L’Equipe: Gasquet Speaks Out On Palermo, US Open

WASHINGTON, August 4, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

L’Equipe tennis writer Quentin Moynet recently caught up with French No. 6 Richard Gasquet, ranked 50th, who reached the semifinals of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown 2 over the weekend.

Gasquet spared no punches for the French sports daily when it came to commenting about the WTA’s relaunch this week in Palermo … “It is an absolute scandal that players are in the same hotel as tourists in Palermo,” said Gasquet. “I don’t know how the WTA can accept it. If you stage a tournament, it’s because the hotel is 100 percent reserved for players and staff. If you can’t, you cancel it.”

… as well as looking ahead to the US Open in New York City, which begins in four weeks: “If the lockdown is strict, then I’m not scared at all to be in New York in a bubble. It’s not pleasant, but who is living a pleasant life right now ? There’s unemployed people everywhere so I won’t cry. There’s more difficult things in life than being a tennis player.”

… Others are speaking out, too

Maria Sakkari, who is playing in the WTA Palermo Ladies Open this week, shared in an interview with The National‘s Reem Abulleil that she’s become quite concerned about a lack of communication coming from the United States regarding the upcoming Western & Southern Open and the US Open.

“The fact that US Open hasn’t made a decision yet is, sorry to say, pissing off every single player, because it’s 20 days away from Cincinnati starting,” Sakkari told Abulleil.

James Blake speaks out on the return of tennis

James Blake has gained perspective from being both a player and tournament director. The former World No. 4 from the United States, who is now the tournament director of the Miami Open, guests on the latest episode of The Tennis Podcast, just out, in which he takes listeners through what happened in March when the Miami Open was cancelled due to Covid-19 and explains “why he’s struggling to envisage the US Open going well.”

Elsewhere in the episode, Blake praises the way in which young stars such as Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff have used their platform to do good things during the past few months and why he thinks that more unity between the ATP and WTA would benefit tennis.

Western & Southern Open wild cards revealed

The ATP Masters 1000 Western & Southern Open, which this year because of the coronavirus outbreak will be played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. instead of the Cincinnati suburb of Mason, Ohio, announced on Monday its wild cards for the tournament which relaunches the ATP Tour.

The four wild cards have been awarded to No. 129 Andy Murray of Great Britain, who won the Western & Southern Open in 2008 and 2011, and Americans Tennys Sandgren (ranked 55th), No. 57 Tommy Paul and No. 81 Frances Tiafoe. It will mark the 2020 season debut for Murray, who has been recovering from a pelvic injury. His last official competition was in a Davis Cup tie against the Netherlands last November.

The main draw of the Western & Southern Open will take place Aug. 22-28.

Donna Vekic – First match in five months … excited!

World TeamTennis – Endless memories 

Kim Clijsters – What a great 3 weeks with the New York Empire

Judy Murray – One of the best tennis weeks EVER

The Way Back Machine – Andy Murray 2012 Olympic Games

Kristie Ahn, Tik Tok queen – I’m back!

Kristin Ahn has been away the past month playing World TeamTennis for the Vegas Rollers. Now that her WTT season is over, she’s back to creating Tik Tok videos – and that’s a good thing. Here, in her latest, she pays homages to a few of her favorite players.

What they’re writing

Christopher Clarey, tennis correspondent for The New York Times, asks whether line judges will go the way of net-cord judges and wooden racquets in his story, “Automated line calls will replace human judges at U.S. Open.”

What they’re sharing on social media