News bites: Zverev and Lendl split, Djokovic out of Montreal

Published by Reuters / Tennismash

Ivan Lendl (L) and Alexander Zverev at the 2018 ATP Finals (Getty Images)
Ivan Lendl resigns as Alexander Zverev’s coach, Novak Djokovic will skip the Montreal Masters, Svetlana Kuznetsova has US visa issues and Beatriz Haddad Maia has been provisionally suspended due to a failed drugs test.

Ivan Lendl will no longer work with Alexander Zverev, with the Czech-American legend announcing on Thursday that he is ending his coaching role with the German effective immediately.

The pair began working together officially in August, and in November, Zverev won the biggest title of his career to date at the season-ending ATP Finals in London.

Reports of tension within the camp emerged earlier this week when, during a German-language press conference in Hamburg, Zverev was reported as saying that Lendl was too focused on “golf and his little dog” during practice sessions.

“Sometimes we go on the practice court. The training is over two hours. And for half an hour he stands with his back to me and tells me about his round of golf,” Zverev said.

Djokovic out of Montreal

REUTERS – Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from next month’s Rogers Cup in Montreal in order to get more rest before opening his hard-court season.

Djokovic, a four-time champion in Canada, said he needs more time to recover after a physically demanding run at Wimbledon, where he beat Swiss Roger Federer in a marathon five-set final to secure his 16th Grand Slam title.

“I’m sorry to announce that I decided to pull out of Rogers Cup,” said world No.1 Djokovic. “With the support of my team, I have decided to give my body longer rest and recovery time before coming back again to play.”

With the Serb’s withdrawal, Spain’s Rafa Nadal will be the top seed at the August 3-11 tournament; Federer also announced that he would skip the tournament.

Kuznetsova’s Washington DC title defence derailed

REUTERS – Svetlana Kuznetsova says she will not be able to defend her title at next week’s Citi Open in Washington due to issues with obtaining a US visa.

The 34-year-old Russian, twice a Grand Slam winner who is 108th in the world rankings, announced her withdrawal from the July 27-August 4 event on her Instagram account.

“Unfortunately I had to pull out of Washington due to my problems with US visa. Wanted to apologise to all my fans who were waiting for me there,” Kuznetsova wrote on Thursday.

“Never had issues like this in my life, hopefully one day I can finally get a visa and play at least some events of the US swing!”

The WTA did not immediately respond when asked to comment.

Kuznetsova, who won the US Open in 2004 and French Open in 2009, collected the most recent of her 18 WTA singles titles last year in the US capital when she saved four match points to beat Croatian Donna Vekic.

Haddad Maia fails doping test

REUTERS – Brazil’s top-ranked women’s tennis player Beatriz Haddad Maia has been provisionally suspended after failing a drug test, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said.

Haddad Maia, the world No.99, provided a sample for testing on 4 June during the Croatia Open that was found to contain selective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs). SARMs, which have similar properties to anabolic steroids, are prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The Brazilian qualified for the Wimbledon main draw in July and beat former champion Garbine Muguruza in the first round.

She was informed of the finding on 12 July, eight days after being beaten by Britain’s Harriet Dart in Wimbledon’s second round, and her provisional suspension came into effect on Monday.

“Ms. Haddad Maia had (and retains) the right to apply to the Chair of the Independent Tribunal convened to hear her case why the provisional suspension should not be imposed, but has chosen not to exercise that right to date,” the ITF said.

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