October 28, 2016

Angelique Kerber Clinches 2016 Year-End WTA World No.1 Ranking

Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber

(October 20, 2016) The Women’s Tennis Association announced that Germany’s Angelique Kerber has clinched the 2016 WTA Year-End World No. 1 Singles Ranking.

Since the inception of computer rankings in 1975, Kerber becomes the 12th WTA player to achieve the year-end No.1 ranking and only the second German woman after Stefanie Graf, who did this a record eight times in her career.

Kerber became the oldest player to make her debut at No.1 on September 12, 2016 at 28 years-old.  She has held on to the top spot for six weeks and is ensured to claim the position as the top player for the rest of the year. Serena Williams has held the year-end No.1 ranking for the past three years.

Steve Simon, WTA CEO: “Winning two Grand Slam titles, ascending as the No.1 player and holding a remarkable record all season long is a true testament to Angie’s hard work and dedication to the sport. We look forward to watching Angie continue her journey as the leading player on the WTA and the world.”

“It is a great honor and achievement to finish the year as the No.1 player in the world,” said Angelique Kerber. “This is one of the things I’ve always been dreaming of – to become No.1. I have worked extremely hard to become the best player I can be and this is a reflection of that effort and the wonderful year I have had.”

Kerber began the season by claiming her first major title at the Australian Open. She then successfully defended her title at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, advanced to the Wimbledon final, captured a silver medal in singles at the Rio Olympics, and claimed her second major title at the US Open while taking over as the World No.1 for the first time in her career.

Kerber leads the WTA for most main draw match wins this season, at 59-17, and her other highlights include reaching two finals at the Brisbane International and the Western & Southern Open – Cincinnati and the semifinals at the Miami Open, Volvo Car Open – Charleston and Rogers Cup – Montreal.

The Year-End No.1 trophy will be presented to Kerber at the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore.


Tennis Channel to Air Coverage of BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19, 2016 – Tennis Channel will air live daily matches and offer comprehensive coverage from the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore, the exclusive year-end tournament for the top eight singles players and doubles teams in women’s tennis. The network will serve as the primary home of the event as No. 1 Angelique Kerber and others battle for the 2016 championship from October 23 to October 30.
Tennis Channel will air more than 20 live hours of this year’s BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore. Additionally, digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus will provide complete tournament coverage live and on-demand, offering more than 30 hours of match play. The year-end event begins Sunday, Oct. 23, at 5 a.m. ET, with live round-robin singles play. The network’s on-air team will feature Mary Carillo, along with coach Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone) and Hall of Famers Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) and Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76). Austin won the WTA Finals singles title in 1980, while Davenport won it in 1999 and three straight doubles championships from 1996-1998.
The network’s BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore matches will be featured as a part of its bouncing Center Court coverage, which will also include live matches from the men’s tournaments in Basel, Switzerland, and Vienna, Austria. These events feature some of the game’s top players including US Open champion Stan Wawrinka and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.
Outside of the four majors, the year-end WTA Tour Finals ranks as the most prestigious women’s tournament on the circuit. By way of total points accrued during the season, only the top eight singles players and doubles teams qualify for the competition. Rewarding the yearlong achievements of the best players in 2016, the WTA Tour Finals offers a week of highly competitive matches and some of the sport’s greatest annual drama. Singles players are placed into two different groups of four, with each competitor getting an opportunity to play each woman in her group through a round-robin schedule. The top two from each group will meet in a single-elimination semifinal with the winners squaring off in the final. The tournament’s doubles competition will use a traditional single-elimination format.
2016 Australian and US Open champion and World No. 1 Kerber leads the singles players as the number one seed with six other women also having qualified. 2015 WTA Tour Finals champion Agnieszka Radwanska, 2014 French Open finalist Simona Halep, 2016 US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova, 2016 French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, World No. 7 Madison Keys and 2014 Australian Open finalist Dominika Cibulkova have all claimed spots.
The BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore doubles field is set, with qualifiers in all eight spots. French Open doubles champions Caroline Garcia/Kristina Mladenovic lead the pack, followed by Martina Hingis/Sania Mirza, Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Lucie Safarova, Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina, Yung-Jan Chan/Hao-Ching Chan, Yaroslava Shvedova/Timea Babos, Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka and Julia Goerges/Karolina Pliskova.
Tennis Channel’s 2016 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore schedule (all matches are live unless noted otherwise):
                 Date                                             Time (ET)                                       Event
Sunday, Oct. 23
5 a.m.-7 a.m.; 7:30 a.m.-9:15 a.m.
Round-Robin Singles
Monday, Oct. 24
5 a.m.-7 a.m.; 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Round-Robin Singles
Tuesday, Oct. 25
7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.; 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Round-Robin Singles
Wednesday, Oct. 26
7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.; 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Round-Robin Singles
Thursday, Oct. 27
1 a.m.-4 a.m.; 4 a.m.-6 a.m.; 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.; 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
Knockout Doubles and Round-Robin Singles
Friday, Oct. 28
1 a.m.-4 a.m.; 4 a.m.-6 a.m.; 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.; 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
Knockout Doubles and Round-Robin Singles
Saturday, Oct. 29
1 a.m.-4 a.m.; 4 a.m.-6 a.m.; 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.; 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.
Doubles Semifinals and Singles Semifinals
Sunday, Oct. 30
4 a.m.-6 a.m.; 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m.
Doubles Final and Singles Final (Same day delay)

ATP Sanctions Nick Kyrgios

Kyrgios smiles

ATP World Tour News Release


News Release


17 October 2016


LONDON – Following the completion of its investigation into Nick Kyrgios’ second round match last week at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, the ATP has announced that Kyrgios has been found to have committed the player major offense ‘Conduct Contrary to the Integrity of the Game.’

The offense means that Kyrgios receives an additional fine of US$ 25,000, and is suspended from ATP tournaments for eight tournament weeks, effective from today, Monday 17 October, 2016, through to Sunday 15 January, 2017.

However, the suspension will be reduced to three tournament weeks upon agreement that the player enters a plan of care under the direction of a Sports Psychologist, or an equivalent plan approved by ATP, meaning Kyrgios could regain eligibility to compete on the ATP World Tour or Challenger Tour from Monday 7 November, 2016.

Kyrgios had already been fined a total of US$ 16,500 for breaches of the ATP Code of Conduct by the ATP Supervisors on-site in Shanghai. He received the on-site maximum fine of US$ 10,000 for violations of the Best Efforts provision in the Code, as well as a US$ 5,000 fine for Verbal Abuse of a Spectator, and a US$ 1,500 fine for Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

Today’s announcement completes the ATP’s investigation into this matter which, following the conclusion of the on-site process, included further review of the match, as well as comments made during Kyrgios’ post-match press conference.

Tennis Australia statement regarding Nick Kyrgios

“Tennis Australia will support the ATP sanction on Nick Kyrgios following recent events in Shanghai.

“Nick’s health and wellbeing is a priority and the ATP has offered a reduced penalty on the provision that he seeks appropriate professional advice, which he has agreed to do.

“Nick understands the gravity of his actions, has shown remorse and expressed a willingness to improve.

“We believe it’s our responsibility to help Nick, along with all our young athletes, improve both professionally on court as a player, and personally. We have always offered assistance and advice to Nick and his team and will continue to do so.”


Related article:

Nadal Loses in Shanghai Opening Round; Kyrgios Booed in Loss


Serena Williams Withdraws from the WTA Finals with a Shoulder Injury

Serena Williams

Serena Williams

(October 17, 2016) St. Petersburg, Florida — World No.2 Serena Williams will not take part at the WTA Finals in Singapore after receiving medical advice regarding a shoulder injury.

The 22-time major champion, 35, made the announcement late on Sunday after missing recent tournaments in Wuhan and Beijing due to the injury.

“I was looking forward to competing in Singapore this year and playing against the best players in the world,” said Williams. “However, I have received disappointing news from my doctor that I must undergo a series of medical treatments for my shoulder and will be off the court for the next several weeks.

“I will miss coming to Singapore for the year-end Finals and playing in front of my fans but truly hope to be back soon.”

Williams has participated in eight tournaments this season, winning two titles, Wimbledon and Internazionali BNL d’Italia – Rome.

Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova, Garbiñe Muguruza, Madison Keys and Dominika Cibulkova have already qualified for the tournament, which starts on October 23 and ends on October 30.

The withdrawal of Serena Williams has opened up the eighth qualification spot for the Singapore event, now providing chances to Britain’s Johanna Konta, Spain’s Carla Suárez Navarro and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova.  Either Suárez Navarro or Kuznetsova must win the title in Moscow at the VTB Kremlin Cup next week in order to edge out Konta for the eighth and final qualifying spot.

Steve Simon, WTA CEO stated, “We’re as disappointed as the fans not to see Serena finish her season in Singapore. We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her back competing, fit and healthy. The race now intensifies this week as players fight for the remaining berth. Fans can expect an exciting WTA Finals this year, with reigning champion, Aga Radwanska, defending her title and our World No.1, Angie Kerber, seeking to consolidate her outstanding season with a victory in Singapore.”

Click here to see Serena Williams’ video message to her fans regarding her withdrawal.


Andy Murray wins Shanghai Masters for Sixth Title of the Year

(October 16, 2016)

Andy Murray won his sixth title of 2016 when he defeated surprise finalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(1), 6-1 for the Shanghai Masters crown on Sunday. It’s his 13th Masters Series 1000 title.

Bautista Agut upset No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the semifinals on Saturday. The Spaniard was trying to win his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and third title of the season.

The win narrows Djokovic’s lead over Murray in the “Race to London” to just 915 points.


For the 29-year-old Scotsman, Murray, it’s his 41st career ATP World Tour title, placing him in 15th place on the all-time list.


“I did feel like I played better this week than last week,” Murray said. “In all of the matches I was hitting the ball pretty clean.”

“The most important thing to reach No. 1 is to be extremely consistent throughout the whole year, which I have done really since the clay-court season,” Murray said. “I believe I can get there. I definitely believe I can get there. These last few months have proved that to me… I’ll give it my best shot to do it, because I may never get another chance.”


“I think it was a close first set,” Bautista Agut said. “It was not easy for me to handle all the emotions I had this week. For me, it was not easy to feel perfect on the court and in my first final appearance at a Masters 1000,” Bautista Agut said. “But I think I gave everything on the court today.”

“I’m going to learn from all the success I had this week.”

Jack Sock

Jack Sock

In the doubles, Americans John Isner and Jack Sock won their first Masters title as a team, beating Henri Kontinen and John Peers 6-4, 6-4.
“We both definitely prefer singles, but we also have a lot of fun playing with each other in doubles,” Isner said. “I think that’s the No. 1 reason why we did so well this week is because we are having a lot of fun with it.”

“It’s always fun playing with a good friend,” Sock said. “John is probably my best friend on tour… Like he said, we just had a lot of fun. Laughed a lot. Kept it light out there. I think that’s why we played pretty well.”


Venus Williams to Play Charleston in 2017

Venus Williams

Venus Williams

(October 12, 2016) DANIEL ISLAND, S.C. – Venus Williams has committed to play in the 2017 Volvo Car Open, April 1st – 9th, on Daniel Island in Charleston, South Carolina. She joins World No. 7 Madison Keys and Olympic Gold Medalist Monica Puig in the player field forming for the WTA premier tournament.

The 2017 tournament will mark the former World No. 1’s ninth time competing in Charleston, where she holds a 20-7 record. She won the tournament in 2004 during her inaugural Charleston tournament.

“Venus is a seven-time Grand Slam champion, and one of the most recognizable and respected athletes, not only in tennis but in all sports,” said Eleanor Adams, Volvo Car Open Tournament Manager. “After a career spanning two decades, and with an amazing resurgence over the past year, she’s still winning titles, competing at the top of the game and entertaining the fans. Few others have contributed to the history of woman’s tennis as Venus has, and it’s an honor to welcome her back to Charleston.”

Williams has amassed 49 WTA titles in her career, including one in 2016 in Kaohsiung. She recently made the semifinals in Wimbledon, finals in Stanford and the fourth round of the US Open, which resulted in a thrilling three-set match that ended in a tiebreaker against Karolina Pliskova.

“I love Charleston!” said Williams. “It is one of my favorite stops throughout the year, where the fans always support and push me. I have so many wonderful memories and can’t wait to come back to play again in April.”

The 2015 season marked Williams’ twelfth Top 10 season of her career.

The nine-day Volvo Car Open is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America, attracting an average of 90,000 attendees and 70+ of the top tennis players.


Nadal Loses in Shanghai Opening Round; Kyrgios Booed in Loss

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

(October 12, 2016) Rafael Nadal lost in his opening match at the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday. The fourth seed and14-time major champion was beaten for the first time by Viktor Troicki 6-3, 7-6 (3).

Nadal was trying to solidify his spot in the ATP World Tour Finals said in press he was uncertain if he was going to continue playing this year:

“I cannot say now what I’m going do during the next month,” Nadal said. “Sometimes keep competing is not the solution. Sometimes the solution is practice………. and have a process of training. And maybe that’s an opportunity to do it.”

“I have two months and a half to put myself at the level that I need to be,” Nadal said about preparing for the 2017 Australian Open, “and I have the confidence that I’m going to do it.”

“It was a great feeling on the court playing like this and playing like this against Rafa Nadal, who is a great champion,” said the 31st -ranked Troicki. “It makes it extra special to beat him for the first time, especially in such a big tournament like Shanghai.”

Advancing to third round on Wednesday included second and third seeds Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Twelfth seed Nick Kyrgios was booed by fans in Shanghai for a lack of effort in his loss to German qualifier Mischa Zverev 6-3, 6-1. Kyrgios even argued with a fan.

“This is a professional tournament,” Chair Umpire Ali Nili said in reprimanding Kyrgios during a changeover. “You have to act like a professional.”

Kyrgios from his news conference on his behavior during the match:

“It’s my choice. If you don’t like it, I didn’t ask you to come and watch. Just leave.

“If you’re so good at giving advice and so good at tennis, why aren’t you as good as me? Why aren’t you on the tour?

“You want to buy a ticket? Come watch me. You know I’m unpredictable. It’s your choice. I don’t owe you anything.”


He later apologized on his twitter account:



Shanghai Rolex Masters

Shanghai, China


Singles – Second Round
[2] A. Murray (GBR) d S. Johnson (USA) 63 62
[3] S. Wawrinka (SUI) d [Q] K. Edmund (GBR) 63 64
V. Troicki (SRB) d [4] R. Nadal (ESP) 63 76(3)
[5] M. Raonic (CAN) d P. Lorenzi (ITA) 62 64
M. Granollers (ESP) d [7] T. Berdych (CZE) 76(4) 76(1)
[11] D. Goffin (BEL) d B. Paire (FRA) 61 76(0)
[Q] M. Zverev (GER) d [12] N. Kyrgios (AUS) 63 61
[13] L. Pouille (FRA) d N. Almagro (ESP) 64 76(10)
[15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d [Q] T. Fritz (USA) 64 64
[Q] V. Pospisil (CAN) d G. Dimitrov (BUL) 75 76(2)
J. Sock (USA) d F. Lopez (ESP) 63 46 64
G. Simon (FRA) d [WC] D. Wu (CHN) 62 62

Doubles – Second Round
[2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d M. Matkowski (POL) / J. Rojer (NED) 61 76(3)
[4] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP) d J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL) 76(4) 63
J. Tsonga (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d [5] R. Klaasen (RSA) / R. Ram (USA) 64 62
M. Cilic (CRO) / M. Pavic (CRO) d [6] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) 57 64 10-8
J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA) d [7] T. Huey (PHI) / M. Mirnyi (BLR) 16 76(6) 10-5

Doubles – First Round
H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) d P. Petzschner (GER) / A. Zverev (GER) 62 63
P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP) d O. Marach (AUT) / F. Martin (FRA) 62 76(4)


STADIUM start 1:00 pm
[9] J. Tsonga (FRA) vs A. Zverev (GER)
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [Q] V. Pospisil (CAN)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[13] L. Pouille (FRA) vs [2] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 8:00 pm
G. Simon (FRA) vs [3] S. Wawrinka (SUI)

UNION PAY 3 start 1:00 pm
[Q] M. Zverev (GER) vs M. Granollers (ESP)
[5] M. Raonic (CAN) vs J. Sock (USA)
V. Troicki (SRB) vs [15] R. Bautista Agut (ESP)

Not Before 6:00 pm
[6] G. Monfils (FRA) vs [11] D. Goffin (BEL)

GRANDSTAND start Not Before 3:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – J. Tsonga (FRA) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs [2] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA)
After Suitable Rest – J. Isner (USA) / J. Sock (USA) vs [4] F. Lopez (ESP) / M. Lopez (ESP)

COURT 4 start Not Before 3:00 pm
After Suitable Rest – [3] L. Kubot (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) vs P. Cuevas (URU) / M. Granollers (ESP)
After Suitable Rest – H. Kontinen (FIN) / J. Peers (AUS) vs [8] R. Lindstedt (SWE) / V. Pospisil (CAN)


Andy Murray and Agnieszka Radwanska Capture China Open Singles Crowns

(October 9, 2016) Andy Murray won his 40th ATP singles title, while Agnieszka Radwanska captured her 20th WTA crown as both were victorious at the China Open.

Scotsman Murray became just the 16th man to win 40 titles in the Open Era beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 7-6(2).

“It was probably my best match of the week,” Murray said. “But my second serve tonight was probably the best part of my game. A lot of the unreturned serves came off second serves. Considering the conditions were fairly cold, I was still serving over a hundred miles an hour on some second serves. I felt using good variation on that shot, so I didn’t give him a chance to really attack me there and that was probably the thing that I did best tonight.”

“I think the past couple of times, Andy has been playing really well against me,” Dimitrov said. “I didn’t start my match the best way possible. I got broken right away in the first game. There are very different conditions today, pretty chilly. I think I just didn’t have enough time to adjust.”
For Murray, this was his fifth title of the year, the most in a year for the 29-year-old since 2011.


Murray, who did not drop a set this week, is now within 1,555 points of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the rankings.

Agnieszka Radwanska

Agnieszka Radwanska

For the third seed Radwanska, her win over Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-2, gave her, her third title of the year, all without dropping a set.


“Every title means a lot, but especially here when you play against the best players in the world, in one of the biggest tournaments,” Radwanska said. “It’s top players from the first round and I’ve been playing my best tennis all week so of course I’m very happy to win this tournament again, and this trophy is going to stay in a very special place.”
The Polish woman now joins Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, and Maria Sharapova as the only women to have won three or more Premier Mandatory titles. She is now tied with Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep, Sloane Stephens, and Victoria Azarenka for most titles in 2016.
Konta great week makes her the first British woman to crack the Top 10 since Jo Durie did it in 1984.

“It’s pretty cool! I’m very pleased with my progress over the past few years and hopefully many more places to climb,” Konta said. “I’m just working hard towards playing matches like these, against players like Agnieszka.”
“I had a lot of very amazing memories here at the China Open. It’s definitely one event I will remember for a very, very long time. Obviously I definitely would have loved to come out on top today, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me.

“Yeah, no, I think all in all I kept improving every match that I played. I really tried to build on the previous one constantly.

“I think equally today I will have a lot of things that I can build on and improve on, so I’m really looking forward to that. Hopefully I will be able to create many more opportunities like this.”

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

In the men’s doubles, Rafael Nadal improved his finals record to 11-4 pairing up with countryman Pablo Carreno Busta to win 6-7(6), 6-2, 10-8 over Jack Sock and Bernard Tomic.

“We enjoy [playing] together,” Nadal said. “We played some good matches here, I think, winning against some good players. Winning with a good friend, too, is something that is a bit more special. So we’re happy for that.”

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Bethanie Mattek-Sands

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova won the women’s doubles title, extending their current winning streak to 16.

“We had a lot of fun, like we do at every tournament,” Mattek-Sands said. “We have fun on and off the court, from the warm-ups to the dinners and foot massages. We had a lot of fun here in China and we’re looking forward to coming back.”


Nick Kyrgios Wins Japan Open

Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios

(October 9, 2016) Nick Kyrgios won his third ATP World Tour title on Sunday beating David Goffin 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 for the Japan Open Tennis Championships.


Kyrgios hit 25 aces to claim his first 500 level title.


Kyrgios said: “I played a very tough match against Gael Monfils yesterday, so it took me a little time to get into this match. David makes you feel like the court is very small. My serve got me out of trouble today.

“I enjoyed playing in front of the great crowd here. They’re very enthusiastic and very respectful. I have always loved playing in Japan.”

“It’s not easy to break him, because he was hitting 215 km/h serve on the line,” Goffin said. “I was trying to guess which way he was going. But he can still ace you. I tried my best, and it worked until 5-4 in the final set.”

Kyrgios adds his name to the list of young guns on the ATP World Tour to win titles this year, which includes Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov.


ITF Statement Regarding the Case of Maria Sharapova




6 October 2016


ITF statement regarding the case of Maria Sharapova


The ITF, as the administrator of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme on behalf of all of tennis’s governing bodies, wishes to respond to statements made in relation to the anti-doping rule violation committed by Maria Sharapova.


The ITF did not try to ban Ms. Sharapova for four years, as has been suggested. The ITF stated clearly that it was the responsibility of the Independent Tribunal – and subsequently the CAS Panel – to determine what the appropriate sanction should be. This included the decision as to whether Ms. Sharapova met the requirements set out in the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme – which are the same as those in the WADA Code – for a reduction from the default four-year suspension for the use of a non-specified substance such as meldonium. The CAS Panel confirmed Ms. Sharapova’s violation of the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme and a 15-month suspension.


The ITF provides a high-quality ‘first instance’ hearing system that is not only independent of the ITF, but also gives both parties full opportunity to present all of their evidence. The members of the Tribunal, which consisted of a barrister as Chairman and medical and scientific experts as co-members, issued a reasoned decision based on that evidence. Ms. Sharapova has stated that the Independent Tribunal was ‘not neutral’. Ms. Sharapova’s legal team was given the opportunity to object to the appointment of any member of that Tribunal in advance of the hearing, and they agreed in writing that they had no such objection.


It has also been suggested that the ITF should have given specific notice to Eastern European athletes relating to the change in status of meldonium, because it was in common use by those athletes, and that this was known by the ITF prior to 2016. This is not true. In fact, it was accepted by Ms. Sharapova in the hearing before CAS that the ITF did not know before 2016 about the extent to which meldonium was used by athletes from any region, or that Ms. Sharapova herself was using meldonium.


In addition to Ms. Sharapova’s failure to declare her use of meldonium on any of her doping control forms, the WADA monitoring program is conducted anonymously, so even WADA itself does not know the names of athletes using the substances being monitored. Furthermore, WADA does not inform any anti-doping organisation about the prevalence of such use until it publishes the results of the monitoring program, which for the 2015 monitoring program was in May 2016.


The ITF believes that the appropriate steps were taken to publicise the changes to the 2016 Prohibited List. Nonetheless, the ITF has reviewed, and will continue to review, its processes for communicating changes to the Prohibited List to players with the aim of ensuring that no player can claim that they had not been fully informed.


Related articles:

Maria Sharapova’s Ban Reduced to 15 Months

Maria Sharapova Suspended for Two Years for Testing Positive for Meldonium