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Wimbledon Announces Cancellation Of The Championships 2020 | ATP Tour

It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic. The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.

Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.

Since the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in January, we have followed guidance from the UK Government and public health authorities in relation to our year-round operations, alongside developing an understanding of the likely trajectory of the outbreak in the UK. This has enabled analysis of the impact of the Government restrictions on the usual commencement in April of the significant preparations required to stage The Championships, either on the original date of 29 June, or at a later date in the summer of 2020.

These considerations are particularly related to the concerns brought about by mass gatherings and the strain on the medical and emergency services, as well as movement and travel restrictions both within the UK and around the world. With the likelihood that the Government’s measures will continue for many months, it is our view that we must act responsibly to protect the large numbers of people required to prepare The Championships from being at risk – from the training of ball boys and girls to thousands of officials, line judges, stewards, players, suppliers, media and contractors who convene on the AELTC Grounds – and equally to consider that the people, supplies and services legally required to stage The Championships would not be available at any point this summer, thus ruling out postponement.

Following a series of detailed deliberations on all of the above, it is the Committee of Management’s view that cancellation of The Championships is the best decision in the interests of public health, and that being able to provide certainty by taking this decision now, rather than in several weeks, is important for everyone involved in tennis and The Championships. Members of the public who have paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s Championships will have their tickets refunded and will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for The Championships 2021. We will be communicating directly with all ticket-holders.

In addition, we have taken account of the impact that this decision will have on those who rely on The Championships – including the players and the tennis community in Britain and around the world – and we are developing plans to support those groups, working in partnership with the LTA and the other leadership bodies in global tennis. This also applies to our loyal staff, to whom we take our responsibility very seriously.

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Ian Hewitt, AELTC Chairman, commented: “This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen. It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond. Our thoughts are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by these unprecedented times.”

Richard Lewis CBE, AELTC Chief Executive, commented: “While in some ways this has been a challenging decision, we strongly believe it is not only in the best interests of society at this time, but also provides certainty to our colleagues in international tennis given the impact on the grass court events in the UK and in Europe and the broader tennis calendar. We have appreciated the support of the LTA, and the ATP, WTA and ITF in coming to this decision, and our friends and partners who stage these grass court events that are so important in the build up to Wimbledon. I would like to thank the UK Government and public health authorities for their guidance and support, and we will do whatever we can to assist their efforts in tackling the crisis.

“Finally, I would like to thank all those who love Wimbledon for their understanding of these unique and unquestionably challenging circumstances. It is your passion for The Championships that has shaped our event over the years, and will continue to do so, and we look forward to preparing a fantastic Championships for 2021.”

Our efforts will now be focused on contributing to the emergency response and supporting those affected by the coronavirus crisis. We have begun distributing medical equipment and offered the use of our facilities to the NHS and to the London Resilience Partnership, the collection of agencies in London fighting the battle against COVID-19. We are working with the local authorities in Merton and Wandsworth, particularly on food distribution, and we are distributing food supplies through our partnership with City Harvest. Our charity, the Wimbledon Foundation, is offering funding support to our local communities through our partnership with the London Community Foundation, and more broadly for the London and UK population through our partnership with the British Red Cross, the Foundation’s emergency response charity.

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World TeamTennis Celebrity All-Star Match: How to watch

The coronavirus has altered the sports landscape in a big way with the majority of leagues having their seasons canceled or postponed. However, sports fans can get their fix this weekend when highlights from the World TeamTennis Celebrity All-Star Match are aired. The event was held on March 1 prior to the COVID-19 outbreak spreading throughout the United States. 

“The World TeamTennis All-Star Match Presented by Barefoot Hard Seltzers was a huge success. We hope the one-hour highlight show on CBS on April 4 gives fans a shared sporting experience at home during this difficult time,” WTT CEO Carlos Silva said. “It is the beginning of a new tradition in World TeamTennis. The match is a great way to extend our season and celebrate many of WTT’s world-class players that we hope to see back on the court soon for the 2020 season.” 

The one-hour special will feature Bob and Mike Bryan, Sam Querrey, Monica Puig, Madison Keys, CoCo Vandeweghe, Ryan Harrison and Taylor Townsend while also featuring an appearance from recently retired tennis star Maria Sharapova. 

World TeamTennis is a mixed-gender league that features eight teams in major markets. The teams vie for the King Trophy, which is named after tennis legend and co-founder Billie Jean King. Star tennis players Serena and Venus Williams, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Stefanie Graf, and Sharapova have participated in the World TeamTennis league before.

Here’s how to watch the highlight special from that the league put together back on March 1.

World TeamTennis Celebrity All-Star Match

  • Date: Saturday, April 4
  • Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Streaming: CBS Sports

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ATP Heritage Rios Rise To No 1 30 March 1998 | ATP Tour

Editor’s Note: ATPTour.com is resurfacing features to bring fans closer to their favourite players during the current suspension in tournament play. This story was originally published on 30 March 2018.

Pete Sampras held a slender lead in the FedEx ATP Rankings, such that as the world’s best players hit U.S. soil in March 1998, more than 10 players with a decent run in the California and Florida sunshine, could, theoretically, have risen to No. 1. Marcelo Rios, the exquisitely talented Chilean, whose popularity in his homeland was second only to footballer Marcelo Salas, was one such player at No. 7 on the professional tennis ladder. Rios, on 2,777 points, sat 939 points behind World No. 1 Pete Sampras, who, for much of the past five years, had been the sport’s leader.

In the space of 20 extraordinary days, as many years ago, the pony-tailed Rios harnessed not only his natural talent, but also a so-far untapped mental resolve to play some of the best tennis of his career and capture the Indian Wells-Miami title double. A feat achieved, at that point, by only a trio of Americans: Jim Courier (1991), Michael Chang (1992) and Sampras (1994). Andre Agassi (2001), Roger Federer (2005-06, ’17) and Novak Djokovic (2011, 2014-16) have since completed the ‘Sunshine Double’.

In doing so, Rios, who had been junior World No. 1 as a 17-year-old, rose to the summit of the professional game on 30 March 1998. “One of my goals was to be No. 1 in the juniors,” Rios told ATPTour.com. “I think it was a big step going from junior to professional, but in my first year I already broke into the Top 100 and aged 22 I became No. 1. Everything was really fast.” At 5’9”, Rios was the first Latin American and also the shortest of the 14 players (in 1998) to have led men’s professional tennis since 1973.

“Sampras had been No. 1 for a long time, most of the past five years, so it was a big achievement to win two ‘Super 9’ [now ATP Masters 1000s] in a row beating great players. Beating Agassi in Miami, his own country, was obviously one of my the best matches that I always will remember.”

Speaking to ATPTour.com, former World No. 1 Stefan Edberg admitted, “I actually practised with him quite a few times. I can remember he surprised me a lot in the way he was striking the ball. He was very quick and very talented. He had a great streak, when he played some fantastic tennis, and was very gifted to watch.”

Another former World No. 1, Carlos Moya, recalled to ATPTour.com, “He was a different player, you could see that from the first moment you saw him on court. He was probably the most talented player I ever saw. You could enjoy watching him a lot. He was great for tennis, had a different style of playing and was very talented.”

Fleet of foot, striking first and imposing his baseline game, the sport’s most naturally gifted competitor since John McEnroe first clinched the 1998 BNP Paribas Open title on 15 March after beating Greg Rusedski, who’d hit a record 149 miles per hour serve in the semi-finals, 6-3, 6-7(15), 7-6(4), 6-4 in two hours and 46 minutes. Rios’ variance of topspin, slice and great disguise proved to be too accomplished for Rusedski to outhustle. Opponents often attempted to rile the Chilean by getting him off balance, with a variety of angles and speeds. Rios had also beaten Petr Korda, the player he’d lost to in January’s Australian Open final, in the Indian Wells quarter-finals.

In losing just one set all week — the second set of the final, which, historically, was the longest tie-break of 1998 — 22-year-old Rios moved up four places to No. 3 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 3,235 points. Having finished 1997 at No. 10, Rios now sat behind Korda (3,432) and Sampras (3,761). Incredibly, Sampras’ third-round loss to Thomas Muster in Indian Wells meant that should the American lose before the Miami quarter-finals, then Korda, Rios, Patrick Rafter or Rusedski, up to No. 5, would rise to the top spot.

Days later at Crandon Park in Miami, where humidity so often plays its part in on-court performance, left-handed Rios eased his way past Hendrik Dreekmann in the first round, just as he did at Indian Wells, then Tommy Haas, Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Enqvist and Tim Henman by cutting down his error count and going for placement over power. Knowing Sampras had lost to South African Wayne Ferreira 0-6, 7-6(8), 6-3 in the Miami third round, third seed Rios knew what was on the line. “The way he hit the ball and the way he saw the angles of the court, was like nobody else could do,” Enqvist told ATPTour.com.

In the sun-kissed 29 March final, the third seed competed nerve-free against three-time former champion Agassi, who had risen from No. 141 to No. 22 in just eight events and led the Tour with a 24-3 start on the season. Rios’ path to glory, including his 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Agassi in one hour and 57 minutes, which knocked off Sampras at No. 1 after 102 consecutive weeks, triggered rapturous celebrations on the streets of Chile, a nation that had witnessed every match live on television.

“Being the best player in the world for Chile is something that isn’t normal,” said Rios, at the time. “I feel really proud.” To celebrate, his then manager Jeff Schwartz and coach Larry Stefanki tossed Rios into a swimming pool and, days later in Santiago, there was a reception leading Rios to Chile’s President Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle (1994-2000) on La Moneda Palace. “We don’t have a lot of sportsmen in Chile, so being No. 1 in tennis was pretty big,” Rios told ATPTour.com, 22 years on. “It was not a big sport at that time.”

Any hope Rios had of holding onto No. 1 was soon scuppered by an elbow injury, which kept Rios off the circuit for four weeks. He relinquished the top spot to Sampras on 26 April 1998. Although he returned to win the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in May and spent a further two weeks at the summit from 10 August, injuries soon mounted. In April 2004, six years after winning the 1998 Indian Wells and Miami titles to become No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Rios played his last professional match. A back problem had curtailed his career aged just 28.

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ESPN2 Brings Fans Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal Marathon | ATP Tour

© William West/AFP via Getty Images

ESPN2 will air six classic matches between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, including the 2017 Australian Open final.

Twenty-two consecutive hours of their classic matches to air on Saturday

Looking to satisfy your tennis cravings? ESPN2 is providing a 22-hour marathon on Saturday that features six epic Grand Slam matches between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The matches can also be viewed on the ESPN app.

Nadal currently leads their ATP Head2Head rivalry 24-16 and has won 10 of their 14 Grand Slam battles. Federer picked up three of his Grand Slam victories at Wimbledon.

Federer-Nadal Marathon Schedule (all times EST on 28 March)

Wimbledon provided additional Grand Slam viewing on Thursday by posting the entire 11-hour, five-minute encounter between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut to their YouTube channel.

Watch Federer and Nadal’s greatest encounters

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Need Something To Do? Watch Isner/Mahut’s 2010 Wimbledon Epic | ATP Tour

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s Determination, Karen Khachanov’s Challenge: Best Social Media Posts Of The Week | ATP Tour

© Twitter/Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Twitter/Karen Khachanov

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Karen Khachanov are finding ways to keep busy while staying at home.

ATPTour.com looks at what your favourite players have been up to

Your favourite players are all finding ways to stay busy and remain in shape while doing their part to flatten the curve. From Jo-Wilfried Tsonga‘s bold vow to Karen Khachanov‘s unique challenge, find out how the biggest names in tennis are keeping active.

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Novak Djokovic is spending time with his family and encouraged his social media followers to stay at home.

Rafael Nadal thanked those on the frontlines of combatting COVID-19 and encouraged those who are suffering from it.

Fabio Fognini gave himself a new look.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vowed to return stronger than ever when he steps back on court.

Roberto Bautista Agut is finding ways to stay on top of his fitness from the comfort of home.

Diego Schwartzman is ramping up his cardio and strength training sessions.

No gym access? John Millman found a unique substitute for dumbbells.

Gael Monfils won’t skip leg day under any circumstances.

Karen Khachanov took the 20-Touch Challenge, but isn’t quite there yet.

Hubert Hurkacz is still learning how to navigate smaller spaces.

Alex de Minaur made a new friend at home.

Stan Wawrinka is finding unique ways to keep romance in his life.

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Rafael Nadal Pays Tribute To Carers On Coronavirus Front Line | ATP Tour

Rafael Nadal took to social media on Saturday evening to share a message in support of those dealing with the worldwide coronavirus situation. In Spanish, the 33-year-old thanked those on the front lines combatting the virus, encouraged those who are suffering from it and more.

See the full message, in English, below.

Hi everyone.

First of all, I just wanted to apologise because I was out of social media for some time, but these are very difficult times for everyone. This whole situation is overwhelming us and we are all committed in the best possible way from our homes.

I wanted to send a message of thanks to all the doctors, nurses and all the health personnel who are all protecting us, and to the police forces, civil and national guard, the army, and all those who make us feel a little safer, who are in the first line of fire. After all, they are those who are most at risk of catching [the virus] and they are our heroes. I want to express my admiration and thank you all.

Finally, I want to send encouragement to all the families who are suffering, both the infected, and especially those with relatives or friends who have died from the coronavirus. Send them a message of encouragement. It is difficult to say something in these difficult times, and I can only say in this case that we all feel very sorry, that we trust that at this moment we can go ahead with our lives as soon as possible.

There are also positive things in these difficult times. We are demonstrating to be a united people, many companies are being supportive and contributing, and all citizens are showing ourselves united day after day, complying with all the standards that health [departments] advises us: stay at home, follow all the indications to end this terrible pandemic as soon as possible.

Thank you and see you soon,


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Coronavirus: Serena Williams opens up about the anxiety and stress of social distancing

Social distancing isn’t the easiest task for anyone to commit to at any point, let alone during a global coronavirus pandemic. For many, the isolation in it of itself can be an extra source of stress and anxiety to people living in an already uncertain time. This includes tennis superstar Serena Williams.

The 23-time grand slam singles champion announced on Instagram over a week ago that she too would be participating in self isolation to limit the spread of COVID-19. The plan was to keep away from the outside world for about six weeks, but less than a third of the way in, Williams started expressing how stressful the whole situation has been for her, particularly with her daughter.

“I wanted to take a minute and talk about my experience with corona,” she said in a post on TikTok. “It started out with me feeling like: ‘Oh it can’t really affect me.’ And then suddenly Indian Wells was cancelled and I was like: ‘Oh, OK, that’s weird but I have a little time off and I’m going to enjoy that time off.’ And then one cancellation led to another and then led to another and led to all this anxiety that I’m feeling.”

She went on to say that “every little thing” makes her “crazy” and highlighted how much this all has her worrying about her young daughter:

“And by anxiety I mean I’m just on edge. Any time anyone sneezes around me or coughs I get crazy. I don’t hang out with anyone, and when I say anyone I mean my daughter. She coughed, I got angry and gave her a side-eye. I gave her that ‘angry Serena’ and then I got sad. I was like: ‘Is she OK? Is there something wrong with my daughter? Is there anything I can do?’ I just don’t know what to do, so instead of being relaxed I’m really under a ton of stress.”

As of Friday afternoon, there have been over 250,000 cases of coronavirus globally. Among those, over 89,000 have recovered, while the death toll for the disease officially crossed the 10,000-mark on Friday, according to CBS News.

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The Day That Rafael Nadal Showed He Is “A Very Good Friend” To Marc Lopez | ATP Tour

“Rafa has shown that he is a very good friend.”

Shortly after winning the title at the BNP Paribas Open, the first words of thanks from Marc López were for his teammate in the first ATP Masters 1000 victory of his career. It was 20 March 2010, the same day that Rafael Nadal had lost his semi-final in the singles after a difficult third-set tie-break defeat against Ivan Ljubicic 6-3, 4-6, 6-7(1). But the man from Manacor reached the doubles final at Indian Wells alongside the Catalan and they would be crowned champions.

Nadal put behind him the bitter taste of his tie-break defeat, where he had been just one point away from reaching the final after two hours and 35 minutes.

“Rafa was back in the zone just hours after playing his semi-final match”, continued López’s account after they won their second ATP Tour doubles trophy together (also Doha 2009). “I’m very grateful to him.”

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The response from the Balearic Islander was immediate: “For me it’s a pleasure to play with Marc. He’s a good friend and we understand each other well. After losing an important match in the singles, this victory in the doubles makes me very happy. It’s always nice to win a tournament, so the title is very important to me and to Marc.”

Ten years after that unforgettable gesture from his doubles partner, Marc López went into the finer details for ATPTour.com. Without a high enough FedEx ATP Doubles Ranking to play in an ATP Masters 1000 tournament — he was the World No. 88 — he received a new proposal from Nadal to play in Indian Wells. It was a risky idea, but a winning one. The gamble lay in the fact that he would be travelling to the United States just to play in the tournament in the California desert, as Nadal was not planning on playing doubles in Miami.

“My schedule wasn’t very clear, because I was at a time of transition in my career, and I was close to not going. He told me that in Miami he wouldn’t play in the doubles, so I would only go to the U.S. swing to play one tournament. I wasn’t sure, but thankfully I thought about it hard and it’s clear that you can never say no to a chance to play with Rafa,” the Barcelona native now remembers with the peace of mind of knowing that he made the right decision.

After bouncing back in a tough opener against Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy, the third seeds, 6-4, 3-6, 10-6, the Spaniards would not lose another set in the tournament.

“I remember that I was very happy about winning that first match,” López says. “In the end, it was a unique feeling for me winning each match, because I had barely played in the Masters 1000 tournaments.”

ATP Heritage: Milestones. Records. Legends.

In the second round, they defeated countrymen Feliciano López and Fernando Verdasco. In the quarter-finals, they saw off Michael Llodrá and Andy Ram, and in the semi-finals they cruised past Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley.

In the final, Lopez and Nadal put the cherry on the cake against top seeds Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic, coincidentally the same opponents they beat for their first title in Doha the year before.

“It was my first big tournament. We were playing some really great games and the final was against the same two we beat in the final in Doha. It changed everything for me. I entered the Top 30 in the world and was able to play in Miami with another partner (Thomaz Bellucci).”

My Point: Get The Players' Point Of View

It was a special tournament. Not only did Marc have the chance to win alongside a friend, win his first Masters 1000 title and seal a place in Miami, but it also proved to be the final step in believing he was good enough to win big tournaments and establish himself among the elite of the FedEx ATP Doubles Rankings.

“I remember that I wasn’t sponsored by any brand: I was wearing Wilson shoes, a Babolat shirt… let’s just say my outfit was not that of a first-class professional tennis player, but I remember it with great affection.”

That Saturday, Marc proved that he had made the right decision and Rafa, as well as a friend, had an excellent doubles player beside him.

“We didn’t plan on winning the tournament here, so we’re very happy. We really enjoy playing together, it’s our second title. It will probably be difficult to repeat, because it’s a very big one”, Nadal said.

Did You Know?
Lopez and Nadal won their second BNP Paribas Open doubles title together in 2012.

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Juan Martin Del Potro To Continue Recovery In Argentina | ATP Tour

After spending the past few months in Miami following his right knee operation, Juan Martín del Potro has travelled back to Argentina to continue his rehabilitation in light of the global outbreak of COVID-19.

The 31-year-old, who underwent a second operation on his right knee on 27 January at the University of Miami Institute of Sports Medicine, has been focused on strengthening his knee in the first steps of his recovery. The operation, which came seven months after his first procedure on the injury, is the sixth surgery of his career.

Following guidelines to lower the spread of COVID-19, Del Potro confirmed that had begun his period in quarantine after arriving home in Tandil.

“Accordingly, I am now in quarantine. I will try to continue my recovery as well as I can,” said Del Potro.

The Argentinian, who last competed at the Fever-Tree Championships on 19 June 2019, sent an important message to both his fans and the wider public on social media.

“It is very important that we all look after each other. Self-quarantine, follow the instructions of specialists, be empathetic and be responsible. It is a special, unique moment that needs everyone,” said Del Potro .“I would like to send a big hug to the doctors and health professionals during this difficult time.”

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