Nakashima tops Isner at Indian Wells minus Djokovic, Nadal Women’s tennis tour, WTA, in commercial partnership with CVC Kostyuk beats Gracheva for 1st WTA title
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Brandon Nakashima capitalized on John Isner’s two double faults in an error-filled game to get the only serve break of the match to advance to the second round at the BNP Paribas Open 7-6 (7), a 6 win -3 in the All-American competition on Wednesday.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was in the stands as play began at the year’s first Masters 1000 tournament, the unified tournament for women and men.
Nakashima, a 21-year-old San Diego native, saved one set point to 37-year-old 2018 Wimbledon semi-finalist Isner en route to the first tie-break. And Nakashima, who won last year’s ATP Next Gen Finals, took a 4-2 lead in the second set after nearly an hour and a half, scoring four points in that game thanks to that pair of double faults and one right hand. Isner, who found the net and did not cross, and another who swam for a long time.
Overall, Isner, who was runner-up at Indian Wells in 2012, double-faulted seven times, which is part of his 25 unforced errors – 18 more than Nakashima. The next challenge for Nakashima, ranked 48th, is a tough one to take on 2022 US Open champion and former No. 1 Daniil Medvedev, who has a 14-match winning streak and has won the last three tournaments he has competed in.
That streak of success includes a win over Novak Djokovic, a 22-time Grand Slam champion who didn’t take the field in Indian Wells because he can’t travel to the United States as a foreign national who hasn’t been vaccinated against COVID-19. The player with whom Djokovic shares the record for most majors won, Rafael Nadal, is also not in the desert; he was ruled out after injuring his left hip flexor at the Australian Open.
Medvedev, like other seeded players, got a bye in the first round.
Gael Monfils, a 36-year-old two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist, was set to face Jordan Thompson for the first time since August on Wednesday night. Monfils has not played since last August due to a foot injury.
In another first-day battle, Evgeniya Rodina, a 34-year-old ranked 427th and played just one match at tour level in 2023, edged out 68th-placed Alize Cornet 6-2, 7-5; Wang Xinyu, ranked 67th, beat Eliza Mertens, ranked 37th, 6:3, 6:1; wild card Dayana Yastremska defeated Anna Bondar 6-3, 6-4; Alexandra Sasnovich defeated Kaya Kanepi 6-3, 7-6 (5); Anna Blinkova beat Ann Lee 6-1, 6-2; and 18-year-old Linda Noskova defeated Irina-Kamelia Bega 7-6(7), 6-1.
Shelby Rodgers won 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 in the All-America against wild-carded Cathy Wolynets; qualifying Lesya Tsurenko beat Zhu Lin 6-4, 6-3; and Camila Giorgi won 6-3, 6-3 against qualified Arantxa Rus.
In the men’s games, Marcos Giron, who won the NCAA singles title for UCLA, eliminated Alexander Kovacevich 6-3, 7-5; Hugo Humbert beat Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6:2, 7:6 (6); Jason Kubler beat Lorenzo Sonego 6–4, 7–6 (4); Oscar Otte defeated Laszlo Jere 6-3, 7-5
Wildcard Wu Yibin, whose Dallas title last month made him the first Chinese player to win the ATP singles trophy, defeated Jaume Munar 6-7(6), 6-0, 7-6(3) . ; qualifier Taro Daniel beat Roberto Carbales Baena 6-1, 7-5 to set up a meeting with 2021 Wimbledon finalist Matteo Berrettini; qualifier Christian Garin defeated Daniel Galan 6-4, 6-2; and Australian Open quarter-finalist Jiri Leheka eliminated Arthur Rinderknech 7–6(4), 7–5.
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: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis And https://twitter.com/AP-Sports
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 victory 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 over 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 an 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.