another crown in Rome on Monday to emerge as the front runner for the French Open Grand Slam, which begins on Sunday. Halep, 28, said her first Rome title, which she won when Karolina Pliskova retired due to injury, was the culmination of a dream she had since 2013, though she was a much different person now.
Billie Jean King and the other members of the Original 9 who laid the groundwork for the women's professional tennis tour are the first group nominated together for the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Top-seeded Simona Halep won her first Italian Open title after 2019 champion Karolína Plíšková retired midway through the final due to a left thigh injury.
Having been pushed back four months to September to escape the worst of the coronavirus, the French Open gets underway on Sunday still struggling to loosen the grip of the deadly pandemic.
Billie Jean King and the other members of the Original 9 who laid the groundwork for the women's professional tennis tour are the first group nominated together for the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of when King, elected to the Hall in 1987 for her accomplishments on the court, and eight other players - Peaches Bartkowicz, Rosie Casals, Judy Dalton, Julie Heldman, Kerry Melville Reid, Kristy Pigeon, Nancy Richey and Valerie Ziegenfuss - signed $1 contracts to participate in the first women-only tennis tournament, taking a stand against the disparity in prize money between men and women at the time.
For four or five days after being defaulted from the U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic did some serious soul searching. Dropping only one set all week, Djokovic won his fifth Italian Open title on Monday after beating Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 in the final, and restored his confidence heading into Roland Garros, which starts in six days.
Overcoming adversity has been Novak Djokovic’s trademark over the years, and Monday’s Rome final was another example of his ability to find form when he needed it most. Only a fortnight after his disqualification from the US Open, Djokovic scored a straight-sets win over Diego Schwartzman to lift his 36th Masters title. The Masters series is the next level below the grand slams, and no one has dominated it like Djokovic. He moved one title ahead of Rafael Nadal at the top of the all-time standings, with Roger Federer standing third on 28. Rome has been such a happy hunting ground that this was his fifth success at the Foro Italico, and it sets him up perfectly for the start of the French Open. “It was a great week, a very challenging week,” said Djokovic after his 7-5, 6-3 win. “I don’t think I played my best tennis throughout the week but I found my best tennis when I needed it most. That makes me very satisfied and proud. I managed to find the fifth gear when it was needed. “Now we move on to Paris, and I couldn’t ask for a better tournament here.” Earlier, Simona Halep had taken the women’s title in a final that was sadly diminished by a thigh injury to her opponent Karolina Pliskova. With the score standing at 6-0, 2-1 to Halep, Pliskova decided to abandon the match. “It’s not the way we want to finish a tournament,” Halep told Pliskova at the presentation ceremony, “but you played great this week. I wish you a fast recovery and good luck at the French Open.” Halep – who is the world No 2 – will start as the favourite in Paris in the absence of world No 1 Ashleigh Barty, who declined to travel from Australia to Europe to defend the title she won last year. In the men’s event, Nadal is always the favourite to add to the 12 French Opens he has already won, but slow conditions could work in Djokovic’s favour.
HAMBURG (AP) -- Former finalist Andrey Rublev began his Hamburg European Open campaign by defeating American qualifier Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 6-3 on Monday.
Australian Ashleigh Barty is the world no. 1 in tennis, a former cricket pro, and now, women's champion at Brookwater Golf Club.
World number one Novak Djokovic overcame a sluggish start to lift his fifth Italian Open title on Monday, defeating Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-5 6-3 for a record 36th ATP Masters crown. Playing in his maiden ATP 1000 final, eighth seed Schwartzman raced out of the blocks to convert two break point opportunities for a 3-0 lead as Djokovic's usually clinical backhand offered up some errors. An on-and-off drizzle at Foro Italico, which included a smattering of fans, added to Djokovic's frustration but he still found a way past Schwartzman's serve to draw level at 3-3.
Top seed Simona Halep gave her French Open preparations a boost when she claimed the Italian Open in Rome on Monday after second seed Karolina Pliskova retired from the final with injury when she was down 6-0 2-1. Victory gave Halep her first title in Rome and her third consecutive title of the year after wins in Dubai -- before the COVID-19 hiatus -- and Prague last month. Pliskova attempted to continue playing after receiving treatment on her lower back and leg between sets but eventually decided to retire, not willing to take any chances before the French Open which begins on Sept. 27.
Fifteen days after he was defaulted from the U.S. Open, Novak Djokovic had plenty to celebrate on Monday. Djokovic beat Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 to win his fifth Italian Open title; he passed childhood idol Pete Sampras for the second-most weeks at No. 1 with 287 — trailing only Roger Federer’s 310 weeks in the top spot — and he re-asserted his dominance before the French Open starts in six days.