Tennis news today: Novak Djokovic begins Italian Open campaign with win over Aslan Karatsev, ATP unlikely to award ranking points for Wimbledon due to ban on Russian and Belarusian players

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic made a winning start at the 2022 Italian Open. Djokovic defeated Aslan Karatsev in straight sets to progress into the third round after a first-round bye.

Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing could result in the ATP not awarding any ranking points for this year’s edition.

2018 WTA Finals champion Elina Svitolina’s break from tennis is set to continue, as she’s set to miss the upcoming French Open as well.

On the court, the highly anticipated first-round clash between Emma Raducanu and Bianca Andreescu ended on a disappointing note. The Brit was forced to retire due to an injury in the second set of their Italian Open match. There were a couple of upsets in the men’s draw in Rome, as World No. 7 Andrey Rublev and World No. 12 Hubert Hurkacz exited the tournament.

Here’s a round-up of the day’s headlines:

Novak Djokovic defeats Aslan Karatsev to begin quest for 6th Italian Open title

After a first-round bye, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic easily defeated Aslan Karatsev 6-3, 6-2 in the second round in what was his 60th win in the tournament. Djokovic is on the hunt for a sixth title in Rome. The Serb also needs to reach at least the semifinals to continue his reign at the top of the rankings.

Djokovic’s third-round opponent could be either three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka or compatriot Laslo Djere.

ATP may strip Wimbledon of ranking points

Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players has been met with plenty of criticism. The matter is set to further escalate now, with the ATP considering (as per Telegraph) not awarding any ranking points for this year’s tournament.

A final decision on the matter is expected soon, but ATP president Andrea Gaudenzi is likely to side with the players on this matter. The WTA is also considering a similar stance.

Elina Svitolina to skip 2022 French Open

Former World No. 3 Elina Svitolina had announced a break from tennis earlier to heal from physical issues. Her mental health di lei was also in shambles due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia. She’s now set to miss the upcoming French Open as well.

Svitolina has had considerable success in Paris in the past, having reached the quarterfinals thrice so far. The date of her return to the tour remains unknown for now.

Emma Raducanu retires during first-round clash against Bianca Andreescu in Rome

Excitement levels were high when the 2022 Italian Open draw pitted US Open champions Emma Raducanu and Bianca Andreescu against each other in the first round. However, right from the beginning, the Brit seemed bothered by some physical issues that affected her gameplay di lei.

Emma Raducanu retires 2-6, 1-2 * down to Bianca Andreescu. Back injury.

Andreescu, on the other hand, was playing quite well. She won the opening set 6-2 and was up 2-1 in the second when Raducanu decided to retire from the match due to a back injury. The teenager’s bad luck with injuries continues, as she has been prevented from giving her best di lei in quite a few matches this year.

Andrey Rublev and Hurbert Hurkacz lose early in Italian Open

Andrey Rublev won the Serbia Open and reached the quarterfinals in Madrid in the lead-up to the Italian Open. So it was quite shocking when he lost 6-2, 6-4 to Filip Krajinovic in the second round in Rome.

Similarly, Hubert Hurkacz has been consistent over the last few weeks. He reached consecutive quarterfinals in Monte Carlo and Madrid prior to competing in Rome. However, he lost a tight two-set contest against David Goffin, who has looked good in recent months at the Italian Open, going down 7-6 (8), 7-6 (2).

It wasn’t all bad news for the Pole, though, as he won his doubles match alongside Grigor Dimitrov to progress to the second round.


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