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TWITTER FILES: Well, It Appears That Ryan Harrison Doesn't Give A Damn About Being Deemed Disrespectful

Thursday, February 21, 2019


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2019 WTA RULEBOOK CHANGES: A New Special Seeding For Players Returning From Maternity Leave, A "Modernized" Attire Rule, The Rollout Of A 25-Second Shot Clock... Among Others

Wednesday, February 20, 2019



The 2019 WTA season will see the introduction of a new Special Ranking rule designed in conjunction with the Player's Council and approved by the Board of Directors to make returning to competition easier for players coming back after pregnancy, starting a family, or medical illness. The Board of Directors also approved new rules to provide greater consistency and speed up the pace of play in matches and modernize the existing attire rules.

In meetings held during the first week of December, the Board of Directors approved several amendments to the WTA Rulebook for the 2019 season, which were also supported by the WTA Players’ Council and Tournament Council.

1. Special Ranking Rule

The previous Special Ranking Rule, which allowed a player to freeze her ranking in the event of injury, illness, or pregnancy, required a player be out of competition for a minimum of 6 months and return to play within 3 years. A returning player could then use her special ranking for 8 tournaments to be completed within 1 year, though their special ranking could not be used for seeding purposes.

The Board of Directors approved a number of changes to the Special Ranking Rule, including adding a provision that allows a player to use her special ranking for seeding purposes at WTA events.

Under the New Special Ranking Rule:

A player who is out of competition for more than 6 months but less than one year may use her special ranking for up to 8 tournaments in a one-year period.

A player who is out of competition for one year or more may use her special ranking for up to 12 tournaments in a one-year period.

If a player is out of competition due to pregnancy or a medical condition, she is allowed 3 years to use her special ranking. In the event of pregnancy, the time period is calculated from the birth of the child.

If a player is out of competition due to adoption, surrogacy, or legal guardianship, she is allowed 2 years to use her special ranking.

If a player's special ranking would earn a seeded position, that player will be drawn as an "additional seed" to play a non-seed in the first round. A ”additional seed” does not bump an otherwise seeded player.

Upon her return, a player is eligible to use her special ranking for seeding purposes at the 1st 8 WTA tournaments she plays.

A player may freeze her ranking up to two times. Under the previous rule, a player was allowed to freeze her ranking just once.


2. Leggings and Compression Shorts Without a Skirt Approved

Though the WTA had no rule explicitly prohibiting a player from wearing leggings without a skirt, the Board of Directors approved language making the Tour's position regarding such attire explicitly clear: Leggings and mid-thigh-length compression shorts may be worn with or without a skirt, shorts, or dress.

NOTE: The dress code applies only to WTA tournaments on the calendar, while Grand Slams, which come under the jurisdiction of the International Tennis Federation, are entitled to set their own rules.

3. 25 Second Shot Clock Rollout

After trialing the rule during the US Open Series last summer, the WTA will continue to implement a 25-second shot clock at Premier events in 2019, with a full rollout for all WTA tournaments in 2020. Previously, the rulebook allowed for 20 seconds between points.

In addition to the shot clock, the WTA will codify the 1:5:1 pre-match warmup rule, which allows the players 1 minute to reach the net for the pre-match coin-toss, 5 minutes to warm up, and 1 minute to start play.

4. Reduced Toilet Breaks

Players will be allowed one toilet/change of attire break per match.

Previously, the rulebook allowed for up to 2 breaks per player per match.

5. Prize Money Distribution On Withdrawals

If a main draw singles player (excluding wildcards) is on site and withdraws from a tournament between the start of qualifying and her first-round match, the player is eligible for 100% of her first round prize money. This rule is designed to improve player health and competitive integrity by disincentivizing playing through injury and retiring mid-match.

The Lucky Loser who takes the player's spot in the main draw will receive either (a) final round qualifying prize money if she loses in her first main draw match, or (b) final round qualifying prize money plus main draw prize money from the round she reached, minus the first-round prize money that went to the withdrawing player.

A player may use this rule a maximum of 2 times per season at non-consecutive WTA tournaments.

6. 10 Years of Service Rule for Additional Wildcards

Currently, a player is allowed a maximum of 6 WTA wildcards a year, with allowances for additional wildcards under certain circumstances. If a player has played 10 years or more, they are allowed 3 additional wildcards.

Starting in 2019, a player must play at least 6 tournaments in a year for that year to count towards the 10 Year Service Rule. Previously a player had to play just one tournament for the year to count. This rule only applies to future seasons, as any years prior to 2019 are still counted according to the old rule.

7. Prize Money Distribution at International and WTA 125K events

International-level tournaments offering prize money above the minimum but below $500,000 and WTA 125K Tournaments offering prize money above the minimum must distribute 100% of the prize money above the minimum to on-site prize money.

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TWITTER FILES: Félix Auger-Aliassime Into 2019 Rio Open Quarterfinals


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2019 DUBAI DUTY FREE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Naomi Osaka Sees No Cause For Concern After Second Round Loss

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

World No. 1 Naomi Osaka at 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

The Australian and US Open champion, 21, was beaten 6-3 6-3 by France's Kristina Mladenovic in the Dubai Tennis Championships second round.

It was her first match since since splitting with Sascha Bajin last week.

Asked if she could block out reaction to the news she said, "I couldn't. This match is the result of that."

"I'm pretty sure as time goes on you guys will stop talking about it. For now, it's like the biggest tennis news, I guess.

"It's a little bit hard because I feel like people are staring at me, and not like in a good way."

"For sure there's no one that really thinks losing is fun," Osaka said during the Japanese portion of her press conference. "But for me, I've always been taught that when you lose, you learn more than when you win. I try to take that as really important advice because I think it is true."

Osaka, who had a bye in the first round, lost in 66 minutes in round two against a player who had not won a match this year before this tournament.

Despite the loss, Osaka will head to Indian Wells with the No.1 ranking intact as she prepares for another career milestone: defending a title for the first time in her career.

"I'm not really sure [how I'll feel] because I've never been a defending champion," Osaka said. "Hopefully I remember all the good times that I've had there, somehow start feeling better about myself.

"But I can't really say until I get there."

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TWITTER FILES: The WTA Salutes African American Pioneers In Women's Tennis - Leslie Allen



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TWITTER FILES: Serena Williams Continues To Historically Evolve Over Active WTA Players


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OUT IN FIRST ROUND: Defending Champ Frances Tiafoe In Delray Beach Open And Jo-Wilfried Tsonga In Open 13 Provence, Marsaille

Reigning 2018 Delray Beach Open champion Frances Tiafoe was halted at the start of his title defense by Great Britain's Daniel Evans, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.

Tiafoe went into the tournament stating, “I don’t feel any pressure this year, either. It’s kind of just another event I want to do well in. That’s where my head is right now. Obviously I gave myself a pretty good start [to the year], so there’s no real pressure,” Tiafoe said. “I’m just trying to get some momentum going for these next couple of weeks.”


Andrey Rublev recovered from a set down to defeat three-time former champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 2-6, 6-4, 6-2 on Tuesday at the Open 13 Provence.

Tsonga, who lifted the title in Marseille in 2009, 2013 and 2017, drops to 11-4 this season. After missing seven months of the 2018 ATP Tour season following left knee surgery, the 33-year-old Frenchman has impressed throughout this year. Earlier this month, Tsonga lifted his 17th ATP Tour title in Montpellier (d. Herbert) and reached the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament quarter-finals (l. to Medvedev).

"I won the first set 6-2, then I was broken at the beginning of the second set. [Andrey] was very aggressive. I had some tough moments with my serve. He played better in the end," said Tsonga. "I feel that I played a lot of matches in a row and back-to-back tournaments. I have to get used to it again."




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2019 RIO OPEN: Canadian Teen Felix Auger-Aliassime Upsets Italy's Fabio Fognini

Eighteen-year-old Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime at the 2019 Rio Open

RIO DE JANEIRO — Montreal's Felix Auger-Aliassime cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 upset of second-seed Fabio Fognini on Tuesday at the Rio Open tennis tournament.

Fognini, ranked No. 16 in the world, is the highest ranked player to lose to the 104th-ranked Canadian teen. It's Auger-Aliassime's second win over a top-20 opponent after he defeated then No. 18 Lucas Pouille in the opening round of last year's Rogers Cup in Toronto.

Auger-Aliassime, a wild-card in Rio, is expected to move into the top-100 after the tournament. He will next face Chile's Christian Garin, ranked 91 in the world, in the second round.

Showing veteran poise, Auger-Aliassime fended off all five break points he faced while converting three of the five break point presented to him by his Italian opponent. The Canadian's return game was also strong, as he limited Fognini to one ace, and held the veteran to converting on 60 per cent of first serve points and just 45 per cent of second serve points.

Auger-Aliassime's matchup with Fognini was a potential Davis Cup preview. Canada is in a group with Italy and the United States to open the Davis Cup finals, which will be held November in Madrid.

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2019 ABN AMRO: Gael Monfils Prevails Against Friend Stan Wawrinka To Claim Rotterdam Title


(ABN AMRO) Gaël Monfils has become the winner of the 46th edition of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. The 32-year-old Frenchman beat his good friend Stan Wawrinka in the final: 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. It was the eighth ATP title for the Paris-born showman.

Gaël Monfils (32) and Stan Wawrinka (33) are two superstars of a generation that slowly vanishes from the scene. But audience favorite Monfils and triple Grand Slam winner Stan the Man have never played a final match.



"It was a separate race," said Monfils, who was nicknamed the "Flying Frenchman" in Rotterdam. "We have been training together all winter and have known each other for so long. In fact, the battle plan was 'who could take care of the biggest surprise?' Of course I was tired during the final, but I did not show anything. My physio did a great job during the tournament week, because in the first round I had fallen on my wrist. "

Gaël Monfils, who returned to the top 30 in the world rankings with his tournament win, had lost a final 21 times. "I am always happy to be in a finale, in a few finals I was the big favorite, but I lost when I was young, I was in finals against Roger Federer, Ivan Ljubicic and Andy Roddick. absolute world top. "

Gaël Monfils was happy to see his name on the champion ring as well as Arthur Ashe. "Ashe has done a lot for the black community in the States, I have read a lot about him and also seen many of Ashe's statues, this is the tournament I won, as did Arthur Ashe."




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2019 ABN AMRO: GO GAEL!! Monfils Defeats Bosnian Damir Džumhur For A Spot In The Semi Finals

Friday, February 15, 2019

Gael Monfils, France and Damir Džumhur, Bosnia in the 46th ABN AMRO Tournament

(ABN AMRO) Gäel Monfils always performs well during the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. This year also, because the 32-year-old Frenchman was the first man that reached the semi-finals at Rotterdam Ahoy after he defeated Damir Dzumhur: 6-1, 6-2

"A well-played match”, the Frenchman said who got the nickname 'Flying Frenchman’ three years ago during his way to the finals. "I’ve lost only three games, which is proof that the with my coach discussed tactic is doing great. The hard work in the off-season pays off and I would go back to the top as soon as possible.”

Monfils became sixth in november 2016 and is currently 33st of the worldranking. Saturday afternoon he will compete against the winner of the duel Jo-Wilfried Tsonga-Daniil Medvedev. "The opponent doesn’t matter to me, because it will be hard against both of them. Last week I’ve lost from Medvedev in Sofia and I know Tsonga already. If Jo-Wilfried wins, there will be a Frenchman in the finals anyway. "


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2019 ABN AMRO: Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga And Gael Monfils Into The Quarter Finals In Rotterdam

Thursday, February 14, 2019



(ABN AMRO) The smile of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga could hardly be greater when he left the center court of Rotterdam Ahoy. The Frenchman, winner of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in 2017, had just gotten rid of the Dutch stuntman Tallon Griekspoor: 7-6 (5), 6-1.

"I played well and reached a constant level," said the 33-year-old Tsonga. "In the first set I made the big points and after the early break in the second set I have made almost no mistakes."
Audience favorite Tsonga was sidelined for seven months last year with knee problems. "Injuries are part of the life of a tennis pro. It is not easy to come back again, but it's going in the right direction. I love to be a player again."

Tsonga plays in the quarter finals on Friday-afternoon against the fifth Daniil Medvedev. Both players won an ATP tournament last Sunday. "That will be a tough game," thinks Tsonga, who in 2012 was the number five of the world rankings. "Medvedev is a player who has developed enormously in recent months."

Gäel Monfils was the first quarter finalist of the 46th edition of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. The French showman defeated Andreas Seppi in the second round: 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.

Gäel Monfils suffered from his wrist in his first round against David Goffin, but Andreas Seppi did not notice that much. Yet the Italian routine came out of the starting blocks. "Seppi played the first set very well," judged Monfils, 33rd on the ATP ranking. "He also hit a few beautiful dropshots, but I kept on playing aggressively."

Monfils will play in the quarter finals against Bosnian Damir Džumhur.




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INSTAGRAM: Frenchman Gael Monfils Takes Out Italy's Andreas Seppi To Reach ABN-AMRO Quarter Finals

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

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TWITTER FILES: A Definite Must See! "Althea And Arthur" Documentary On CBS Sports Network Monday, February 18th

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


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Richmond, VA City Council Votes To Rename The "Boulevard" After Hometown Legend Arthur Ashe

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Boulevard in Richmond, VA shall now accompany the Monument Avenue statue in honor of legendary Richmond native Arthur Ashe.

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - City Council has voted to in favor of renaming the Boulevard after tennis great Arthur Ashe.

City Council voted eight in favor with one abstaining Monday on the proposal that was suggested last summer by the Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association.

“The name Arthur Ashe brings pride,” Ashe’s nephew, David Harris, said last year. “Things he did to create diversity and advance people regardless of their race, gender and educational background. If I could get your support, that would be great.”

Over the years, businesses hadn’t been in favor of a change, fearing confusion and the cost of changing signs, menus, stationery and websites.

Ashe won three Grand Slam titles and was the first black player selected to the U.S. Davis Cup team.


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TWITTER FILES: Christopher Eubanks Secures Spot In Main Draw At 2019 New York Open





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THAT WAS FAST!!! World No. 1 Naomi Osaka Announces, Via Twitter, Her Split With Coach Sascha Bajin

World No. 1 Naomi Osaka consulting with now former coach Sascha Bajin.

Major decision making can be necessary as we move forward in life. It appears that World No. 1 Naomi Osaka has done just that. Osaka's announcement today via Twitter, "Hey everyone, I will no longer be working together with Sascha. I thank him for his work and wish him all the best in the future", has sent a slight rumble through the world of tennis.

Osaka and Coach Bajin have collaborated victoriously in the last two grand slams with Osaka earning the World No. 1 spot after the Australian Open. The two have been working together since October 2017 and created a swift, yet incredible journey.

Bajin responded cordially, “Thank you Naomi. I wish you nothing but the best as well. What a ride that was. Thank you for letting me be part of this”.

Now what? Who? We shall see...





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INSTAGRAM: Legendary Singer Gladys Knight Moves From The Super Bowl To The Fed Cup - Enjoying Tennis Alongside Tennis Legend Billie Jean King

Sunday, February 10, 2019



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2019 OPEN SUD DE FRANCE: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Back In Stride Again As He Earns 17th ATP Title



 MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-2 in an all-French final of the Open Sud de France on Sunday, winning his 17th career title and denying his countryman a first.

Tsonga broke the seventh-seeded Herbert’s serve three times and dropped only four points throughout the match on his own serve.

The 33-year-old Tsonga was out for seven months last year following a left-knee injury. His previous title was in October 2017 at the European Open in Antwerp.

"I am very happy with the way I played this week," said Tsonga. "It was an amazing moment for me to win here in Montpellier... I have made many efforts to come back [here], so for me it is a good reward and I hope I will be able to continue playing at this level."






A post shared by Jo-Wilfried TSONGA (@tsongaofficiel) on


He also beat Herbert, who owns a career grand slam in doubles, in their two previous matches.

Herbert has now lost his three singles finals on the ATP Tour.

Source
ATP Tour

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INSTAGRAM: DAAAAAANG Sloane, Your Dimples Got Game Too!!

Saturday, February 9, 2019



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2019 SOFIA OPEN: Frenchman Gael Monfils Gives Wakandan Love After Defeating Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas

Friday, February 8, 2019

Frenchman Gael Monfils at the 2019 Sofia Open after defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.

ATP TOUR - Gael Monfils recorded his biggest win for four months on Friday to book his place in the Sofia Open semi-finals. The seventh-seeded Frenchman beat World No. 12 Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals champion, 6-3, 7-6(5). It was his biggest win since October 2018, when Monfils beat then No. 9-ranked John Isner at the Erste Bank Open 500 in Vienna.

"Stefanos is a great player. There's no doubt," Monfils said. "Today I think it was just a few points. He's a real champion and he will become a big champion."

 Monfils broke Tsitsipas in the opening game and clinched his third set point in the 35-minute opener. Solid on serve throughout — winning 93 per cent of his first-service points — the Frenchman recovered from 4/5 down in the second-set tie-break for his fourth win of the season. Tsitsipas, who had beaten Monfils in October 2018 at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, came into the match in strong form having reached the recent Australian Open semi-finals (l. to Nadal).



Monfils will now challenge Daniil Medvedev, who struck nine aces and lost only six of his service points to cruise past Martin Klizan of Slovakia 6-4, 6-1. The third-seeded Russian, who broke serve four times for victory in 70 minutes, improved to 9-2 on the season, which includes a runner-up finish at last month’s Brisbane International (l. to Nishikori).

"It's going to be a tough one as well. Daniil is coming on strong, won a lot of matches this year already," Monfils said. "It's going to be another battle. I think [I need to use] another gameplan because he's a different player. The ball stays very low, he serves big. I will have to adapt myself again, I guess be aggressive as well and also try to serve as big as I can."

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INSTAGRAM: 2019 OPEN SUD DE FRANCE - Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Survives Tough Quarterfinal Match Against Jeremy Chardy





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INSTAGRAM: Nissan Japan Posts New Tech-Driven Commercial And Behind-The-Scenes Moments With World No. 1 Naomi Osaka



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