Dominic Thiem ends South American tour with 3 losses in 4 matches Women’s tennis tour, WTA, in commercial partnership with CVC Kostyuk beats Gracheva for 1st WTA title

SANTIAGO, Chile. Former 3rd place finisher and 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem continues to struggle on clay courts in South America while recovering from injuries to his right wrist and abdomen.

The 29-year-old Austrian lost to Christian Garin in the first round of the Chile Open, his third consecutive clay tournament.

Garin won 6-2, 7-6 (2) and reached the 1/8 finals, where in the next match he will play with Sebastian Baez.

Thiem dropped to 99th place after picking up just one singles tour win this year, over Alex Molkan at the Argentine Open in early February.

He has since lost all three matches he has played in Buenos Aires at the Rio Open and home favorite Garin in Chile.

Also on Tuesday, Thiago Monteiro beat fifth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 to go into the match against Marco Cecchinato, who had previously beaten Facundo Bagnis 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (3 ).

Lorenzo Musetti, who took first place, will play his first match at the tournament on Wednesday.

The Women’s Professional Tennis Tour launched a business venture with CVC Capital Partners to increase the sport’s revenue, with an investment manager contributing $150 million for a 20% stake in what would be known as WTA Ventures LLC.

“Obviously the goal is to significantly grow women’s professional tennis. Grow our profile, its value, prize money,” said WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon. “This arrangement will certainly allow us to create more investment opportunities for our players and our tournaments.”

He said the new organization is completely separate from WTA Inc. from St. Petersburg, Florida, who will oversee the tour itself and will manage all commercial activities including broadcast rights, data, games, sponsorships, licensing and NFTs. .

“Hopefully we can get started with a larger audience and more engaged fans,” Simon said. “Then it will boost the asset value of each of those properties through audience growth.”

At the end of 2021, Simon announced that the WTA would suspend all of its tournaments, including the season-ending WTA Finals, which were held in China due to safety concerns for former player Peng Shuai, costing the tour millions of dollars. This ban on competition in China remains in place; Simon said a decision on where to host the WTA Finals this season would be made by the end of March.

He called the CVC investment “completely unrelated to any of these issues.”

Simon also said that the agreement, which was announced on Tuesday, “in no way prevents us from continuing negotiations with the ATP (men’s tennis tour) and possibly making a bigger deal with the ATP involved.”

CVC says on its website that it is a “global alternative investment manager” with over €137 billion ($145 billion) in assets under management.

He has worked with Formula One, European football leagues, rugby, volleyball and other sports.

The WTA-CVC partnership has been in the works for some time now, from initial concept to work to close the deal over the last 12 months.

“It’s been a long journey,” Simon said. – AP tennis: And

Austin, Texas. Marta Kostyuk won her first career WTA title at the age of 20 when she defeated Varvara Gracheva 6-3, 7-5 in the ATX Open final and then dedicated the win to her home country Ukraine.

No. 8 seeded Kostyuk and unseeded Gracheva, a 22-year-old Russian, did not meet at the net for the traditional post-match handshake; Kostyuk said she would not do so after facing opponents from Russia, which launched its invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago, or Belarus, which helped launch the attack.

“Being in the position that I am in now, it is very important to win this title,” Kostyuk said during the awards ceremony at the first hard surface tournament in the capital of Texas, “and I want to dedicate this title to Ukraine and all the people who are now fighting and they die.”

When Gracheva landed a long right hand to end the match 1.5 hours later, Kostyuk, who was 5-3 down in the second set and kept a 5-4 set point, fell to her knees at the baseline with her hands on her face and sobbed.

“Obviously,” said Kostyuk, who was the 2017 Australian Open junior champion, “this is a special moment.”

Both players participated for the first time in a title match at the tour level and in total made 13 breaks on the pitch (8 for Kostyuk) and 14 double faults. Both scored less than 50% on serve.

There were only two aces, both from Gracheva, including one that gave her a 5-4, 40-30 set point. But she squandered that chance to force a third set with a right hand. Gracheva, who finished 88th, had eliminated No. 1 seeded Magda Lynette and 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stevens earlier in the tournament, shot again from the right into the net and faced a break point. Kostyuk converted it, completing the exchange of 16 shots with a winning right hand.

Kostyuk, who finished 52nd that day, then kept the score 6-5 with a backroom serve before ending the four-game streak with another break.

She is the third 2023 Women’s Tour Champion to win the title for the first time.


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