WASHINGTON, August 21, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic admits he was “very close to not coming,” to New York to play in the Masters 1000 Western & Southern Open and US Open, both being held under strict health and safety protocols in a “bubble” at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
As Christopher Clarey, tennis correspondent for The New York Times reports in an exclusive interview, Djokovic decided to go to New York less than a week before he arrived and “only after players were given guarantees by European governments that they would not be expected to quarantine when they traveled to Europe after the US Open.”
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) August 17, 2020
As Djokovic told Clarey in a Zoom call: “There were a lot of uncertainties. And there still are, yeah, a lot of things that are not really clear.
“I want to play. I mean that’s why I’m here. I am personally not afraid of being in a risky, dangerous health situation for myself. If I felt that way, I most likely would not be here. I am cautious of course, and I have to be responsible and of course respect the regulations and rules and restrictions as anybody else. But things are unpredictable. Anything can happen in the tennis court or off the tennis court.”
Zoomed with No. 1 Novak Djokovic this week for his first interview since the Adria Tour. After all the negotiations & hesitations, he has made it to New York with mixed emotions but ready to rumble. Our exclusivehttps://t.co/nIUzBnZaxI
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) August 20, 2020
Guido Pella, Hugo Dellien withdrawn from W&S Open
Late Wednesday evening, Stephanie Myles, whose Open Court blog is a must read, broke news that the non-player who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday was reported to be Juan Galván, who is the physical trainer for South American players Guido Pella of Argentina and Hugo Dellien from Bolivia. She sited Argentine tennis writer Sevastián Torok as the source “who put it out there before the players themselves.”
The fallout is that because Pella and Dellien had been in close and prolonged contact with Galván, they have to be quarantined. The players are not experiencing any symptoms. As Myles reported, “The result of the positive test for Galván, who reportedly is asymptomatic and in good shape, is that they players he had contact with must quarantine for 14 days. Thus, they are out of the ‘Cincinnati’ tournament.”
Galván’s roommate has to quarantine. It is reported to be José Acasuso, a former touring player, who is the coach of Pella.
The one positive COVID test in the @usopen bubble so far has had exponential effects as players @guido_pella and @hugo_dellien both were withdrawn from @CincyTennis https://t.co/4dGqaQZ2eo pic.twitter.com/4Ov9TGvaB0
— Stephanie Myles (@OpenCourt) August 20, 2020
Western & Southern Open – 178 days later, the ATP Tour is back
Wild card J.J. Wolf of the United States defeated No. 69 Egor Gerasimov of Belarus, 6-3, 6-1, in 52 minutes to become the first of 48 qualifying draw matches in the Western & Southern Open to finish on Thursday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., on Thursday. The 144th-ranked Wolf from Cincinnati, Ohio, broke his opponent four times and outpointed him 54-31 to advance to the next round against No. 105 Jaume Munar of Spain.
Men’s top seed Gilles Simon of France defeated alternate Taro Daniel from Japan, 6-3, 6-3. Next, he will face American wild card Sebastian Korda, who beat 15th seed Attila Balazs of Hungary. Meanwhile, women’s top seed Jil Teichmann of Switzerland advanced with 6-2, 6-2 win over Aliona Bolsova of Spain. Next, she will face 22nd seed American Shelby Rogers, who beat Margarita Gasparyan of Russia, 6-3, 7-6 (3).
The Grandstand, which is the third-largest court at the National Tennis Center, is designated as the main show court for the Western & Southern Open.
Cincinnati’s own JJ Wolf scores the 6-3, 6-1 winner over Gerasimov.
— Western & Southern Open (@CincyTennis) August 20, 2020
Coco Gauff is in the “bubble”
— Western & Southern Open (@CincyTennis) August 20, 2020
Top Seed Open champion Jennifer Brady
Lexington champion Jennifer Brady is back on the court for the Western & Southern Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
— wta (@WTA) August 20, 2020
Borna Coric – Full court player
— ASICS Tennis (@ASICSTennis) August 19, 2020
Kristina Mladenovic – Enjoying the “bubble” life
— Kristina Mladenovic (@KikiMladenovic) August 20, 2020
The Way Back Machine – 2004 Olympic Games
Tennis.com’s Joel Drucker looks back on the 2004 Olympic women’s semifinal between Justin Henin of Belgium and Russia’s Anastasia Myskina, won the Belgian. Henin would go on to win the gold medal.
As Drucker writes:
“Picture someone with the flair of Roger Federer and the intensity of Rafael Nadal. Make her 5’ 6” tall, hardly physically imposing—which meant nothing to her. Or maybe it meant everything, the trigger to her grand synthesis of skill and will. This was Belgian Justine Henin, speaker of three words that would become an adidas tagline: ‘Impossible is nothing.'”
You like twists and turns? The semifinal between @Justine_Henin and Anastasia Myskina at the 2004 Athens Olympics had plenty.@joeldrucker looks back on the roads that brought them together, before the two played out an instant classic.https://t.co/XvKWBKh1Q1
— TENNIS (@Tennis) August 20, 2020
What they’re sharing on social media
Amanda Anisimova / Happy to be back …
Happy to be back 🤩 pic.twitter.com/FFKemUHWRx
— Amanda Anisimova (@AnisimovaAmanda) August 20, 2020
Julia Goerges / Unleashing her power
— Jule Goerges✌️🇩🇪 (@juliagoerges) August 20, 2020
Daniil Medvedev / Flying mode
— Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) August 20, 2020
Naomi Osaka / Hi New York, it’s good to be back!
hi New York, it’s good to be back. pic.twitter.com/tOvRK0oUTO
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) August 19, 2020
Sloane Stephens / Whole squad ready
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