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Tennis: India's Ramkumar bows out of French Open qualifiers

September 22, 2020 12:08 IST
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Ramkumar Ramanathan

IMAGE: Ramkumar Ramanathan lost eight break points in his loss. Photograph: Files

Ramkumar Ramanathan's bid to qualify for his maiden Grand Slam singles main draw fell flat after his straight set defeat against French wild card Tristan Lamasine in the French Open, in Paris.

The Indian Davis Cupper, ranked 198, lost 5-7, 2-6 to lower-ranked Lamasine in one hour and 27 minutes on Monday. The French is placed 268 on the ranking chart.

The 25-year-old Ramkumar was profligate as he squandered as many as seven of the eight breakpoints he earned. He lost his serve four times in the first-round contest.

India’s top singles player Sumit Nagal has already exited and now Prajnesh Gunneswaran is the lone Indian left in the men's singles qualifying event.

Ramkumar has been trying to crack the Grand Slam main draws since 2015 but has not succeeded yet. Making the third round at the Australian Open qualifiers in 2018 has been his best effort so far.

 

In the women's singles qualifiers, Ankita Raina, ranked 176, will open her campaign against Serbian player Jovana Jovic, ranked 234.

Fans fume online as Rome title winners split by 10 euros in prize money

Organisers of the Italian Open and the tennis Tours came under fire on social media after it emerged that Rome men's champion Novak Djokovic was paid 10 euros ($11.74) more than women's winner Simona Halep.

Djokovic, who beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 for a record 36th ATP Masters 1000 crown, received 205,200 euros for his triumph while Halep won 10 euros less for sealing the WTA Premier 5 title after Karolina Pliskova retired from the final with injury while trailing 6-0, 2-1.

But even as tennis' biggest events - the Grand Slams -- have pushed for parity in prize money for winners, some fans online vented their ire that while Halep's prize came close to that of Djokovic, it frustratingly fell short.

The issue generated plenty of discussion on social media, with some individuals pointing out the "pathetic" difference.

"People who made a pay gap in cents are misogynists. Period," one individual said on Twitter.

"I almost feel like -- if they so badly need those 10 euros to feel better about their manhood - hell's bells give it to 'em," another said.

Organisers of the tournament as well as the men's ATP Tour and women's WTA tour did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Last year, Rafael Nadal took home 958,055 euros as the men's winner in Rome, almost double the prize money given to women's winner Pliskova.

The financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic had reduced the overall prize pot of the men's event to around 3.47 million euros while the women's fund was around 1.69 million euros.

ATP Masters 1000 events are the biggest on the men's Tour after the Grand Slams and the season-ending ATP Finals, while Premier 5 events are lower than Premier Mandatory tournaments and the WTA Finals

Wawrinka splits with long-time coach Norman

Stan Wawrinka has split with his long-time coach Magnus Norman, the man who helped him win three Grand Slam titles, the Swiss player announced on Monday.

Wawrinka posted a message on Instagram saying his eight-year alliance with the Swede was over.

"After eight great years together (Magnus Norman) and I have decided to part ways by mutual consent," Wawrinka, 35, said.

"We have had an amazingly strong, enjoyable and hugely successful partnership. We reached the height of this sport together and I want to thank him for helping me win everything that I could ever dreamt of winning."

While Wawrinka was always capable of strong results he lived very much in the shadow of Roger Federer until he beat Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open final in 2014.

It was only the second time since 2005 that a player outside the then 'big four' of Nadal, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray had won a Grand Slam title.

Wawrinka proved that was no flash in the pan by beating Djokovic in the 2015 French Open final and won his third Slam title at the 2016 US Open, also beating Djokovic.

Under Norman's watchful eye Wawrinka broke into the world's top four, reaching number three in 2014.

"He's been a great coach, friend and mentor and will always be a dear friend. I want to publicly thank him for all his hard work dedication and commitment in making me a better player over the years," Wawrinka said.

"Winning three Grand Slams has been a life changing experience for me and I could not have done that without him."

Wawrinka, now ranked 17th in the world, is preparing for next week's French Open.

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IPL 2020

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