Prostejov (Czech Republic), Dec 20 (IANS) Czech tennis star Petra Kvitová has pulled out of next month’s Hopman Cup after being injured by a knife-wielding attacker in her home here on Tuesday.
Kvitova reportedly received stab wounds to her arm and the 26-year-old is waiting for the report from the doctors on the extent of the injuries.
“Thank you for all your heartwarming messages. As you may have already heard, today I was attacked in my apartment by an individual with a knife. In my attempt to defend myself, I was badly injured on my left hand. I am shaken, but fortunate to be alive. The injury is severe and I will need to see specialists, but if you know anything about me I am strong and I will fight this,” Kvitova wrote in her Facebook account.
“I am so disappointed to announce that I will be unable to play at the Hopman Cup. The results of an MRI have confirmed that my foot is healing but not as quickly as we would have liked. The Hopman Cup is a fantastic event and I’m sorry I won’t be able to represent my country in front of the great fans in Perth,” she added.
“Thank you all again for your love and support and now I would appreciate some privacy while I focus on my recovery.”
The Hopman Cup is scheduled to be played in the Australian city of Perth from January 1-7.
Basel, Dec 20 (IANS) Swiss tennis icon Roger Federer confirmed on Tuesday his return at the Hopman Cup in January, six months after his defeat in the Wimbledon semi-finals.
After the Wimbledon tournament, the winner of 17 Grand Slam titles stayed out of competitions to recover from a left knee injury, reports Efe.
The 35-year-old Swiss confirmed through his Twitter account that he is “healthy and ready” to return.
He wrote: “I know you haven’t heard much from me while I’ve been recovering. Thrilled to be returning in Jan @hopmancup. Feeling healthy & ready!”
Federer, who dropped to No.16 in the men’s singles rankings, will offer his fans the chance to watch his training live on Thursday in Dubai through Twitter and Periscope.
The 29th edition of the Hopman Cup will take place in Perth, Australia, from January 1 to 7.
Kolkata, Dec 18 (IANS) G. Lakshmanan of Tamil Nadu and Monika Athare from Maharashtra won the men’s and women’s categories respectively as tennis great Boris Becker graced the 25K Kolkata marathon run here on Sunday.
In the men’s run, it was a close finish as Lakshmanan clocked 01:17:16, a course record, while second placed Srinu Bugatha fell two seconds short at 01:17:18.
A.B. Balliappa was third at 01:17:24.
In the women’s section, Jyoti Gawte clocked 01:35:34, a minute and 19 seconds short from winner Monika Athare who finished at 01:34:15.
Monika Raut was third at 01:35:37.
Becker, a six-time Grand Slam champion and ex-coach of World No 2 Novak Djokovic, was the centre of attraction with many runners clicking selfies with the youngest Wimbledon winner.
The 49-year-old German, donning an orange t-shirt and black track pants, happily obliged.
Former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly was also present. West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi flagged off the event.
Madrid, Dec 18 (IANS) Carlos Moya, retired former world number one, joined the coaching team of tennis player Rafael Nadal to guide the Spaniard along with Toni Nadal and Francis Roig.
Rafael said in a statement on Saturday that he feels great joy to announce that his compatriot Carlos has joined his coaching team, Efe news reported.
“To have someone like Carlos who is not only a friend but also a very important person in my career, is something special,” Rafa said.
The Spanish player pointed out that Carlos will be with him in training and competitions from now on.
He added that Carlos would also join the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar.
For his part, Carlos said he received a great call from Toni Nadal while he was at the International Premier Tennis League competition.
“To be able to help Rafa is something special for me and I am sure that, together with Toni, Francis and the rest of the team we have a great common project,” Carlos said.
Carlos added that Rafa is a special player and that he has “a lot of trust and confidence” that the tennis player will continue to win titles.
Toni said he called Carlos after he had found out that the Spanish retired player would not be staying with Milos Raonic.
Toni added that he thinks that Carlos would be a good addition to the team and to all projects such as the future of Rafa Academy.
Rafa has finally joined the “super-coach” trend, after he had previously worked with his uncle and other low-profile coaches during his career.
All of Rafa’s rivals have worked with Grand Slam champions, such as Andy Murray, who worked with Ivan Lendl, Novak Djokovic with Boris Becker and Roger Federer with Stefan Edberg.
Kolkata, Dec 17 (IANS) Former World No 1 tennis player and ex-coach of Serb superstar Novak Djokovic, Boris Becker on Saturday said current top women’s doubles player Sania Mirza brings him luck and vice versa.
Becker, who is here for the 25k Kolkata marathon, was asked about his association with the Indian players. Answering the question, the iconic German said: “I am good friends with all three. In fact the player I see the most is (Sania Mirza) because she is so good and No.1 in doubles so I see her in most tournaments on the final weekend.
“We have this good luck routine and every time we are having lunch and she is with her doubles partner and I am with the team, she is winning the doubles tournament. So Sania insisted on all the important tournaments that we have lunch together because I bring her luck and she brings me luck,” the 49-year old revealed.
Becker said this is the reason he is closest with Sania. “I am closest with her. And with all others I am good friends and we know each other for a very long time,” he said.
Becker recently ended his three-year-old successful association with current World No. 2 Novak Djokovic. The 29-year-old Serb won six Grand Slams under Becker’s tutelage.
Asked about the split, Becker said, “Any player-coach relationship doesn’t last forever. We had three successful years and won many tournaments. It was time to go separate ways. I call him a very good friend and he can always call me when he needs me.
“We both decided there was a time we needed a break. Who knows what will happen in a year or two.”
On Djovokic’s recent slump in form which has seen Scotman Andy Murray pip him to the numero uno position, Becker said it’s a matter of time before the 12-time Major winner starts winning next year.
“I think it was a novel evolution for Novak. He is not a machine, he is human. He has had his moments and sometimes when you have a long career you need to see the bigger picture. I’m sure he will come back next year and start winning again.”
Asked while taking up coaching seriously, was he influenced by anybody, Becker said: “I was running the German junior team for five years after my retirement in (1999) so I had my first hand coaching experience coaching the young German team some of whom made the world top 10.
“Coaching is in a way difficult for a successful player because coaching is not about you but about the player you coach. And if you’re a successful player your ego tends to come in between and it’s a lot about yourself.
“The number one rule for coaching is it is not about you but the player you’re coaching. I think it takes a little bit of maturity, bit of wisdom and a bit of years on your shoulders to understand it. I think I am a better coach now than I was 10 years ago.”
Becker, a six-time Grand Slam winner, said every tournament he has played is special.
“I have played over 1,000 matches and each match was always difficult. As I said Wimbledon final is not won only on a Sunday but on those Monday morning when you struggle to go through the first round.
“An Olympic gold is much more memorable now that in 92 than when I was playing because I was between Wimbledon and the US Open. So sometimes you get a bit lost in transition. Becoming No.1 is the ultimate goal for any sportsman. But it doesn’t happen overnight but over 12 months.
Barcelona, Dec 16 (IANS) World No.8 Dominic Thiem will be the third top-10 tennis player to be present in the 2017 edition of the Barcelona Open, to be held from April 22 to 30.
Thiem joins two other top ten players: Japan’s fifth-ranked Kei Nishikori and Spain’s ninth-ranked Rafael Nadal, who are also the last two champions of the tournament, it was announced on Thursday, reports Efe news agency.
Also confirmed was the participation of Spain’s World No.21 player David Ferrer — four-times finalist in Barcelona — and the United States’ Jack Sock.
Chennai, Dec 14 (IANS) Britain’s No.4 tennis player Aljaz Bedene and South Korea’s talented Chung Hyeon will be the star attractions in the qualifying rounds of the 22nd edition of the Aircel Chennai Open to be held here from January 2, it was announced on Wednesday.
Bedene,27, who was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia and represented his country in the Davis Cup till 2015, made it as far as No.45 in singles rankings last November. He is a familiar face in Chennai, having made it to the final in 2015, where he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland.
Hyeon is a bulky 20-year-old who was awarded ATP’s Most Improved Player of 2015. A product of the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, he played the finals of the Wimbledon Juniors in 2013 and attained a career-high ranking of seven in this category.
In the seniors, he climbed as high as 51, jumping a phenomenal 120 places in less than a year. He is now a regular feature in South Korea’s Davis Cup team.
Argentina’s Nicolás Kicker (No. 110), Jozef Kovalík (117), Jürgen Melzer (136), Marco Trungelliti (146), Steven Diez (166) and Federico Gaio (175) are among the other players who will be battling it out for the last places in the Aircel Chennai Open.
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) released a rich field of 14 players on Tuesday who will be vying for the last four places up for grabs through the tough grind of qualifiers.
They include players from nine different countries, including such powerhouses as Canada, Russia, Austria and Slovakia.
The lowest ranked player who made it into the official player acceptance list is Italy’s Matteo Donati, ranked as high as 207.
But with India’s Saketh Myneni (ranked 194) being given a wild card (along with Ramkumar Ramanathan), Croatia’s Franko Skugor (No. 216) sneaked into the draw.
The qualifying rounds will be held on December 31 and January 1 at the SDAT Tennis Stadium.
London, Dec 14 (IANS) The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that Scot Andy Murray and German Angelique Kerber are the 2016 world champions, both winning this award for the first time.
Jamie Murray, Andy’s brother, and Brazilian Bruno Soares are the men’s doubles world champions, and the award in the female category went to French Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic, reports Efe.
The winners will receive their prizes at the ITF 2017 World Champions dinner on June 6, 2017 in Paris during the French Open, ITF said on Tuesday.
Kolkata, Dec 10 (IANS) Reigning national champion V.M. Ranjeet hit three back-to-back aces to down N.V. Prasanth and clinch the Premjit Lall Invitational tournament men’s singles title at the Jaidip Mukherjea tennis academy here on Saturday.
Ranjeet won in straight sets (6-3, 6-4) after breaking Prasanth in the second and sixth games of the first set. He broke his opponent in the first and third games of the second set to ratchet up a convincing triumph.
Prasanth, who beat favourite Vishnu Vardhan in the semis, was found wanting against Ranjeet who continued his good form after beating top-seed Balaji Sriram in the quarter-finals and V.S. Kaza in the semis.
“I just went with the flow and hit those down the court. It went well,” Ranjeet later told IANS when asked about the hat-trick of aces towards the end.
With 13 times Grand Slam doubles winner and former coach of Roger Federer, Tony Roche in attendance, Ranjeet said he could not wait to know what the Australian felt about his game.
“I will talk to him after some time and more than what he liked, I would like to know what are the areas he feels I lacked and can improve. It’s priceless playing in front of such a legend,” he said.
In the men’s doubles summit clash, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan — ranked within the top 100 in the ATP doubles list — and Prasanth prevailed 6-4, 4-6, 10,7 in a thrilling three-setter over Sanam Singh and Kaza.
Kolkata, Dec 10 (IANS) Thirteen times Grand Slam doubles winner and veteran tennis coach Tony Roche on Saturday made light of World No.2 Novak Djokovic ending his successful partnership with coach Boris Becker, saying it won’t hurt the Serbian.
“I don’t know the ins and outs of what happened. But I don’t think it will affect him,” Roche told reporters on the sidelines of the Premjit Lall Invitational Tournament at the Jaidip Mukherjea tennis academy here.
“He is such a great champion. He will surround himself with good people. It’s not going to hurt him,” the 71-year-old one-time Grand Slam singles winner said.
Djokovic, with 12 major titles, was recently dethroned by Andy Murray as the No.1 player. He parted ways with Becker after three seasons — and a half dozen Grand Slam titles — as a pair.
He backed his former student Roger Federer to get back to winning ways.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner has seen a sharp dip in form in recent times, which has resulted in the most decorated tennis player dropping to No.16 in the rankings.
“If you’re still competitive getting to semi-finals and finals, you’re not far away from winning,” Roche said.
“So if he was losing first or second rounds it would have been different. He is still very consistent and has a chance. He always is in good shape and I don’t think age at this stage is a problem for him.”
On whether Djokovic can regain the top spot next year, Roche said, “That’s the big question. Murray at this stage has got the jump on the guys. He has finished the year very strong.
“But 2017 is a new year and Novak plays very well in Melbourne so it’s always nice to get back to a place where you have been successful as you always feel confident.
“So I think the beginning of the year is going to be very interesting because you got (Rafael) Nadal and Federer coming back,” he added.
“Wawrinka has proved he is dangerous in slams and won slams. Then you got the new brigade coming along, it’s interesting time for mens’s tennis.”