Tennis

LIVE: Australian Open mask plan overruled



By Sacha Mirzabegian05 Feb 2021 22:44The ATP Cup lost some star power last night with Serbia knocked out by Germany, who advanced to set up a semi-final clash with Russia, while Italy and Spain also face-off for a place in the final.The biggest clash in the day session at the ATP Cup on Saturday will be Alexander Zverev v Daniil Medvedev which is the second match on Rod Laver Arena following the Jan-Lennard Struff v Andrey Rublev semi-final at 10am AEDT.Fabio Fognini takes on Pablo Carreno Busta in the other final four match between Spain and Italy on John Cain Arena.Spain has given no indication Rafael Nadal will overcome a back injury and play – just two days before the start of the Australian Open.”He’s working very hard to recover his best feelings,” Spain team captain Pepe Vendrell said.”Obviously he couldn’t play any matches during the week. It’s a situation that we have to study. But day by day he’s improving.”Vendrell was asked whether the world No.2 was a better chance of playing on Saturday than he was on Friday, when he was out from Spain’s 2-1 tie loss to Greece.”We don’t know. We are going to talk tonight. He practiced and his feeling was better,” he said. “We are thinking as a team. We [will] try to choose the better option for the team.”Officials face the very real prospect of the remaining star players pulling out to rest ahead of the first round of the Grand Slam on Monday.However, tournament director Craig Tiley assured competitors they will not fall victim to their success in the lead in tournaments and won’t have to back up early if they play into Sunday. “The ATP Cup will finish for sure [by Sunday], we start 10 o’clock tomorrow and then 10 o’clock again on Sunday so that will be done [by Sunday afternoon],” he said.”The two women’s events will be done on Sunday. Then we will try and protect those players on Sunday by not giving them an early start on Monday.Elsewhere, world No.23 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, will play former Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinal of the Grampians Trophy at 11am AEDT in the first match on Margaret Court Arena.Naomi Osaka takes on Elise Mertens in the semi-final of the Gippsland Trophy in the other match that is sure to garner interest.


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