Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Report: Dzumhur might sue French Tennis Federation

   Damir Dzumhur, one of five men forced to withdraw from French Open qualifying because of coronavirus concerns, reportedly is threatening to sue the French Tennis Federation.
   The FFT confirmed that two players and a coach tested positive, while three others with close contact to the coach also were forced to pull out, according to tennisnow.com.
   "In line with tournament health protocols, the five players will not compete in the qualifying tournament and will self-isolate for a period of seven days," the FFT said in a statement. "In total, some 900 tests have been carried out since Sept. 17."
   Later Monday, an unidentified player in the women's qualifying draw also tested positive, tennisnow. com reported, bringing the total to six.
   Dzumhur, ranked No. 114, revealed that his coach, Petar Popovic, tested positive.
   "(Popovic) didn't get a chance to do a second test, and we're sure he was false positive because my coach has antibodies," said Dzumhur, 28, of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
   French sports newspaper L'Equipe quoted FFT doctor Bernard Montalvan as saying that samples that test positive are tested again to confirm the result.
   Main-draw matches in the French Open begin Sunday. Tournament organizers plan to allow up to 5,000 spectators a day during the two-week event, even though coronavirus cases are rising in France.
   Dzumhur, only 5-foot-9 (1.75 meters) and 150 pounds (68 kilograms), reached the third round of the 2018 French Open and climbed to a career-high No. 23 that July. He struggled with back, abdominal, shoulder and stomach injuries last year. As the top seed in the $81,240 Aptos (Calif.) Challenger in August, he advanced to the quarterfinals
   Andreescu done for year — Bianca Andreescu, who won the 2019 U.S. Open at 19, announced on Tuesday that she will sit out the rest of the 2020 season.
   "I have come to the difficult decision to skip the clay court swing this year and will be taking the remainder of the season off to focus on my health and training," the 20-year-old Canadian tweeted. "As hard as it was to come to this conclusion, I have much to look forward to in 2021, including the Olympics; I want to use this time to focus on my game so I can come back stronger and better than ever."
   Andreescu, ranked No. 7, has not played since retiring from a WTA Finals match last October with a left-knee injury. She skipped the recent U.S. Open, citing concerns about the coronavirus and inadequate preparation time.
   WTA Tour — Third-seeded Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan defeated Kateryna Bondarenko, a 34-year-old Ukrainian mother of two, and Sharon Fichman of Canada 6-4, 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the Internationaux de Strasbourg. 
   Aoyama and Shibahara, a 22-year-old native of Mountain View in the San Francisco Bay Area who starred at UCLA, are scheduled to face top-seeded Nicole Melichar, a Czech-born American, and Demi Schuurs of the Netherlands on Friday.
   Aoyama and Shibahara advanced to the final of the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose, Calif., last August, falling to Melichar and then-44-year-old Kveta Peschke 6-4, 6-4.

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