Tennis world No. 7 Alexander Zverev is to join Novak Djokovic’s Balkan tournament next month, boosting the cast of top players to descend on Belgrade as the professional season is frozen by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The phenomenal news I want to announce today is that Sasa Zverev, Alexander Zverev, will come to Belgrade,” Djokovic told a news conference in the Serbian capital on Monday.
The German is to join world No. 3 Dominic Thiem and 19th-ranked Grigor Dimitrov in Belgrade on June 13 and 14 for the first stop of the Adria Tour.
“Three of the world’s greatest tennis stars. I’m really very grateful to them,” Djokovic said.
Whether spectators will be allowed remains uncertain.
“I hope some rules will be changed by June 13 and maybe we’ll have the opportunity to have the audience as well,” the world No. 1 said. “Of course, this is still uncertain — like many other things related to this situation.”
The Adria Tour, which Djokovic announced last week on his 33rd birthday, is to be played on clay courts from June 13 to July 5 in Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia.
The money raised from the tour is to be donated to various charities.
“It’s humanitarian. That is to say, absolutely all the income, whether it comes from sponsorship contracts, national and international audiovisual rights, everything will go to humanitarian organizations,” he said.
Asked about his own shape, Djokovic said that he had been training throughout his period of confinement in Spain, where he was staying with his family in a home in Marbella.
“I had a tennis court, so I could train every day,” he said.
The ATP and WTA Tours are not to resume until July, while Roland Garros was postponed to September and Wimbledon canceled for the first time since World War II.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
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Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017