May 26, 2017

International Tennis Hall of Fame to Amend Induction Policies in 2018, Adds Fan Vote

International Tennis Hall of Fame to
Amend Induction Policies in 2018 
International Tennis Hall of Fame-NEWPORT, RI, May 24, 2017 – The International Tennis Hall of Fame has made changes to the policies that govern Hall of Fame induction, effective for the Class of 2018. The modifications include the addition of automatic ballot inclusion in the first year of eligibility for players who have attained extraordinary levels of achievement, the elimination of the Master Player Category, and transitioning from annual induction to induction every four years for the Contributor and Wheelchair Tennis Categories. In addition, beginning with the Class of 2019, the Hall of Fame has plans to introduce a Fan Voting component to the process. Fan Voting will be in addition to a vote by existing Voting Groups, which are comprised of members of tennis media, experts on the sport and its history, and Hall of Famers.

“Induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame is an extraordinary honor reserved for our sport’s most accomplished athletes and transcendent leaders. The policies and procedures that were governing our induction process have served the organization well for many years. That said, it was time for a thorough review to ensure that the policies continue to appropriately direct the induction process and serve the sport of tennis in the best possible way,” stated Todd Martin, CEO.

Changes will include the following:

Development of One Player Category
  • The Recent Player and Master Player Categories will be eliminated, and a new Player Category will be established. Previously, the Recent Player Category was for nominees who had been retired at least five years, but no more than 20 years; while the Master Player Category was for those retired more than 20 years. The Master Player Category primarily served a purpose of honoring those who played prior to the Hall of Fame’s existence, or prior to the Hall of Fame serving the international game.
  • For this year only, the Enshrinee Nominating Committee will review the careers of nominees who would have been eligible under the previously known Master Player Category for possible inclusion on the Class of 2018 ballot in the Player Category. After the Class of 2018, players who have been retired more than 20 years will be ineligible for Hall of Fame induction in the Player Category.
Automatic Ballot Inclusion & Length of Time on Ballot
  • Players can now be placed on the ballot either by automatic inclusion based on their records, or by nomination and subsequent review by the Enshrinee Nominating Committee. (Previously, everyone’s career was reviewed by the Enshrinee Nominating Committee.)
  • Criteria for automatic ballot inclusion on first eligible ballot will be:
    • Singles: Must have won 3 major singles titles and have been world No. 1 for a minimum of 13 weeks; Or, have won 5 major singles titles
    • Doubles: Must have won 12 major doubles titles and have been world No. 1 for a minimum of 52 weeks; Or, have won 15 major doubles titles
  • Players who do not meet the criteria for automatic ballot inclusion will have their career history assessed by the Enshrinee Nominating Committee (as has been done previously), who will determine if they should be placed on the ballot for voting by the Voting Groups.
  • Any player candidate who is not voted in will remain on the ballot for a period of 3 years. This is a change in that, previously, candidates were reviewed and selected annually. If they are not voted in during those 3 years, they will be removed from the ballot for a period of 2 years, after which they will be eligible to be considered for ballot inclusion again.
Induction Every Four Years for Contributors and Wheelchair Tennis Players
  • The Wheelchair Tennis Category will move to a 4-year rotation and the ballot will be capped at two individuals. The next possible year of induction for the Wheelchair Tennis Category will be 2019. After 2019, it will be every four years.
  • The Contributor Category will move to a 4-year rotation and the ballot will be capped at two individuals. The next possible year of induction for the Contributor Category will be 2021, and it will be every four years following that.
Eligibility Criteria
  • While the amendments are significant, the Hall of Fame will also retain some core tenets of former policies, such as players being eligible for induction five years after retirement.
  • Additionally, the key elements of eligibility criteria for the Player Category and the Wheelchair Tennis Category will remain: a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship, and character.
  • For the Contributor Category, the key elements of eligibility criteria have been modified and will now be defined as: an individual who is a true pioneer, visionary leader, or who has made a transcendent difference within the sport of tennis. Additionally, Contributor candidates must be age 65 or have been retired from their work in tennis for 5 years.
“The leadership of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, along with the 23 volunteers from the global tennis community who serve on the ITHF Enshrinee Nominating Committee carefully reviewed the policies and procedures that govern the induction process. We are confident that these amendments will ensure that the sport continues to have its most accomplished individuals inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said Martin.

Since its inception in 1954, 252 individuals hailing from 23 nations have been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The Induction Ceremony for the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2017 will take place on July 22, 2017 in Newport, R.I. Former world No. 1’s Andy Roddick and Kim Clijsters will be inducted, along with Wheelchair Tennis great Monique Kalkman, renowned tennis journalist and historian Steve Flink, and groundbreaking tennis instructor Vic Braden, who is being honored posthumously.
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Tennis Channel French Open Broadcast Schedule; James Blake Added to On-Air Team

More than 100 Live Hours Planned from First Day of Play to Championship Sunday, with Another 500 Hours of Digital Competition on Tennis Channel Plus

LOS ANGELES, May 22, 2016 -Expanding the most comprehensive French Open coverage in television, Tennis Channel will add the women’s doubles final and retired American star James Blake (@JRBlake) to its 11th telecast of the world’s top clay-court event, set for May 29-June 11. This will mark Blake’s first time on air for the channel in Paris. The network will again show close to 80 percent of all live French Open hours on television this year, alongside another 500 hours of live matches on streaming service Tennis Channel Plus.

 

As in years past, the 15-day television experience will feature daylong match blocks; encore matches between the end of one day’s play and the start of the next; coverage from Opening Day to Championship Sunday; and an on-air team of Hall of Fame analysts, award-winning sportscasters and widely read tennis reporters. Tennis Channel plans more than 100 hours of live coverage at Roland Garros (commonly referred to as the French Open), and close to 340 overall via encore matches. This is following five days of coverage from this week’s French Open qualifier matches on air and on Tennis Channel Plus.

 

For much of the event, Tennis Channel’s live telecast begins with the start of play in Paris at 5 a.m. ET and runs through the last match of the day, typically around 3 p.m. ET (complete schedule follows). Match encores then run through the night up to the start of the next day’s play at 5 a.m. ET. Live coverage will include both women’s semifinals, one men’s semifinal, the mixed-doubles championships and – for the first time – the women’s doubles final. The network will air same-day encores of all French Open finals: men’s and women’s singles and doubles, and mixed doubles. Tennis Channel will be the exclusive television home for seven days of this year’s French Open.

 

This Friday, May 26, at 9 p.m. ET, Tennis Channel will air one-hour tournament preview Racquet Bracket: Roland Garros an analysis of the competition’s draw and player matchups. On Saturday, May 27, at 11 a.m. ET, Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros will evaluate the state and stories of the sport on the eve of the event, from the network’s set above the tournaments’ famed Musketeer Plaza. From Tuesday through Sunday of week two, Tennis Channel will also run daily editions of Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros.

 

 

James Blake

On-Air Talent

Blake rose to No. 4 in singles rankings as a player and was one of the most popular American stars of his era, with a loyal, traveling cheering section known as the “J-Block.” His two victories in the championship against Russia helped the United States win the 2007 Davis Cup, the first for the country a dozen years. He brings his analysis to Tennis Channel’s French Open booth for the first time this year, after signing a two-year extension in March that expands his role with the network.

 

“There’s always a magic to the French Open and I look forward to experiencing it as part of the Tennis Channel team this year,” said Blake. “As dominant as Rafael Nadal has been this spring, can anybody stop him in Paris? And the women’s side seems wide open without Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. It will be fun to see what happens.”

 

He joins a team of Hall of Fame analysts that includes Martina Navratilova (@Martina), Jim Courier, Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) and Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76). Coach Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone), for his fourth year, rounds out the analyst team in Paris. A French Open doubles quarterfinalist in 1985, he is known throughout the sport for his accomplishments as the coach of both Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, two of the greatest to play the sport.

 

Mary Carillo will handle play-by-play and special features in Paris again this year. In her seventh year on the Tennis Channel French Open team, she is a multi-award winning journalist. She also won the French Open mixed-doubles championship in 1977.

 

Announcer Bill Macatee (@Bmacatee) has also been a part of every major on Tennis Channel for the past 11 years, as has Ted Robinson (@tedjrobinson) and Ian Eagle. Each of them highly decorated booth presences, their experiences run through many of sport’s most popular competitions including, in addition to tennis, MLB, NFL and NBA games; the Olympics; golf’s The Masters; and college football and basketball.

 

Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) is in his sixth year in Paris for Tennis Channel, and will again handle play-by-play and hosting duties for the network. Haber has covered a wide variety of sports in an Emmy Award-winning career that includes time spent at ESPN and as sports director for news stations in New York and Washington, D.C. Former player Leif Shiras (@LShirock) has been announcing tennis matches for two decades, and is in his 10th year on the Tennis Channel French Open team.

 

John Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) will return to Paris for Tennis Channel, his sixth time as a reporter, analyst and essayist. The Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer has authored numerous books and maintains the magazine’s widely read “Tennis Mailbag” column.

 

Broadband and Digital Coverage

Tennis Channel Plus will again offer the most comprehensive French Open media platform for viewers, with more than 200 matches and approximately 500 hours of live tournament coverage overall. The streamed subscription service – available to everyone in the United States regardless of whether they subscribe to Tennis Channel on television – allows users to select which matches they want to watch, live or on-demand, from up to five different courts. The service is also showing live qualifier matches this week, available on-demand as well. On Friday, May 26, Tennis Channel Plus will stream the tournament draw ceremony and media day coverage live, beginning at 6 a.m. ET. It will provide similar Kids’ Day coverage on Saturday, May 27, starting at 8 a.m. ET. Tennis Channel Plus is a part of the network’s Tennis Channel Everywhere app, free to all iOS and Android users, and available on Apple TV, Roku TV and Amazon Fire devices.

 

In March Tennis Channel’s parent company, Sinclair Broadcast Group, announced the acquisition of Tennis magazine and digital platform www.tennis.com. Roland Garros is the first major since the unification of the largest print, television and digital media platforms devoted solely to the sport – and the synergies between Tennis Channel, www.tennischannel.com and www.tennis.com will be evident during the tournament. A new, daily digital wrap-up from the tournament grounds will be available on each platform and a variety of social media outlets, as will Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros segments and interviews. In fact, 2017 will mark the first time all Tennis Channel French Open interviews that run on the network will appear on its website (and www.tennis.com) and they will be posted more closely to their original airtimes than interviews were in the past.

 

Tennis Channel short-form productions like “Destination Tennis,” “TenniStory,” “Holding Serve,” “Tough Call” and “Mary in Paris” will also appear on both Tennis Chanel’s and Tennis magazine’s websites after first airing on the television network. The same is true for the network’s first multiplatform series My Tennis Life, which allows viewers to follow life on the pro circuit in real time through updates and interaction from players Nicole Gibbs and Sam Groth.
Tennis Channel’s Live 2017 French Open Coverage

 

Date                                        Time (ET)                  Event                                      

Sunday, May 28                      5 a.m.-3 p.m.               First-Round Action

Monday, May 29                    5 a.m.-3 p.m.               First-Round Action

Tuesday, May 30                    5 a.m.-3 p.m.               First-Round Action

Wednesday, May 31               5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Second-Round Action

Thursday, June 1                     5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Second-Round Action

Friday, June 2                        5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Third-Round Action

Saturday, June 3                      5 a.m.-Noon                Third-Round Action

Sunday, June 4                        5 a.m.-Noon                Round-of-16 Action

Monday, June 5                      5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Round-of-16 Action

Tuesday, June 6                      7 a.m.-1 p.m.               Quarterfinals

Wednesday, June 7                 7 a.m.-1 p.m.               Quarterfinals

Thursday, June 8                     6 a.m.-2 p.m.               Mixed-Doubles Final,

Women’s Singles Semifinals

Friday, June 9                         6 a.m.-11 a.m.             Men’s Singles Semifinal

Sunday, June 11                      5:30 a.m.-9 a.m.          Women’s Doubles Final

 

The network will televise same-day replays of the men’s and women’s singles and double finals, as follows (ET):

 

Saturday, June 10 – 1 p.m.: women’s singles final, men’s doubles final; replayed throughout day

Sunday, June 11 – 2 p.m.: men’s singles final, women’s doubles final; replayed throughout day

 

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ESPN Adds First-Ever Televised Wimbledon Qualifying Coverage

ESPN Adds First-Ever Televised Wimbledon Qualifying

 

(May 22, 2017) In June, ESPN will cover all four days of Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s qualifying for The Championships, Wimbledon for the first time, with all-day action from one of the grass courts at the Bank of England Sports Centre in Roehampton, not far from Wimbledon and the All England Lawn Tennis Club.  Qualifying will take place Monday, June 26 – Thursday, June 29, beginning each day at 6 a.m. ET with four matches scheduled per day on ESPN3 on WatchESPN and the ESPN App.  Depending on scheduling and other circumstances, there is the possibility of adding matches to one of ESPN’s linear television networks.

 

“If you look at our history with Wimbledon and our unprecedented scheduling approach to The Championships, it should be no surprise we were very interested when The Club approached us with this opportunity to expand our relationship with their brand,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN executive vice president, programming and scheduling.  “For players, the opportunity to make the field of 128 is paramount and for qualifiers it may be the chance of a lifetime.  We look forward to presenting all the compelling storylines from the qualifiers, leading into our comprehensive coverage of The Championships beginning July 3.”

 

Last Friday, May 19, Maria Sharapova announced she would enter the qualifying for Wimbledon, in lieu of a ranking sufficient for the main draw.  The 2004 Wimbledon champion recently returned from a 15-month suspension.

 

Qualifying for Wimbledon has never before been a ticketed event, nor produced for distribution.  AELTC will produce the coverage for a global audience with its graphics and commentators.

 

Wimbledon Qualifying Basics

  • There are Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Singles competitions where players (128 and 96, respectively) must win through three rounds to win one of the 16 Main Draw places for men, or 12 Main Draw places for women. There are also qualifying draws for Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Doubles with four places available in the Main Draw of each event.
  • All players receive ranking points and prize money and there is more money and ranking points on offer the more matches that they win.
  • If a Main Draw player withdraws after the qualifying competition has started, his/her place in the Main Draw will be taken by a lucky loser – this is a player that lost in the final round of qualifying. These players are drawn by lot against other losers in this round.

 

ESPN & Wimbledon

ESPN has televised Wimbledon since 2003, with exclusivity in the U.S. since 2012.  ESPN’s blanket coverage – all day, every day, Monday, July 3 – Sunday, July 16 – will once again include 140 hours on ESPN and ESPN2 and 1,500 on WatchESPN with action on all 15 televised courts.  The schedule is highlighted by the unprecedented “Cross Court Coverage” the second Monday-Wednesday with all matches from the Round of 16 and the Quarterfinals on ESPN and ESPN2.  The fortnight culminates with five championships on ESPN:  the Ladies’ Singles Championship along with the Ladies’ and Gentlemens’ Doubles Championship on Saturday, July 15 and the Gentlemen’s Championship and Mixed Doubles Championship on Sunday, July 16.

 

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Novak Djokovic Named LACOSTE Style Ambassador

 

(May 22, 2017) Twelve-time major winner Novak Djokovic was named LACOSTE Style Ambassador on Monday, his 30th birthday.

Djokovic will make his debut as LACOSTE’s new ambassador at The French Open. Additionally, LACOSTE is launching a new advertising campaign inspired by a changeover between the two champions, René Lacoste and Novak Djokovic.

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Victoria Azarenka Looking To Return To The Tennis Tour During Grass Court Season

Victoria Azarenka Looking To Return Tour During the Grass Court Season

 

 

(May 22, 2017) Two-time major champion and former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka is hoping to return to the tennis tour before Wimbledon during grass court season.

 

Azarenka went to twitter to make her announcement:

Azarenka left the tour last year when she found out she was pregnant. She gave birth to her son Leo in December.

Azarenka won the Australian Open in both 2012 and 2013. Wimbledon begins on July 3. She has made two Wimbledon semifinals in her career.

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Andre Agassi to Coach Novak Djokovic at French Open

 

Andre Agassi

Andre Agassi to Coach Novak Djokovic at French Open

 

(May 21, 2017) Novak Djokovic has a new coach, for the French Open at least. Andre Agassi will be with the No. 2 player during Roland Garros. Djokovic made the formal announcement in Rome.

I spoke to Andre the last couple weeks on the phone, and we decided to get together in Paris. So he’s gonna be there. We’ll see what future brings,” Djokovic said to media after his loss to Alexander Zverev in the Rome Masters final.

We are both excited to work together and see where it takes us. We don’t have any long-term commitment. It’s just us trying to get to know each other in Paris a little bit.

“He will not stay the whole tournament. He’s gonna stay only to a certain time, and then we’ll, you know, see after that what’s gonna happen.

Obviously Andre is someone that I have tremendous respect for as a person and as a player.” He continued. “He has been through everything that I’m going through. You know, on the court he understands the game amazingly well. I am enjoying every conversation that I have with him.

“But also, on the other hand, he’s someone that nurtures the family values, philanthropy work. He’s a very humble man, is very educated in just — you know, he’s a person that can contribute to my life on and off the court a lot. I’m very excited to see what is ahead of us.”

“Well, I talked with Andre, as I said, for the last two, two-and-a-half weeks. You know, we get to know each other over the phone for now, but in Paris we will see each other in person, and then we will take it from there.”

“I don’t know Andre that well, because it’s only a couple weeks that we are in communication, let’s say, but I already feel like we are very kind of close to each other and creating this nice vibe.

Novak Djokovic

Asked about how he persuaded Agassi to coach him, Djokovic said: “Not going to discover the secrets of my persuasion.

“Look, you know, he’s someone that has been so successful in this sport, and he’s a legend of our sport. He’s made a mark in this sport forever. He’s won everything there is to win in tennis.

“You know, he was a revolutionary player because he had this charisma, he had this, you know, approach to tennis and to life that was quite different from others. That’s why he was so interesting.

“Yes, he has been away from the tour for last 10, 15 years, but speaking with him, he’s been definitely following up closely all the matches, the big matches, especially on the TV. So he knows players, he knows everyone that I was playing against in last couple of weeks, so we talked before every match, more or less.

“So it was obviously his call whether or not he wants to take that step and, you know, try to work with me. He has accepted it, and I’m very grateful for that. It’s exciting, of course. I’m very happy about it.

“We’ll see. You know, Paris is the first tournament where we’re going to be together in person on the court. So good times ahead.”

Djokovic recently parted ways with longtime coach Marian Vajda, fitness coach Gebhard Phil Gritsch, and physiotherapist Miljan Amanovic.

Agassi, an eight-time major winner and member of the Tennis Hall of Fame retired in 2006.

Djokovic completed a career “Grand Slam” last year when he won the French Open, holding all four majors at the same time. Since then he’s won just one tournament out of the past 11 he’s entered.

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Rafael Nadal Extends Winning Streak to 17 to Move into Rome Quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal Extends Winning Streak to 17 to Move into Rome Quarterfinals

(May 18, 2017) Rafael Nadal’s winning streak is now up to 17. The road to Roland Garros has taken the nine-time champion to three straight clay court titles season and now Ndal is three wins away from the Rome Masters title. Nadal beat 13th seed, American Jack Sock on Thursday 6-3, 6-4 to reach the Italian Open elite eight.

 

He’ll play eighth seed Dominc Thiem in the next round for the third time in less than a month. Nadal beat the Austrian in both the Barcelona and Madrid finals.

 

“I am here to try my best,” Nadal said. “I know is a tough tournament. I don’t have an easy draw here, a tough one. From the beginning is true that what happened to Nico was very bad news, but today again, second round against Sock is a tough one, and tomorrow against Dominic, he’s the player that is having probably more success now on clay, no?

“So will be another tough battle tomorrow. I hope to be ready for that battle, and I gonna try to play my best.”

Dominic Thiem

Thiem advanced by saving two match points in a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7) win over Sam Querrey.

“It’s going to be a really amazing experience for me to play him third time in a very short time,” said the Austrian.

“I mean, it has been two very good matches, Barcelona and Madrid. I hope it’s going to be a third very good one tomorrow.”

 

Four-time Roma champion, second seed Novak Djokovic advanced with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Roberto Bautista Agut. Dkokovic will face Juan Martin del Potro- the Argentine upset seventh seed. Kei Nishikori 7-6 (4), 6-3.

Another top men’s seed fell on Thursday when third seed Stan Wawrinka lost to American John Isner 7-6 (1), 6-4 to American John Isner.

“It had been a while, but I was looking forward to the match, “ Isner said. “I thought I played pretty well out there.

“It’s a situation for me where I’m going out there against the No. 3 player in the world. Maybe I have a little bit less to lose than he does.

“I went out there with the belief that if I played well and executed my game plan that I could walk off that court with a win. That’s what happened today. I served well and took my chances when I had them.

“So I was very happy with the performance.”

Venus Williams

In women’s action, Venus Williams stopped a three-match losing streak against top British player Johanna Konta 6-1, 3-6, 6-1.

“I love this tournament, and I love Rome,” Williams said. “It’s one of my favorite places on earth, so that’s one of the reasons why I have always come here.

“You know, I have had a good amount of success here. Probably sometimes that it wasn’t that great. I’d never leave Rome early; let’s put it that way. I always stay.”

Other women advancing to the final eight- second seed Karolina Pliskova over Timea Bacsinszky 6-1, 7-5, eighth seed Elina Svitolina defeated Mona Barthel 3-6, 6-0, 6-0, Kiki Bertens won 7-6 (3), 6-1 over Ekaterina Makarova.

Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit, who knocked out No. 1 Angelique Kerber continued her winning ways stopping 16th-seeded Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 6-1, 6-1.

Kontaveit will be battling Madrid Open champion and sixth seed Simona Halep who defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 4-6, 6-0.

In another upset on the women’s side of the draw, qualifier Daria Gavrilova defeated seventh-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova 2-6, 7-5, 6-4.

 

 

RESULTS – THURSDAY, 18 MAY 2017

Men’s Singles – Third Round
[2] N. Djokovic (SRB) d R. Bautista Agut (ESP) 64 64
J. Isner (USA) d [3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) 76(1) 64
[4] R. Nadal (ESP) d [13] J. Sock (USA) 63 64
[5] M. Raonic (CAN) d [12] T. Berdych (CZE) 63 62
[6] M. Cilic (CRO) d [9] D. Goffin (BEL) 63 64
J. del Potro (ARG) d [7] K. Nishikori (JPN) 76(4) 63
[8] D. Thiem (AUT) d S. Querrey (USA) 36 63 76(7) – saved 3 M.P.
[16] A. Zverev (GER) d F. Fognini (ITA) 63 63

Men’s Doubles – Second Round
[1] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d J. Sousa (POR) / F. Verdasco (ESP) 75 75
[2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d A. Zverev (GER) / M. Zverev (GER) w/o (A Zverev – fatigue)
[4] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) d B. Baker (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) 62 67(7) 12-10
[5] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) d F. Mergea (ROU) / A. Qureshi (PAK) 62 63
[6] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) d O. Marach (AUT) / M. Pavic (CRO) 63 64
R. Bopanna (IND) / P. Cuevas (URU) d [7] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) 46 76(7) 10-8

SCHEDULE – FRIDAY, 19 MAY 2017

CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
WTA – [Q] A. Kontaveit (EST) vs [6] S. Halep (ROU)
Not Before 2:00 pm
ATP – [16] A. Zverev (GER) vs [5] M. Raonic (CAN)
Not Before 4:00 pm
ATP – [8] D. Thiem (AUT) vs [4] R. Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 7:30 pm
WTA – [9] V. Williams (USA) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)
Not Before 9:00 pm
ATP – J. del Potro (ARG) vs [2] N. Djokovic (SRB)

NEXT GEN ARENA start 12:00 noon
ATP – J. Isner (USA) vs [6] M. Cilic (CRO)
Not Before 2:30 pm
WTA – [15] K. Bertens (NED) vs [Q] D. Gavrilova (AUS)
Not Before 4:30 pm
WTA – [8] E. Svitolina (UKR) or [Q] M. Barthel (GER) vs T. Bacsinszky (SUI) or [2] K. Pliskova (CZE)
ATP – R. Bopanna (IND) / P. Cuevas (URU) vs [4] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)

PIETRANGELI start 12:00 noon
ATP – [1] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs [5] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA)
WTA – [6] A. Spears (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs [2] Y. Chan (TPE) / M. Hingis (SUI)
ATP – [6] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs [2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
ATP – J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA) vs [8] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Granollers (ESP)

COURT 1 start 1:00 pm
WTA – [4] T. Babos (HUN) / A. Hlavackova (CZE) vs K. Bondarenko (UKR) / K. Siniakova (CZE)
WTA – [WC] S. Errani (ITA) / M. Trevisan (ITA) vs [3] S. Mirza (IND) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ)
WTA – [1] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs B. Krejcikova (CZE) / S. Zheng (CHN)

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Rome: Rafael Nadal Extends Win Streak, Angelique Kerber Loses

Rome: Rafael Nadal Extends Win Streak, Angelique Kerber Loses

(May 17, 2017) Rafael Nadal extended his winning streak to 16, while the top seed on the women’s side Angelique Kerber was knocked out of Rome on Wednesday.

Fourth seed Rafael Nadal advanced to the round of 16 when his opponent, fellow Spaniard and friend qualifier Nicolas Almagro injured his knee and was forced to retire with Nadal leading 3-0.

“He felt something on the knee,” Nadal said.  “It’s difficult to see what’s going on now just after what happened.”

 

 

Angelique Kerber

 

For the second day in a row, the world No. 1 failed to advance in Rome. Tuesday it was Andy Murray. On Wednesday Angelique Kerber failed to get past her first opponent in Rome, beaten by Estonian qualifier.  Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-0.

“I think it’s for sure not the easiest time right now for me, but I think that I have to looking for solutions right now,” Kerber said. “I think that my movement is not the best, especially on clay.

“I think my legs are always important for my game, but I really not feeling so good on clay court. But, yeah, right now I have — yeah, I will try to going back home and thinking what can I do to be back in Paris. I mean, this is the next big goal.”

“Everybody knows I’m not a clay court specialist,” Kerber said to media. I was not playing good last year, as well. I had a great year, but I mean, these few weeks I was not playing good.

“And, yeah, this year it’s the same. Of course, I mean, it’s a new situation also to being No. 1 but you cannot thinking about this. I mean, it’s still a big privilege, but I try to finding my way to coming back.

“It’s not the best time now, but you have always up-and-downs, and this is a challenge to coming back maybe stronger.”

Anett Kontaveit

 

It was a career match win for qualifier Kontaveit.

“It feels great” said a smiling Kontaveit. “My first time beating the No. 1 in the world, so, you know, I’m super excited.”

 

Venus Williams who won the Italian Open back in 1999 held back a determined Lesia Tsurenko 6-4, 6-3.

“The first couple of matches I am still kicking into competition, but I have always been a fast starter,” noted Williams. “I think I have had to be because I have never played as much as other players or in general. When I come to play, I’ve got to be ready to play or else, you know, I’m not going to get a lot of chances.

“So, yeah, mentally I am prepared to at least try to be in the tournament.”

Williams was asked in press about her sister Serena having a baby and becoming an Aunt again: “It’s all exciting. I mean, it’s so interesting because when you play this kind of, when you live the life of a professional athlete, you feel forever young,” she said.

Commenting on what she is looking forward to in becoming an Aunt: “I guess spoiling the kid and making Serena’s job harder .”

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY

RESULTS – MAY 17, 2017
Women’s Singles – Second Round
[Q] A. Kontaveit (EST) d [1] A. Kerber (GER) 64 60
[2] K. Pliskova (CZE) d L. Davis (USA) 61 61
[3] G. Muguruza (ESP) d [Q] J. Ostapenko (LAT) 26 62 61
E. Makarova (RUS) d [4] D. Cibulkova (SVK) 16 61 63
[6] S. Halep (ROU) d L. Siegemund (GER) 64 64
[8] E. Svitolina (UKR) d A. Cornet (FRA) 64 76(11)
[9] V. Williams (USA) d L. Tsurenko (UKR) 64 63
[12] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) d A. Sevastova (LAT) 76(4) 62
T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d [14] B. Strycova (CZE) 64 62
[15] K. Bertens (NED) d [Q] C. Bellis (USA) 64 60
[Q] D. Gavrilova (AUS) d C. Garcia (FRA) 75 36 63
J. Goerges (GER) d J. Jankovic (SRB) 26 76(2) 61
[Q] M. Barthel (GER) d [Q] Q. Wang (CHN) 63 64

Women’s Doubles – Second Round
[2] Y. Chan (TPE) / M. Hingis (SUI) d N. Hibino (JPN) / A. Rosolska (POL) 46 75 11-9
[3] S. Mirza (IND) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ) d [Alt] O. Savchuk (UKR) / E. Svitolina (UKR) walkover
[4] T. Babos (HUN) / A. Hlavackova (CZE) d [PR] L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) 62 75
First Round
K. Bondarenko (UKR) / K. Siniakova (CZE) d [7] G. Dabrowski (CAN) / Y. Xu (CHN) 76(6) 64
D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) d K. Bertens (NED) / J. Goerges (GER) 63 36 12-10
A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) d S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) 26 61 10-8
[WC] S. Errani (ITA) / M. Trevisan (ITA) d C. Mchale (USA) / M. Niculescu (ROU) 26 64 10-8

Men’s Singles – Second Round
[3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d B. Paire (FRA) 63 16 63
[4] R. Nadal (ESP) d [Q] N. Almagro (ESP) 30 ret. (knee)
[5] M. Raonic (CAN) d [PR] T. Haas (GER) 64 63
[7] K. Nishikori (JPN) d D. Ferrer (ESP) 75 62
[8] D. Thiem (AUT) d P. Cuevas (URU) 76(4) 64
[13] J. Sock (USA) d J. Vesely (CZE) 64 36 76(1)
R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [15] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) 67(6) 61 64
[16] A. Zverev (GER) d V. Troicki (SRB) 63 64
S. Querrey (USA) d [Q] J. Struff (GER) 64 63
J. del Potro (ARG) d K. Edmund (GBR) 75 64

Men’s Doubles – Second Round
J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA) d [3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) 75 63
[8] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Granollers (ESP) d N. Mektic (CRO) / A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) 61 64

Men’s Doubles – First Round
J. Sousa (POR) / F. Verdasco (ESP) d D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) 67(6) 64 10-6
O. Marach (AUT) / M. Pavic (CRO) d [Alt] T. Huey (PHI) / M. Venus (NZL) 62 36 10-6
SCHEDULE – THURSDAY, 18 MAY 2017

CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
ATP – F. Fognini (ITA) vs [16] A. Zverev (GER)
WTA – [5] J. Konta (GBR) vs [9] V. Williams (USA)
ATP – R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs [2] N. Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – [13] J. Sock (USA) vs [4] R. Nadal (ESP)
Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – T. Bacsinszky (SUI) vs [2] K. Pliskova (CZE)

NEXT GEN ARENA start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] A. Kontaveit (EST) vs [16] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO)
Not Before 12:00 noon
ATP – [9] D. Goffin (BEL) vs [6] M. Cilic (CRO)
ATP – [12] T. Berdych (CZE) vs [5] M. Raonic (CAN)
Not Before 4:00 pm
WTA – J. Goerges (GER) vs [Q] J. Ostapenko (LAT) or [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)
Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [8] D. Thiem (AUT) vs S. Querrey (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs [7] S. Kuznetsova (RUS)
WTA – [12] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs [6] S. Halep (ROU)
Not Before 3:00 pm
ATP – [3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs J. Isner (USA)
ATP – [7] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs J. del Potro (ARG)
Not Before 5:30 pm
WTA – [8] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [Q] M. Barthel (GER)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
ATP – F. Mergea (ROU) / A. Qureshi (PAK) vs [5] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA)
ATP – [1] H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs J. Sousa (POR) / F. Verdasco (ESP)
ATP – B. Baker (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) vs [4] P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA)
ATP – After Suitable Rest – A. Zverev (GER) / M. Zverev (GER) vs [2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
ATP – After Necessary Rest – [7] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) vs R. Bopanna (IND) / P. Cuevas (URU)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
ATP – [6] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) vs O. Marach (AUT) / M. Pavic (CRO)
WTA – [WC] J. Jankovic (SRB) / A. Petkovic (GER) vs K. Bondarenko (UKR) / K. Siniakova (CZE)
Not Before 2:00 pm
WTA – E. Makarova (RUS) vs [15] K. Bertens (NED)
WTA – After suitable rest – J. Konta (GBR) / L. Siegemund (GER) vs [WC] S. Errani (ITA) / M. Trevisan (ITA)

COURT 4 start 12:00 noon
WTA – [6] A. Spears (USA) / K. Srebotnik (SLO) vs E. Hozumi (JPN) / M. Kato (JPN)
WTA – A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE) vs B. Krejcikova (CZE) / S. Zheng (CHN)
WTA-After suitable rest – [1] E. Makarova (RUS) / E. Vesnina (RUS) vs D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS)

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French Tennis Federation Announces List of French Open Wild Cards

French Tennis Federation Announces List of French Open Wild Cards

(May 17, 2017) Here is the list of wild cards for this year’s French Open:
Men’s singles main draw

Julien Benneteau
Benjamin Bonzi
Mathias Bourgue
Quentin Halys
Laurent Lokoli
Alexandre Muller
Tennys Sandgren (USA)
Following to the agreement between the FFT and Tennis Australia, a wild-card is allocated to a player from Australia.

Women’s singles main draw

Tessah Andrianjafitrimo
Fiona Ferro
Myrtille Georges
Amandine Hesse
Alizé Lim
Chloé Paquet
Amanda Anisimova (USA)
Following to the agreement between the FFT and Tennis Australia, a wild-card is allocated to a player from Australia.

Men’s singles qualifying draw

Grégoire Barrère
Geoffrey Blancaneaux
Jonathan Eysseric
Maxime Hamou
Calvin Hémery
Constant Lestienne
Corentin Moutet
Gleb Sakharov

Women’s singles qualifying draw

Audrey Albié
Manon Arcangioli
Yasmine Mansouri
Jessika Ponchet
Jade Suvrijn
Harmony Tan
Following to the agreement between the FFT and Tennis Canada, a wild-card is allocated to a player from Canada.

Wheelchair tennis

Shingo Kunieda (JPN)
Charlotte Famin

 

Bernard Giudicelli, President of the FFT, informed Maria Sharapova of his decision as follows:

 

I merely wished to say that I had decided not to award you the wild card that you had requested. No-one will ever be able to take away the two titles which you won here at Roland-Garros, because you won them according to the rules, owing nothing to anyone. I read very carefully articles 100 and 101 of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which reduced the length of your ban.
While it is true that the CAS reduced your ban, it agreed with the independent tribunal which stated that you had violated the anti-doping programme which applies to tennis, for which you were suspended for 15 months.
You served your ban with dignity and respect, and now it is in the past.
Nevertheless, while wild cards can be awarded to players returning from injury, this cannot be the case for those coming back from doping bans.
It is now up to you, day by day, one tournament after the next, to find the strength within you to win more major titles, without owing anything to anyone.

 

Related article:

Maria Sharapova Denied French Open Wild Card; Retires From Rome Match with Left Thigh Injury

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Fabio Fognini Stops No. 1 Andy Murray in Rome Second Round

Andy Murray

Fabio Fognini Stops No. 1 Andy Murray in Rome Second Round

 

(May 16, 2017) World No.1 Andy Murray will head into the French Open with few clay court wins under his belt. The three-time major winner and defending champion lost No. 29 Fabio Fognini of Italy in the second round of the Rome Masters 6-2, 6-4 much to the delight of local fans. Since winning the Dubai title in February, Murray is 5-6.

Fognini was fearless, hitting 22 winners to only four errors.

“I’m sure there were a lot of things I could have done better,” Murray said to media. “Obviously he started the match extremely well, for sure, and then, you know, mid to end part of the second set, you know, there were a few opportunities there.

“But, yeah, he was — you know, he was taking the ball early, you know, hitting the ball close to the lines and dominating most of the points.

“And then second set, you know, towards the end he starts making a few more mistakes. I was getting into it a little bit, but I wasn’t doing enough to — you know, I wasn’t creating enough chances on my own. You know, normally during matches your opponent might give you a few opportunities with some errors, and obviously you hope to create a few yourself.

“That certainly wasn’t the case today. The only chance I really got was when he was making errors.”

 

“Definitely movement the last two weeks has not been good,” Murray continued. “I felt like I moved decent in — you know, in the beginning of the year I was moving well. I moved pretty well in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, but the last two weeks I haven’t moved well.

“You know, Fabio did play some good dropshots, but like you say, I wasn’t actually making a move or a step towards the ball.

“You know, that’s not a good sign, so that’s something, like I said, the last two years on the clay, that’s been a huge improvement for me. My movement has been a big help, you know, last couple of years, but certainly the last couple of weeks that’s been a problem. So I need to address that.”

 

No. 2 Novak Djokovic beat British qualifier Aljaz Bedene 7-6 (2), 6-2.

“Bedene is the kind of player that gives you good rhythm,” noted the Serb. “I had some good exchanges, some good games with rallies and it felt right, especially in the second set.

“Tiebreak I played a great tiebreak. Served very well when I needed to. I just — you know, I just wish that I had started a little bit sharper. But hopefully the next one will be good.”

 

A couple of ATP World Tour milestones from Tuesday – David Ferrer notched his 700th career match win on the tour while Tomas Berdych won his 600th.

 

 

INTERNAZIONALI BNL D’ITALIA – ROME, ITALY

RESULTS – MAY 16, 2017

Men’s
Singles – Second Round
F. Fognini (ITA) d [1] A. Murray (GBR) 62 64
[2] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] A. Bedene (GBR) 76(2) 62
[6] M. Cilic (CRO) d R. Harrison (USA) 63 62
[9] D. Goffin (BEL) d F. Verdasco (ESP) 36 63 62
[12] T. Berdych (CZE) d [Q] C. Berlocq (ARG) 63 64
J. Isner (USA) d F. Mayer (GER) 76(4) 76(4)

Men’s
Singles – First Round
[13] J. Sock (USA) d D. Schwartzman (ARG) 64 16 75
[15] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) d G. Simon (FRA) 63 63
[16] A. Zverev (GER) d [Q] K. Anderson (RSA) 64 46 64
[PR] T. Haas (GER) d [LL] E. Escobedo (USA) 60 46 76(1)
B. Paire (FRA) d N. Mahut (FRA) 63 64
P. Cuevas (URU) d [Q] A. Mannarino (FRA) 64 76(2)
D. Ferrer (ESP) d F. Lopez (ESP) 46 63 61
R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d *[LL] A. Dolgopolov (UKR) 64 62

Men’s
Doubles – First Round
N. Mektic (CRO) / A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) d [WC] F. Gaio (ITA) / S. Napolitano (ITA) 76(3) 63
R. Bopanna (IND) / P. Cuevas (URU) d [WC] S. Bolelli (ITA) / A. Seppi (ITA) 64 62
B. Baker (USA) / N. Monroe (USA) d J. del Potro (ARG) / M. Matkowski (POL) 36 75 10-5

*[LL] A. Dolgopolov (UKR) replaced N. Kyrgios (AUS) – hip
Women’s
Singles – Second Round

[5] J. Konta (GBR) d Y. Putintseva (KAZ) 63 60
[7] S. Kuznetsova (RUS) d K. Siniakova (CZE) 61 76(3)
[16] M. Lucic-Baroni (CRO) d [WC] M. Sharapova (RUS) 64 36 12 Retired – left thigh injury
First Round
[Q] D. Gavrilova (AUS) d [10] M. Keys (USA) 26 75 75
J. Goerges (GER) d [13] K. Mladenovic (FRA) 76(6) 75
[15] K. Bertens (NED) d M. Niculescu (ROU) 26 62 61
[Q] A. Kontaveit (EST) d [Q] A. Petkovic (GER) 63 64
A. Sevastova (LAT) d I. Begu (ROU) 64 64
E. Makarova (RUS) d R. Vinci (ITA) 62 61
[Q] C. Bellis (USA) d M. Doi (JPN) 64 76(6)
[Q] J. Ostapenko (LAT) d S. Rogers (USA) 63 64
T. Bacsinszky (SUI) d T. Babos (HUN) 62 62
L. Davis (USA) d C. Suárez Navarro (ESP) 62 57 63

Women’s
Doubles – First Round

B. Krejcikova (CZE) / S. Zheng (CHN) d [5] K. Pliskova (CZE) / B. Strycova (CZE) 06 64 10-8
[PR] L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP) d D. Gavrilova (AUS) / A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 36 64 11-9
[WC] J. Jankovic (SRB) / A. Petkovic (GER) d [WC] D. Chiesa (ITA) / S. Rubini (ITA) 75 62
[Alt] O. Savchuk (UKR) / E. Svitolina (UKR) d S. Aoyama (JPN) / C. Liang (CHN) 64 62
E. Hozumi (JPN) / M. Kato (JPN) d S. Stosur (AUS) / S. Zhang (CHN) 62 64

ORDER OF PLAY – WEDNESDAY, MAY 17, 2017
CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
ATP – [7] K. Nishikori (JPN) vs D. Ferrer (ESP)
ATP – [Q] N. Almagro (ESP) vs [4] R. Nadal (ESP)
WTA – [1] A. Kerber (GER) vs [Q] A. Kontaveit (EST)

Not Before 7:30 pm
ATP – [3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs B. Paire (FRA)

Not Before 9:00 pm
WTA – [Q] J. Ostapenko (LAT) vs [3] G. Muguruza (ESP)

NEXT GEN ARENA start 11:00 am
WTA – [8] E. Svitolina (UKR) vs A. Cornet (FRA)

Not Before 12:00 noon
ATP – K. Edmund (GBR) vs J. del Potro (ARG)
WTA – L. Tsurenko (UKR) vs [9] V. Williams (USA)
ATP – [8] D. Thiem (AUT) vs P. Cuevas (URU)

Not Before 7:00 pm
ATP – [Q] J. Struff (GER) vs S. Querrey (USA)

PIETRANGELI start 11:00 am
WTA – L. Siegemund (GER) vs [6] S. Halep (ROU)
WTA – L. Davis (USA) vs [2] K. Pliskova (CZE)
ATP – V. Troicki (SRB) vs [16] A. Zverev (GER)
ATP – [PR] T. Haas (GER) vs [5] M. Raonic (CAN)

Not Before 5:00 pm
WTA – [4] D. Cibulkova (SVK) vs E. Makarova (RUS)

COURT 1 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] C. Bellis (USA) vs [15] K. Bertens (NED)
WTA – [Q] D. Gavrilova (AUS) vs C. Garcia (FRA)
ATP – [13] J. Sock (USA) vs J. Vesely (CZE)
ATP – [15] P. Carreno Busta (ESP) vs R. Bautista Agut (ESP)
ATP – [3] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA) vs J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA)

COURT 2 start 11:00 am
WTA – [Q] M. Barthel (GER) vs [Q] Q. Wang (CHN)

Not Before 1:00 pm
WTA – J. Goerges (GER) vs J. Jankovic (SRB)
WTA – [14] B. Strycova (CZE) vs T. Bacsinszky (SUI)
ATP – N. Mektic (CRO) / A. Ramos-Vinolas (ESP) vs [8] I. Dodig (CRO) / M. Granollers (ESP)
WTA – [4] T. Babos (HUN) / A. Hlavackova (CZE) vs [PR] L. Arruabarrena (ESP) / A. Parra Santonja (ESP)

COURT 4 start 11:00 am
WTA – [WC] S. Errani (ITA) / M. Trevisan (ITA) vs C. Mchale (USA) / M. Niculescu (ROU)
WTA – [12] A. Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) vs A. Sevastova (LAT)
ATP – J. Sousa (POR) / F. Verdasco (ESP) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
WTA – N. Hibino (JPN) / A. Rosolska (POL) vs [2] Y. Chan (TPE) / M. Hingis (SUI)

COURT 6 start 12:00 noon
ATP – O. Marach (AUT) / M. Pavic (CRO) vs [Alt] T. Huey (PHI) / M. Venus (NZL)
WTA – S. Kuznetsova (RUS) / K. Mladenovic (FRA) vs A. Groenefeld (GER) / K. Peschke (CZE)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – D. Jurak (CRO) / A. Rodionova (AUS) vs K. Bertens (NED) / J. Goerges (GER)

COURT 3 start 1:00 pm
WTA – K. Bondarenko (UKR) / K. Siniakova (CZE) vs [7] G. Dabrowski (CAN) / Y. Xu (CHN)
WTA – After Suitable Rest – [Alt] O. Savchuk (UKR) / E. Svitolina (UKR) vs [3] S. Mirza (IND) / Y. Shvedova (KAZ)

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