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.”
Richard Gasquet compte bien disputer l’US Open fin août si le tournoi est maintenu et si le protocole sanitaire est « drastique ».
— L’ÉQUIPE (@lequipe) August 2, 2020
… 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.
Maria Sakkari: “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”https://t.co/6kzJWL21ZF
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) August 3, 2020
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.
“It’s difficult to see a scenario where it really does go well for the US Open.”
– @JRBlake on today’s pod, discussing the return of tennis and the challenges of running an event at this time. Loads of valuable insight.
— The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast) August 3, 2020
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.
A two-time #CincyTennis champion and a trio of Americans join our player field:
🇬🇧 Andy Murray 🏆🏆
🇺🇸 Tommy Paul
🇺🇸 Tennys Sandgren
🇺🇸 Frances Tiafoe
— Western & Southern Open (@CincyTennis) August 3, 2020
Donna Vekic – First match in five months … excited!
— Donna Vekic (@DonnaVekic) August 3, 2020
World TeamTennis – Endless memories
#WTT2020: 9 teams, 22 days, 66 matches, 330 matches, 1 Champion… endless memories. The historic 45th season of World TeamTennis has come to an end, but the highlights & experiences from this incredible journey will live on for a long time to come. #EveryPointCounts. Seriously. pic.twitter.com/uLBblaaZw7
— World TeamTennis (@WorldTeamTennis) August 3, 2020
Kim Clijsters – What a great 3 weeks with the New York Empire
What a great 3 weeks with @nyempiretennis #TeamAwesome such great energy – we had each other’s back for every point! 💪 @lukebjensen @nealskupski #jacksock @nicole_melichar @CoCoVandey @sabinelisicki @savvy_bap #kvetapeachke #EveryPointCounts @WorldTeamTennis pic.twitter.com/duBmx7oAoJ
— Kim Clijsters (@Clijsterskim) August 3, 2020
Judy Murray – One of the best tennis weeks EVER
— judy murray (@JudyMurray) August 2, 2020
The Way Back Machine – Andy Murray 2012 Olympic Games
The 1⃣st Brit to make any @Olympics tennis men’s singles final for 1⃣0⃣0⃣ years 🇬🇧🏅#OnThisDay in 2012 @andy_murray beat Novak Djokovic 7-5 7-5 in the semi-finals at the London games pic.twitter.com/8XOZHuL3rr
— LTA (@the_LTA) August 3, 2020
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.
— Kristie Ahn (@kristieahn) August 2, 2020
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.”
Will line judges go the way of net-cord judges and wooden rackets? My look at the arrival of Hawkeye-Live at tennis’s highest level, and the continued rise of the machines https://t.co/Sn6SiQsx6c
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) August 3, 2020
What they’re sharing on social media
When I look at this picture, I just want to yodel….💁😉 https://t.co/ugbw8uoeaZ
— Chris Evert (@ChrissieEvert) August 2, 2020