WASHINGTON, August 14, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
On Thursday afternoon, while Serena and Venus Williams played at an unbelievably high level in Kentucky in just their second match in five months, reigning US Open women’s singles champion Bianca Andreescu announced that she was withdrawing from this year’s US Open.
The 20-year-old Canadian Andreescu, who upset Serena Williams in last year’s US Open final, wrote on social media that the coronavirus pandemic had “compromised my ability to prepare and compete to the degree necessary to play at my highest level.”
Andreescu said, “I have taken this step in order to focus on my match fitness and ensure that I return ready to play at my highest level. The US Open victory last year has been the high point of my career thus far and I will miss not being there.”
Andreescu has not played since last October during the WTA Tour finals.
Previously, reigning men’s singles champion Rafael Nadal said he would not come to New York to defend his title.
— Bianca (@Bandreescu_) August 13, 2020
Djokovic confirms his participation in New York City
Social media platforms were all abuzz Thursday when World No. 1 Novak Djokovic confirmed he would be coming to New York City to play in both the Western & Southern Open and the US Open later this month. Each event will be staged at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.
“It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited,” Djokovic wrote on his Instagram platform. Djokovic will fly to New York on Saturday to begin preparing for both tournaments.
I’m happy to confirm that I‘ll participate at #CincyTennis and #USOpen this year. It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me really excited https://t.co/qgxSTHrKK4 pic.twitter.com/tg6rgwfFqm
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) August 13, 2020
Prague Open tournament director thanks WTA players
This mid-tournament note from the Prague Open tournament director thanking the WTA players for respecting the new rules is touching. Here’s hoping the event continues to be “a lighthouse shining modestly in the sea”
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) August 13, 2020
Australian Open: Five bubbles, 400,000 fans and full prize money
Word out of Melbourne, according to The Age, is next year’s Australian Open could be pushed back to later in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, tournament director Craig Tiley has suggested that organizers are confident putting on “the Happy Slam” on time in January with full prize money and with spectators at the Melbourne site.
Although Melbourne finds itself in the midst of a full lock down following a second spike in COVID-19 cases, Tiley and company have been hard at work drawing up contingency plans to ensure the year’s first Grand Slam can go on as scheduled.
— Todd Woodbridge (@toddwoodbridge) August 12, 2020
— Darren Cahill (@darren_cahill) August 12, 2020
The Way Back Machine – Australia-Switzerland 2003 Davis Cup
After being 2 points away from defeat in the third set, @lleytonhewitt produces one of the greatest ever comebacks to beat Roger Federer 5-7 2-6 7-6(4) 7-5 6-1 and book Australia’s place in the 2003 #DavisCup final…
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) August 13, 2020
What they’re saying
Canadian wild card Eugenie Bouchard, unlike most of her North American contemporaries who’ve stayed close to home, is embracing her journey to Eastern Europe. On Thursday, the 330th-ranked native of Montreal, Quebec, reached the quarterfinals of the Prague Open in her return to WTA competition by winning a tough three-setter over No. 72 Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia, 7-6 (2), 6-7 (2), 6-2. After her nearly-three-hour triumph, Bouchard shared with the WTA website what it’s like playing in the “new normal” times of tennis, which means with few or no fans in attendance.
“We’ve been practicing for months, so if feels like a practice match or an exhibition – but very real, because we have an umpire and ball boys,” Bouchard said. “It’s interesting, because tennis is already so individual – the fans can help you keep going if you’re tired or it’s getting close.
“Ive definitely had matches where the fans have helped, for sure. But now with this, you feel even more like it’s just you. You don’t have teammates to help you – and now in this case, no fans. So, it’s probably a little tougher mentally.
“I tried to think of fans watching online, or my family waking up to watch – I know they’re there somewhere around the world!”
What they’re sharing on social media
Karen Khachanov / Happy to confirm
I am finally happy to confirm that I will take part in @CincyTennis and @usopen. This decision was not easy to make, but together with my team we decided to go with taking in consideration the risks. pic.twitter.com/bkVrBK9MOH
— Karen Khachanov (@karenkhachanov) August 13, 2020
Citi Open / Today would have been Day 1
would have been 1️⃣ of the 2020 #CitiOpen.
there’s no room for sad tweets when we have so much to relive and celebrate…and also excitement and energy to make ‘21 the best year!
So cheers to ! The best is yet to come!
— Citi Open (@CitiOpen) August 13, 2020
Billie Jean King / No one succeeds alone
11 years ago, on August 12, 2009, President @BarackObama awarded me the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It remains one of the most impactful moments of my life. I share the honor w/all who supported me beginning w/the people of @LongBeachCity. No one succeeds alone.
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) August 12, 2020