Nick Kyrgios has paid the value for a yr of inaction over Covid19 considerations after he was dominated out of Australia’s team for subsequent month’s ATP Cup after his world ranking slipped to quantity 46 following a 11-month absence from the ATP Tour.
The 25-yr-outdated final performed a aggressive match at Acapulco in February after deciding to stay at house in Australia when the circuit resumed in Europe and North America after a hiatus.
Each nation have two singles slots that might be taken by their prime-ranked gamers and Australia’s problem on the ATP Cup might be led by Alex de Minaur and John Millman who’re ranked 23 and 38, respectively.
The duo might be joined by doubles gamers John Peers and Luke Saville as Australia look to enhance on their semi-remaining end ultimately yr’s inaugural match.
The ATP Cup might be held from Feb. 1-5 in Melbourne forward of the Australian Open, the yr’s first Grand Slam, and the occasion will characteristic world primary Novak Djokovic and second-ranked Rafa Nadal.
“The players are looking forward to stepping up and representing their countries again, and the field, including defending champions Serbia and finalists Spain, is strong,” match director Tom Larner stated.
“This is a format that shows off the passion of the players and we’re expecting some spectacular tennis action.”
The draw for the ATP Cup will happen on Jan. 20.
Kyrgios, typically branded “polarising” for his lengthy rap sheet of indiscretions, had been a galvanising pressure in elevating funds and consciousness for Australian bushfire reduction efforts throughout the ATP Cup final yr.
He will now play in Melbourne 2, one of two ATP 250 occasions being held alongside the ATP Cup. Melbourne Park can also be internet hosting two WTA 500 tournaments alongside the occasion.
Sofia Kenin has by no means defended a Grand Slam title earlier than however the reigning Australian Open champion stated on Tuesday that she’s going to seek advice from world primary Novak Djokovic if she feels the stress is an excessive amount of to deal with.
Kenin gained her maiden Grand Slam in Melbourne final yr which set the American on track to break into the highest 10 and declare the WTA Player of the Year award.
The 22-yr-previous, who was additionally the French Open runner-up, is at present ranked fourth in the world and shall be among the many high seeds in Melbourne when the occasion will get underway on Feb. 8.
“I definitely think I can talk to Novak… I think that will be helpful since we’re both defending champions,” Kenin advised reporters forward of the Abu Dhabi Open, a heat-up match earlier than the Australian Open.
“He did give me great advice ahead of the final (last year) since we were practicing next to each other.”
Kenin, who was seeded 14th final yr, got here again from a set down to beat Spain’s twice Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza in the ultimate.
“He came up to me and he was really nice about it and told me some things before the final which was special because I was crazy nervous,” Kenin added.
“He told me some things which I will not disclose since I’d rather keep it a secret.”
While many tournaments have been performed final season with out crowds due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenin hopes to see them return in numbers in Melbourne, even when capability is restricted.
“When I played at Cincinnati and U.S. Open (without crowds), it was completely different,” she stated.
“It’s so quiet, like a ghost town. It’s not the ideal atmosphere, I love the fans and use their energy to help me play better. I’m going to be super excited to have some kind of crowd and try to go back to something normal.”
Five-time Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray has been given a wild-card entry into the primary Grand Slam match of subsequent yr.
Former prime-ranked Murray has slipped to No. 122 within the ATP rankings after a number of years of battling hip accidents and surgical procedure.
“We welcome Andy back to Melbourne with open arms,” Australian Open match director Craig Tiley mentioned Monday. “As a five-time finalist he has been an integral part of so many amazing matches and storylines in the recent history of the Australian Open.”
Murray made a teary retirement announcement in Melbourne two years in the past earlier than present process a second spherical of surgical procedures to increase his profession.
“His retirement was an emotional moment and seeing him come back, having undergone major surgery and build himself back up to get onto the tour again, will be a highlight of AO 2021,” Tiley added.
The rescheduled Australian Open will likely be performed from Feb. 8-21, three weeks later than the unique date with the intention to enable gamers and officers to spend 14 days in quarantine as soon as they arrive in Australia. The gamers will likely be allowed 5 hours of observe every day at Melbourne Park, however should keep confined to their resort rooms in any other case.
Also receiving a wild card was Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, who can also be recovering from a collection of accidents and hasn’t performed a tour match for the reason that 2019 U.S. Open. He missed the 2020 Australian Open resulting from glandular fever.
Fellow Australians Destanee Aiava and Arina Rodionova gained wild playing cards into the 128-ladies’s draw.
India’s Sumit Nagal and China’s Wang Xiyu have been awarded wild playing cards from the Asia-Pacific for the lads’s and ladies’s foremost draw, respectively.
Legendary tennis participant Roger Federer has pulled out of the 2021 version of the Australian Open, in accordance with a press release on the web site of the event. Federer, a six-time Australian Open champion, will miss the 12 months’s first grand slam for the primary time in 22 years.
“In the end Roger ran out of time to get himself ready for the rigours of a Grand Slam and he’s very disappointed he won’t be coming to Melbourne in 2021.
“The Australian Open has always held a special place in his heart – remember it was Roger who first called the AO the ‘happy slam’.
“We wish him all the best as he prepares for his comeback later in the year and look forward to seeing him in Melbourne in 2022,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley was quoted on the web site.
(More to observe…)
Roger Federer is withdrawing from the Australian Open whereas he continues getting ready to return to motion after two operations on his proper knee and a tour absence that may have lasted longer than a yr, his agent informed The Associated Press.
Tony Godsick — Federer’s lengthy-time consultant and CEO of their administration firm, TEAM8 — stated Sunday he’s engaged on placing collectively a 2021 tennis calendar for the 20-time Grand Slam champion, who plans to get again on tour quickly after the yr’s first main tennis event.
This ends Federer’s streak of 21 consecutive appearances at Melbourne Park, a run that started along with his 2000 debut there and contains six championships.
“Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open. He has made strong progress in the last couple of months with his knee and his fitness. However, after consultation with his team, he decided that the best decision for him in the long run is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open,” Godsick stated in an announcement despatched to the AP.
“I will start discussions this coming week for tournaments that begin in late February and then start to build a schedule for the rest of the year,” Godsick stated.
The begin of the Australian Open’s major draw was delayed by three weeks due to the coronavirus pandemic and is now scheduled to start on Feb. 8. In different information associated to the event, Tennis Australia introduced that 5-time runner-up Andy Murray was given a wild-card entry.
Murray, a 3-time main champion and former No. 1, is 122nd within the rankings after going by way of two hip operations and contemplating retirement.
The 39-yr-outdated Federer, who has spent extra weeks atop the ATP rankings than anybody else however is No. 5 after his hiatus, is at the moment coaching in his common offseason dwelling of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The selection to delay his comeback got here with enter from coaches Severin Luthi and Ivan Ljubicic and health coach Pierre Paganini.
Federer hasn’t performed a event match since late January on the 2020 Australian Open, the place he was clearly injured whereas shedding in straight units to eventual champion Novak Djokovic within the semifinals. Soon after, Federer participated in an exhibition charity occasion with Rafael Nadal in entrance of a document tennis crowd of greater than 50,000 folks at a soccer stadium in Cape Town, South Africa.
Just weeks later, Federer introduced he had arthroscopic surgical procedure on his proper knee and could be sidelined for not less than 4 months. He later had a second process on that knee and wound up lacking the remainder of the pandemic-altered season.
One measure of Federer’s recognition: Despite showing in solely six matches in 2020, he not too long ago was voted the winner of the ATP Tour followers’ favourite award for the 18th consecutive time.
Until this knee problem, Federer solely had his profession interrupted as soon as by an operation — on his left knee in 2016. He sat out the second half of that season, together with the Rio de Janeiro Olympics and the U.S. Open, however was again at his finest when he resumed taking part in, successful the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2017.
He received the Australian Open once more the next yr for No. 20 in his Grand Slam assortment, which incorporates eight trophies from Wimbledon, 5 from the U.S. Open and one from the French Open.
While Federer was sidelined this yr, Nadal equaled his males’s document for many main championships by amassing his twentieth at Roland Garros in October. Federer posted a congratulatory message on social media to Nadal that day, saying he hopes “20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us.”
Djokovic’s title in Australia this yr moved him nearer to the opposite members of the Big Three of males’s tennis with a complete of 17.