Tennis Today: Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray up for prestigious awards, and Tennis Australia butchered by press

Tennis Today
Rafael Nadal press conference

In Tennis Today, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are among the tennis names nominated for a prestigious sporting award, Tennis Australia gets attacked by their own press, and there was loads of run at the Rally for Relief event.

What’s on the site
There’s only one place to start really, and that’s at the Rally for Relief charity event, that really did showcase the best of tennis.

Serena Williams used the event to firmly nail her colours to the mast in the GOAT debate, and you can catch up and all the fun of the event with our collection of video clips.

Elsewhere, while they were lending their time and donating their money to the relief effort, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were remarkably condemned for their selfishness over the issue.

Oh, and Mats Wilander has made his Australian Open prediction, and has also been explaining what ‘problem’ Nadal has to face if he’s to win a 20th Grand Slam title in Melbourne the year.

What’s in the news
The conditions in Melbourne continue to dominate the headlines ahead of the Australian Open, and Tennis Australia just keep on coming in for criticism.

They have allowed qualifying matches to go ahead despite the city being engulfed by smoke from nearby bushfires, and with pretty bad consequences for players complaining of not being able to breathe during matches.

Now, the local press, The Melbourne Age, have absolutely butchered Tennis Australia in an editorial.

Here is just a taste of it, which can be read in full here.

How could Tennis Australia possibly believe the conditions were fit for play, on a day when Melbourne’s air quality ranked the worst in the world and when the entire city population had been warned to stay indoors and monitor conditions?

Delaying the starting time for the matches on Tuesday, by one lousy hour, did not diminish the appalling playing conditions. And the staff, umpires,and ball boys and girls were required to work in conditions that other organisations knew presented a dreadful respiratory hazard.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Tuesday that his organisation was “not going to put them in harm’s way or make any decision that’s going to negatively impact their health and wellbeing”.

Yet the sight of players doubled up in distress at the Rod Laver Arena and at the Kooyong Classic, where Maria Sharapova and Laura Siegemund took it on themselves to call off play, is an indictment of Tiley’s assessment.

The world has already been watching Australia’s response to the bushfires. It would be a national embarrassment if the world were now to witness a top-level tournament that required players, court-side staff and assistants to endure excruciating, but entirely avoidable, conditions.

Meanwhile, Tennis is well-represented in the nominations for the Laureus awards this year.

Rafael Nadal is a up for World Sportsman of The Year, with Naomi Osaka nominated for World Sportswoman of the Year.

Both Bianca Andreescu and Coco Gauff are in contention for World Breakthrough of the Year, with Andy Murray featuring in the World Comeback of the Year nominations list.

What’s on social media
The absolute greatest came together in aid of the the Australian bushfire crisis…

 

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The greatest feeling to come together and raise 4.8M for Australia #Rally4Relief 🙌🏼🙏🏼

A post shared by Novak Djokovic (@djokernole) on

A far cry from New York 2018!

 

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me and my mom lol.

A post shared by 大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) on

Nicholas Mahut wasn’t in the mood for fun…

Meanwhile, Denis Shapovalov gave us a reminder he’s playing some pretty special tennis ahead of the Australian Open…

 

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Through to the quarters of @asbclassic 💪🏼. Sick point from tonight. Let’s go💪🏼💪🏼

A post shared by Denis Shapovalov (@denis.shapovalov) on

What’s on TV
Australian Open qualifying
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ATP Adelaide
Eurosport 1

WTA Hobart
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WTA Adelaide
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