Tennis Today: Player in face mask U-turn, Rafael Nadal’s cousins following in his footsteps

In Tennis Today, Naomi Osaka notches up another high-profile sponsor, an American player makes a U-turn about wearing a face mask during an on-court interview while two young members of the Nadal family are following in uncle Rafael’s footsteps.

What’s on the site

The big news overnight came from the United States, but it is about the Australian Open as American No 1 John Isner has confirmed he won’t play at the season-opening Grand Slam.

Read the reasoning behind his decision to withdraw from the hard-court major.

British No 2 Kyle Edmund is another player who won’t feature at Melbourne Park, but for a different reason.

Former world No 1 Lindsay Davenport believes Rafael Nadal is yet to solve the Novak Djokovic puzzle at the Australian Open.

Meanwhile, former world No 2 Alex Corretja feels it will be a case of “as you were” for men’s tennis this year as he says Djokovic and Nadal will continue to dominate.

And in case you missed this one last week, our Kevin Palmer spoke to former Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button about his love of tennis and the Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal debate.

What’s in the news

Christian Harrison has hit the headlines for several reasons over the past few days. The world No 789 started the week with just two ATP Tour-level wins under his belt, but he stunned top seed Cristian Garin in the round of 16 to reach his maiden quarter-final.

So far, so good.

However, he didn’t do his on-court interview as he refused to wear a face mask (!) and was hit with a $3,000 fine.

On Monday he reached the semi-final by beating Gianluca Mager and decided to do the on-court interview with a mask. has the story for you.

Staying with news related to playing tennis in these uncertain times, an Australian Open qualifying match was halted midway (well, it was close to the end) in Doha after news emerged that one of the players had tested positive for coronavirus, reports The Guardian.

Denis Kudla was leading Elliot Benchetrit 6-4, 5-3 when news filtered through that Kudla had returned a positive sample.

Benchetrit later revealed on Instagram that they had to finish the game in progress and Kudla won 6-4, 6-3.

“At 5-3, they got the result. So to sum up: if I’d won that game at 5-3 to make it 5-4, I’d have qualified for the second round,” Benchetrit said on Instagram.

Naomi Osaka can do no wrong as the three-time Grand Slam winner has become the face of Louis Vuitton. Here is the report, featuring plenty of social media pics, from CNN.

The 23-year-old is described as “an exceptional young woman who represents her generation and is a role model for everyone” by artistic director of women’s collections Nicolas Ghesquière.

What’s on social media

Stefanos Tsitsipas recently held a Q&A session on Twitter and there were some interesting questions and answers.

This one brought out a chuckle.

So Tsitsipas might get rid of one Nadal, but it looks like some others are ready to replace Rafa.

Rafael Nadal’s cousins, Toni Jr (17) and Joan Nadal (16), are following in their uncle’s footsteps as they notched up their first ITF match wins over the weekend. Yes, they are the sons of his former coach Toni Nadal.

Name the band.

What is Maria Sharapova up to these days?

What’s on TV

After the recent starvation of live tennis, it feels like we are back in tennis heaven with so much on the go.

ATP Delray Beach Open
Tennis TV

WTA Abu Dhabi Open
Amazon Prime Video

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