Top Seed Fognini Out At Forte Village Sardegna Open

WASHINGTON, October 15, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

Top seed Fabio Fognini withdrew from the ATP 250 Forte Village Sardegna Open in Santa Margherita di Pula, Italy, after testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. In a statement released by the ATP, Fognini was moved into isolation. The tournament physician and ATP medical team will continue to monitor his condition.

Fognini’s place in the draw was taken by 166th-ranked lucky loser Danilo Petkovic of Serbia, who defeated No. 96 Roberto Carballes Baena of Spain, 6-1, 6-4, to move into the quarterfinal round.

Fognini is the third ATP Tour player who played in the recent French Open in Paris to test positive for the coronavirus in the past week, joining David Goffin of Belgium and Sam Querrey from the United States.

Also advancing to the Sardinia quarterfinals were: No. 78 Federico Delbonis of Argentina, who upset No. 6 seed Pablo Andújar from Spain, 5-7, 7-6 (5), 5-4, and gained his first win against the Spaniard in seven tries; No. 67 Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic, who beat No. 5 seed Lorenzo Sonego from Italy, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1; and in an all-Serbia battle, No. 74 Laslo Djere took out second seed Dusan Lajovic, ranked 24th, 6-4, 7-5.

In a pair of first-round matches, 61st-ranked Frances Tiafoe of the United States, who on Monday won a Challenger title in Parma, Italy, at the Internazionali di Tennis Emilia Romagna, lost to No. 73 Corentin Moutet of France, 7-6 (0), 6-4; and No. 101 Yannick Hanfmann of Germany advanced over No. 77 Salvatore Caruso from Italy, 6-0, 6-4.

Tennis Channel gains all U.S. television rights for ATP Tour tennis

Starting next year, Tennis Channel will have exclusive, live U.S. television rights to all nine ATP Masters 1000 events, all 13 ATP 500 events and 16 of the ATP 250 tournaments, plus the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals.

A multi-year agreement between Tennis Channel and ATP Media was reached and announced Tuesday night. The agreement does not include the four Grand Slam tournaments. (Currently ESPN has U.S. broadcast rights to the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open while Tennis Channel and NBC share the rights to the French Open.)

Volvo Car Open moving into temporary home

According to the Post & Courier in Charleston, S.C., next year’s WTA Volvo Car Open, which is the largest women’s-only tournament in North America, will take place in a temporary 3,000-seat stadium on the Daniel Island grounds while the main stadium undergoes extensive renovations, funded by Ben and Kelly Navarro, the owners of Charleston Tennis LLC. The new stadium will be ready in time for the 2022 event.

Taylor Townsend announces she’s pregnant on Instagram

What they’re saying

• Milos Raonic was asked during a press conference at the St. Petersburg Open what he thought about the revised ATP calendar coming out of the coronavirus hiatus, in which players went from playing on hard courts in the United States to clay in Europe as well as additional tournament being added to the schedule.

He said: “At the end of the day, I think for us players to have [the] possibility to play is the most important thing. Tennis is always going to be one of the most difficult sport to organize in this pandemic because there are so many players of different nationalities and coming from many different locations. So, I think that’s been very positive. I just don’t see this being a way of life that’s going to change anytime soon. I know that everybody thinks it’s going to be until the end of this year, but I think it is going to be much longer and it’s going to be a new norm that we have to get used to.”

• Borna Coric was asked after his first-round match at the St. Petersburg Open in Russia what he thought about the automated “in and out” system employed for the ATP 500 tournament instead of human line judges. He said: “I think it’s very good. Obviously, today happened something that’s never happened in my life: I made one or two foot faults. … It was weird, but at the same time, I believe [in] the system. That’s what this machine does and I’m okay with it. I’m going to need some time to get used to it … and I want to challenge the ball if it’s close. But I think it will be good for the future of tennis.”

Now it can be told

Looking back, Robin Söderling may just be a footnote in Rafael Nadal‘s career, but a very big – and significant – one. Söderling, you may recall, is one of only two players who have beaten Nadal on clay at Roland Garros. It came back in 2009 in the fourth round, a match won by Söderling, 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 7-6 (2). After Nadal’s 13th Roland Garros title was secured on Sunday, it prompted the Swede to tweet:

What they’re sharing on social media