Tennis news round-up: Emma Raducanu confirms next tournament, Davis Cup drama and former No.1 teases return
Tennis is the sport that seemingly never stops, and even after the intensity of the Australian Open there are still tournaments taking place with news breaking left, right and centre, including the announcement of where Emma Raducanu will play next.
Here are five of the top stories of the week that we, at Tennishead, have picked out:
1. Emma Raducanu enters first tournament post Australian Open
Emma Raducanu has entered her first tournament since the Australian Open at the ATX Open in Texas, beginning the 27th February. The WTA 250 tournament also features the likes of Sloane Stephens, Danielle Collins and Magda Linette.
Raducanu has had a tricky start to 2023 having rolled her ankle in her second round match, in Auckland, against Viktoria Kuzmova. The No.77 faced a race against time to make the first major of the year, but managed to get to the second round before losing to seventh seed Coco Gauff.
The British No.1 competes in Texas in the week before Indian Wells, of which we do not know if she will be playing yet.
Former US Open Champion Emma Raducanu can't wait to see YOU in Austin in just 25 days!
Join us at the #ATXopen👉 https://t.co/KqJeMpPdgF@VisitAustinTX | @sportsaustin | @EmmaRaducanu | @USTATexas | @DropShot_Series pic.twitter.com/woCsvK59xh
— ATX Open (@AtxOpen) February 2, 2023
2. First player confirmed for the 2023 Laver Cup
The sixth edition of the Laver Cup has its first participant, with No.7 Felix Auger-Aliassime announced to be part of Team World for a third consecutive year.
The Canadian was part of the first Team World to beat Team Europe last year, getting a crucial win over Novak Djokovic on the final day. The event, that is taking place in September, is held in Vancouver this year and so Auger-Aliassime will be a home favourite in front of the Canadian fans.
Both Auger-Aliassime, and his captain John McEnroe, will be hoping for a repeat of 2022.
Felix Auger-Aliassime will represent Team World as they look to repeat as Laver Cup champions at Vancouver's Rogers Arena from September 22-24, 2023. https://t.co/s47ze7CAxf pic.twitter.com/waAiSmC0Y9
— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) February 2, 2023
3. Dan Evans gets his wish after threatening to quit GB Davis Cup team
The Davis Cup returned this week, with the qualifiers taking place and Great Britain are in action against Colombia on the clay of Cota.
However, the tie itself has not been the main talking point with the potential team selection by GB captain Leon Smith catching the headlines.
After being knocked out of the group stages last year, British No.2 Dan Evans had a rant about not ever being picked to play doubles, with Great Britain’s two top 5 doubles specialists being preferred.
“It’s disappointing. To be frank, it’s a bit insulting also that I haven’t been picked ever to play the Davis Cup [in doubles],” Evans said in October. “This is meant in the nicest possible way to the doubles guys, there’s nothing against them – but I don’t need to play doubles on the tour to prove how good I am at doubles.”
He continued, “When I do, I normally do okay. I think we need to look past doubles rankings for a Davis Cup tie and if a game style fits or a game style doesn’t then maybe we should be picking other people.”
Evans’ wish has been granted, as he will will partner Neal Skupski in the doubles match on Saturday, with Joe Salisbury hampered by a minor back issue.
Skupski and Evans do in-fact have previous doubles success, reaching two Masters 1000 finals at Miami and Monte Carlo, respectively.
They will have their work cut out for them however, as they play two time Grand Slam doubles champions and former No.1’s Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.
4. Watch: Alycia Parks hits incredible tweener lob winner
Alycia Parks rose to the attention of tennis fans last year in Ostrava, when she picked up two big wins over former No.1 Karolina Pliskova and top 10 player Maria Sakkari.
She has continued this form into 2023, rising from No.150 into the top 80. The 22-year-old American is on a 13 match unbeaten run indoors, and is into her first WTA semi-final in Lyon.
In her second round match in Lyon against Petra Martic, Parks hit an audacious winner to which her Croatian opponent applauded.
You can watch this incredible shot below.
Tweener. Lob. Winner.
👏 @TheRealAParks 🔥 pic.twitter.com/5kt3RMjoQ4
— wta (@WTA) February 1, 2023
5. Former No.1 teases return
This week former doubles No.1 and top 20 singles player Barbora Strycova put a teaser video of her practicing on social media with the caption, “See you on courts in summer. Again.”
V létě se (na chvíli) vidíme na kurtech. 🤭 | See you on courts in summer. Again. https://t.co/cD9336zHVQ@WTA
— Barbora Strycova (@BaraStrycova) February 1, 2023
Strycova reached the Wimbledon singles semi-final in 2019, the same year that she won the doubles title with Hsieh Su-Wei, and held the top spot at the doubles rankings for 27 weeks.
She announced her retirement on the 4th May in 2021, when she was pregnant with her first child, but teased that she could play one final tournament at Wimbledon 2022.
The Czech did not play on the grass last year, and so fans think that this statement means Wimbledon 2023 could be the final farewell for the 36-year-old.
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