WASHINGTON, December 14, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
On Sunday, the Gulf News, published in Abu Dhabi, reported that according to its sources the 2021 WTA season will begin in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on January with a 500 series tournament. The Gulf News also said that Dubai would host Australian Open qualifying beginning January 9.
The WTA 500 event, from Jan. 5-13, will be held at the International Tennis Complex of Zayed Sports City followed by the Australian Open qualifying draw at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium from Jan. 9-13. A total of 32 players (16 men and 16 women) would advance to the main draw in Melbourne.
“There are quite a few top tennis players who have chosen Dubai for their off-season preparations, and these players will join the qualifiers in special charter flights heading to Melbourne,” an official told the Gulf News on condition of anonymity.
“The world has never been in a situation like this before, so people have had to innovate and think out of the box to ensure that sporting life goes on as normal while maintaining all safety standards laid down by international agencies and local governments. Of course, neither of these competitions – the WTA 500 tournament in Abu Dhabi or the Australian Open qualifiers in Dubai – will be open to spectators.”
Fils, Krueger win Orange Bowl 18s titles
Unseeded Arthur Fils of France defeated top seed Peter Fajta of Hungary, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, to win the 2020 Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships boys’ 18s title Sunday afternoon on green clay at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla., near Miami.
Frenchman Arthur Fils impressive at the 2020 Orange Bowl, taking the B18 title. pic.twitter.com/kBmFpECwU2
— Tennis Analytics (@TennisAnalytics) December 13, 2020
Meanwhile, wild card Ashlyn Krueger of the United States won the girls’ 18s title with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 7 seed Jana Kolodynska of Belarus. Kruger won the girls’ 16s Orange Bowl title last year.
Previous winners of the boys’ event include: Bjorn Borg (1972), John McEnroe (1976), Ivan Lendl (1977), Jim Courier (1987), Roger Federer (1998), Andy Roddick (1999) and Dominic Thiem (2011).
Prominent winners of the girls’ event include: Chris Evert (1969-70), Gabriela Sabatini (1984), Anna Kournikova (1995), Elena Dementieva (1998), Caroline Wozniacki (2005), Sofia Kenin (2014), Bianca Andreescu (2015) and Coco Gauff (2018).
🔹Girls 18’s: Ashlyn Krueger
🔹Boys 16’s: Jonah Braswell
🔹Girls 16’s: Valeria Ray
Three 🇺🇸 singles champions were crowned at the Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships this week! pic.twitter.com/6s8sx1zznf
— USTA (@usta) December 13, 2020
Ted Robinson: On the birth of Hawkeye
The single worst call in my 33 years in a tennis broadcast booth.
This call birthed Hawkeye. https://t.co/LEPftcXUjU
— Ted Robinson (@tedjrobinson) December 11, 2020
Felix Auger-Aliassime: Seen in Mallorca
Canadian No. 2 Felix Auger-Aliassime has been a recent guest of Rafael Nadal at his academy in Mallorca, Spain.
¿Dónde mejor que en la @rnadalacademy para preparar la temporada 2021?
Eh, @felixtennis 😎
— ATP Tour en Español (@ATPTour_ES) December 12, 2020
Iga Swiatek: Appreciating simple things
☀️Just because it’s so difficult to travel these days I appreciate this opportunity even more. And I missed this.
— Iga Świątek (@iga_swiatek) December 12, 2020
Leander Paes: Coming back for a 30th year on Tour
Next season marks 3️⃣0️⃣ years on tour for @leander! 😲
The doubles legend confirms he’ll play on in 2021 👏
— ATP Tour (@atptour) December 13, 2020
What they’re writing
George Bellshaw, who covers pro tennis for Metro.co.uk in London, caught up recently with British No. 1 Johanna Konta, who spoke about her health, her future plans and the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Some interesting stuff from Johanna Konta in here on her future plans – she says she may only play for couple more years – and general health after knee troubles and heart palpitations in 2020 👇 https://t.co/NM7lRSNqhw
— George Bellshaw (@BellshawGeorge) December 11, 2020
What they’re podcasting
Hall of Famer Tracy Austin visits the Craig Shapiro Tennis Podcast.
— Craig Shapiro (@Shaptennispod) December 12, 2020
What they’re sharing on social media
Daniil Medvedev / Sunday chill
— Daniil Medvedev (@DaniilMedwed) December 13, 2020
Sebastian Korda / Practicing with some famous company
Seb Korda had decent company for practice this week. pic.twitter.com/BQr12kIi2b
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) December 13, 2020
Lorenzo Sonego / Working out at the Rafael Nadal Academy
👋🏼 ¡Una alegría recibir a Lorenzo Sonego en la Academia! 😃
— Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar (@rnadalacademy) December 13, 2020