Tennis Remembers And Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

WASHINGTON, January 19, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)

On Monday, past and present tennis players such as Billie Jean King, Frances Tiafoe and Coco Gauff; U.S. universities and tennis institutions and governing bodies paused to remember and celebrate the American civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


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What everyone can learn from playing by the rules

According to‘s Steve Tignor and Joel Drucker, if you’re going to stage a Grand Slam during a pandemic like the organizers of the Australian Open are attempting to do, it is imperative to play by the local rules After all, Australians have come too far to expect anything less. Right?

Learn more about the early chaos Down Under:

How Novak Djokovic’s list of demands played on Aussie TV

Career-high rankings for Sabalenka, Jabeur and Kudermetova

Following the season-opening Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open, singles champion Aryna Sabalenka has ascended to No. 7 in the new WTA Rankings released on Monday.

The 22-year-old Sabalenka, from Belarus, won her third-straight WTA tournament by capturing the first 2021 event last week in the Emirates capital. She has won 15 consecutive matches dating back to Ostrava last October. Her ranking rose from tenth to a career-high seventh, surprising her previous career-best of ninth first attained in February 2019.

Also, Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, whom Sabalenka beat in the third round to avenge an earlier defeat at last year’s French Open, climbed from No. 31 to No. 30. It is a career-best ranking for the Arab No. 1, who has never eclipsed the Top 30.

Finally, Veronika Kudermetova of Russia, who reached the Abu Dhabi final before losing to Sabalenka, climbed 10 places in the rankings. She went from No. 46 to No. 36, which surpassed her previous career-high of No. 38. En route to the title match, she defeated World No. 5 Elina Svitolina for her fifth career Top 5 victory.

Auger-Aliassime signs with adidas

It’s a new year and a new look for Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, who has left Nike in favor of adidas. The World No. 21 from Montreal revealed the change via social media on Monday. He’s in Melbourne under mandatory quarantine prior to competing in next month’s Australian Open.

Learn more about why Auger-Aliassime decided to forsake the iconic swoosh of Nike for adidas from Canadian tennis writer Stephanie Myles’ Open Court blog.

Happy 33rd Birthday, Angelique Kerber

No AO for Davidovich Fokina, confirms Covid-19 positive

Spain’s 53rd-ranked Alejandro Davidovich Fokina confirmed on Monday that he and his coach both tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago and it will keep him from competing in this year’s Australian Open. Davidovich Fokina said he feels “perfectly fine” now and was practically asymptomatic. Instead of playing in this year’s first Grand Slam, he will instead try to get some Challenger Tour wild cards with an eye toward being peak ready for the European indoor season that follows the Australian Open.

Who is dealing with the quarantine the best?

What they’re tweeting

What they’re podcasting

• The Lucky Letcord Podcast breaks down the first week of the 2021 season with an eye toward next month’s Australian Open. Plus, a look a Sebastian Korda and the buzz he created last week by reaching the finals at Delray Beach in his first ATP Tour main draw final.

• In an “emergency episode” of The Tennis Podcast, co-hosts David Law and Catherine Whitaker discuss the situation in Melbourne, why it might have gotten out of control and how much sympathy we should feel for the players. Law and Whitaker also talk at length with Hall of Famer and ESPN tennis analyst Pam Shriver about “how she thinks she would have found the strict quarantine, how she might have tried to keep sharp and fit in that situation and how it might affect men and women different.” Also, “what measures or format changes could be implemented by the tournament and the inequality of the separate quarantine in Adelaide for top players.”

What they’re sharing on social media

Johanna Konta / Now I feel like I’m in Melbourne

Garbiñe Muguruza / Aquí en Melbourne

Stan Wawrinka / Starting my morning right