Murray Withdraws From Cologne

Former No. 1 pulls out due to pelvic issue.
Andy Murray has withdrawn from Cologne due to a pelvic issue.

The former world No. 1, who had been given a wild card into the tournament, announced his withdrawal in a Facebook post.

Raonic: There Will Always Be Argument on GOAT

Murray said he made the decision after playing practice points on Sunday.

The three-time Grand Slam champion said he's been coping with the ongoing issue and did not believe he'd be fully fit for tournament play.

"I've been trying to deal with it in training, and in the matches, and unfortunately after my match here this week it's flared up again," Murray said. "I've been practicing the last few days and trying to manage it, but after playing some points today, I decided it was not going to be good enough to play.

"I'd like to thank the tournament for giving me the opportunity to come and play here, I'm sorry it hasn't worked out. See you on the court soon."

Photo credit: US Open Facebook

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Raonic on GOAT: There Will Always Be an Argument

The Canadian says that there's still a lot of tennis to be played, so don't cast your GOAT vote just yet.

By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday October 17, 2020

Milos Raonic has weighed in on the GOAT debate, and given his thoughts on the incredible achievement of Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros.

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The Canadian, speaking after his quarterfinal win over Karen Khachanov on Friday in St. Petersburg, says that, first of all, we have to step back and praise Nadal’s incredible body of work in Paris.

"Incredible what Rafa has done to win the tournament 13 times, I believe in 16 years that he has played at it,” Raonic said. “He has only lost two matches, one year he was not able to complete the tournament. Before these three guys started the Grand Slam record was 14—he has a good chance to win 14 at one event, so who would have thought that was possible?"

The GOAT debate is open-ended

Raonic says that the GOAT debate is wide open when it comes to men’s tennis, but he adds that there will be no way to tell while the Big Three are still active.

The GOAT debate has become a hot topic ever since Nadal clinched his 13th Roland Garros title in Paris to draw even with Roger Federer at 20 Grand Slam titles.

Nadal and Federer each lead Djokovic, who has 17 major titles, by three. Margaret Court (24), Serena Williams (23) and Steffi Graf (22) are the all-time leaders in Grand Slam singles titles.

"In the long term debate I think it's hard to debate it now because there are a lot of open-ended things,” he said. “You have Rafa that's going to be around we hope, to play more tennis. You have Roger that's going to be coming back next year to play more tennis. You have Novak that maybe has age on his side and has been definitely the healthiest of them, especially over the last few years."

Djokovic himself warned that it would be a mistake to count any of the Big Three out after he fell to Nadal in Paris on Sunday.

“Myself and Nadal, and especially Federer, we have been written off many times, people were sending us into retirement, but we keep coming back and proving that we are the best in the world despite all the pressure," he said.

Raonic says that it’s important to pay attention to more than Grand Slam titles.

"It's not only about Grand Slams,” he said. “Weeks at No.1 matters, head-to-head results against each other, those matter. How many times you win each Grand Slam, those matter, any Masters series you win, there's a lot you know. So there's always going to be an argument about who is the greatest of all-time and I think we are very lucky to be able to have that argument all in the same generation where you can compare the guys, all rather than comparing some players from now to players from twenty years ago, to players from 40 years ago."

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Marketa Vondrousova, World No.20, Tests Positive for Covid-19

The 21-year-old has had to pull out of next week's event in Ostrava as a result. By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday October 17, 2020

World No.20 Marketa Vondrousova is the lastest player to test positive for Covid-19. The 21-year-old Czech has had to pull out of next week’s J&T Banka Ostrava Open, saying that she is feeling good at the moment.

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"I'm disappointed, but there's nothing I can do. I feel quite good, so hopefully it will stay that way," she said.

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Sorry Nick: NBA Star Giannis Antetokounmpo Professes Love for Nadal

While hanging out with Stefanos Tsitsipas, the Milwaukee Bucks star declares his new faceThe Greek Freak has spoken, and Nadal’s his guy.

While spending some quality time with his chum, Stefanos Tsitsipas, NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo says sorry to Nick Kyrgios, but Rafael Nadal‘s his fave.

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“So Nick, you were my favorite tennis athlete, player, whatever it’s called,” the Milwaukee Bucks star said. “But now it’s Nadal, because I just love him!”

The conclusion of the video features a final word from Tsitsipas for his friend Kyrgios: "Sorry, Nick."

Just have to love that Tsitsipas and Antetokounmpo have such a good friendship and we are looking forward to more fun from these two incredible athletes – and characters.

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St. Petersburg: Querrey Blew Off Second Test

The St. Petersburg tournament says Sam Querrey failed to take a second Coronavirus test.
Sam Querrey fled Russia after declining to take a required second Coronavirus test on a couple of occasions, St. Petersburg tournament officials announced today.

Querrey traveled to Russia with wife Abby and their eight-month-old son Ford to play the St. Petersburg Open.

More: Sam Querrey Flees Russia in COVID-19 Panic

Prior to his first-round match, Querrey, his wife and their young son all tested positive for Coronavirus prompting the tournament to pull him from the field. New York Times writer Ben Rothenberg reports the Querrey family, experiencing “mild symptoms” of the virus, were required to quarantine for 14 days in their room at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Instead Querrey, who was reportedly concerned government officials would require the family to quarantine at a hospital and possibly separate he and his wife from their son, flew out of Russia on a private jet without submitting to a second test or completing quarantine.

The tournament said Querrey was scheduled to take a second Coronavirus test today, Thursday, but is spotted on hotel security video leaving the Four Seasons at 5:45 a.m. on October 13th without notifying reception.

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After leaving the hotel, Querrey booked a private plane for his wife and son flying out of Russia to a nearby country that did not require a COVID-19 negative test for entry.

Tournament officials say Querrey initially agreed to a second test on October 12th but did not open his hotel room door when the doctor arrived citing his sleeping child. The test was rescheduled for October 13th but Querrey again did not open his door, according to the tournament. The tournament said it was preparing to transfer Querrey's family to private apartments for quarantine. 

St. Petersburg Open Statement on Sam Querrey:

"As recommended by the local Rospotrebnadzor and provided the course of the disease is asymptomatic it was supposed to transfer Querry from the hotel to private apartments for self-isolation so that the family wouldn’t experience any inconvenience nor pose a threat of disease dissemination.

"To that end, the organizing committee had prepared premium-class apartments. A repeat test for Sam Querry was scheduled on Thursday, October 15, however instead of acting in accordance with the ATP rules and the tournament sanitary protocol, at 5.45 AM on October 13, Sam Querry along with his family left the hotel without informing the reception – as was filmed by the hotel security cameras. As Querry told the ATP representative, he flew out of Russia on a private jet. The ATP representative passed on this information to the tournament management after the doctors made a repeat abortive attempt to examine the family."

Testing was rescheduled for today, but the Querrey family left the hotel at 5:45 a.m. on October 13th, tournament officials say. The tournament says it's now up to to the ATP to take action in Querrey's case.

"The tournament organizing committee has done it all to ensure the safety of the players, the ATP representatives and all the services of the tournament," the St. Petersburg Open tournament committee said. "It is the power of the ATP to evaluate and assess the actions of the player Sam Querry.

"We are satisfied with the interaction with the organs of Rospotrebnadzor of St. Petersburg and with the continuation of the tournament in accordance with adopted Standards."

Photo credit: @mensclaycourt

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Taylor Townsend is Pregnant! Baby Due in March

The talented American announced the news, and her plans to return to tennis after becoming a mother. By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday October 14, 2020

Taylor Towsend, 24, has announced that she will become a mother in March. The World No.90 broke the news on her Instagram on Wednesday, posting a long video to announced the news and report that she plans to return to tennis as a mother.

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Townsend, a former World No.61 who defeated Simona Halep at last year’s US Open en route to a career-best fourth-round performance, says the baby is due in March.

“Life has a funny way of putting you exactly where you are supposed to be. I’m so excited to embark on the journey of motherhood!!” Townsend wrote on Instagram, before adding:

“My entire life, my entire career, I’ve heard ‘You can’t. You won’t,’ and I’ve used it as a reason to fight hard, and as motivation to keep playing,” Townsend said in the video. “I’m sure this won’t be any different, so I’ll have to prove them all wrong again.”

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Cologne Closes Doors

The rest of this week's Cologne tournament will be played without fans.
Cologne is now a fan-free tournament.

The ATP Bett1Hulks indoor tournament in Cologne will play without spectators due to German government health measures in the wake of a recent Coronavirus spike.

Murray: Nadal's Record May Be Best in Sport

The tournament, which had allowed limited fans for Monday and Tuesday sessions, will proceed without fans starting Wednesday through the finals on Sunday.


The tournament announced ticket holders for any session Wednesday through Sunday "will be reimbursed through the advance booking office where they were purchased."

Photo credit: Bett1Hulks Facebook

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Kevin Anderson Named President of ATP Player Council, Four New Players Added

After four resignations. the ATP player council has filled the vacancies and made Kevin Anderson its president. After a spate if resignations hit the ATP’s Player Council in August, the organization has named four new players to replace those who departed.

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Novak Djokovic, John Isner, Vasek Pospisil and Sam Querrey resigned from the council to become part of the newly formed PTPA. Djokovic's fledging organization has gained support from top pros, and reportedly has about 200 of the Top 500 signed on.

Djokovic and the PTPA aim to give player-only representation to the players when it comes to negotiating prize money and rule changes on tour. They plan to incorporate women into the fold, but started out focusing on men, which was viewed as a mistake by many.

“I feel like we can all co-exist in the same eco-system,” said Djokovic, at the US Open last month. “It's very important for tennis players, being part of a very global sport, to have their own 100% player-only representation.”

The ATP announced on Tuesday October 13 that four new players have been elected to the ATP Player Council: Felix Auger-Aliassime (1-25 Singles), Jeremy Chardy (51-100 singles), John Millman (1-50 singles) and Andy Murray (At Large).

Auger-Aliassime, 20, is the youngest player in the Top 25. He is currently the World No. 22.

Kevin Anderson, formerly the ATP Player Council’s Vice President, will serve as its President.

The current ATP Player Council is as follows:

1-50 Singles: Kevin Anderson (P), Felix Auger-Aliassime, John Millman, Rafael Nadal
51-100 Singles: Jeremy Chardy, Yen-Hsun Lu
1-100 Doubles: Jurgen Melzer, Bruno Soares
At Large: Roger Federer, Andy Murray
Alumni Representative: Colin Dowdeswell
Coach Representative: Brad Stine

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De Minaur To Play UTS Antwerp Event

World No. 29 to play UTS Antwerp this weekend.
Alex de Minaur returns to action in Antwerp this weekend.

The 29th-ranked Aussie will play the Ultimate Tennis Showdown. The UTS Antwerp event will be staged October 16-18th in collaboration with the European Open.

Murray: Nadal's Record May Be Best In Sport

US Open quarterfinalist de Minaur is the first man to commit to UTS3. Organizers will announce the rest of the six-man field in the coming days.  

De Minaur is the youngest man to play back-to-back ATP semifinals since Rafael Nadal in 2006, and is the third player to ever win an ATP title without facing a break point since the advent of the ATP tracking that stat in 1991.

UTS3 will be played exclusively in night sessions, which organizers say "will emphasize the league’s electrifying atmosphere and uncompromised entertainment value."

The event will consist of two groups of three players. In the group stage, players will face the other two players in their group, over the first two days of competition. The winner of each group will carry on to the final, which will be played on Sunday October 18th.

Although the group stage will be played without public, the fans who have tickets for the last day of the European Open qualifying draw will have the chance to watch the UTS final, which will take place after the qualifying matches. 

All the matches will be available for livestream on https://watch.utslive.tv.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

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