World No.2 Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the Adelaide International in a massive blow to the inaugural tennis tournament starting Sunday.
Djokovic’s withdrawal was announced on Saturday, with no reason given by organisers of the tournament.
Djokovic on Saturday will lead Serbia’s team in an ATP Cup semi-final against Russia in Sydney.
The ATP Cup appears to have been a big success, but while momentum is building for the WTA to replace the Brisbane International world No.2 Karolina Pliskova says she won’t be backing the venture.
Some of tennis’ biggest stars have been vocal in their disapproval of the women’s Brisbane International being forced to play second fiddle to the ATP Cup in the past week.
— ATPCup (@ATPCup) January 10, 2020
A clash with the inaugural 24-team men’s event’s round-robin matches has ensured the star-studded Brisbane International field have had to toil away on outside courts and not feature on main stadium Pat Rafter Arena until Thursday – four days into the week-long, season-opening tournament.
Dual Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova said it was not fair while former US Open winner Sloane Stephens claimed it was downright disrespectful.
They joined a chorus of approval for the formation of a WTA Cup team tournament in 2020.
But Czech gun Pliskova – on track to win three Brisbane International titles in four years – doesn’t want it to happen.
The 2017 and 2019 Brisbane champion believed she was on a good thing in Queensland and didn’t want anything to change after moving into this year’s semi-finals with a tough three set win over American Alison Riske.
“Well, as I’ve been quite successful on this tournament, I would keep it as it is,” the second seed said. “No team competitions for me.
“Of course it (WTA Cup) is for sure interesting more for players, for some players, for fans maybe because you see more matches, you see doubles, and you see the countries against each other.
I think it can be fun but I’m not interested about it.”
Pliskova will hope to continue her golden run in Brisbane when she lines up in Saturday’s semi-final against reigning Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka.
She has a 2-2 career head to head record against the dual grand slam champion after coming off second best in their last meeting, last year’s Australian Open semi-finals.
“Last time we played it was in Melbourne last year and it was pretty close, all the matches are always one break in each set,” Pliskova said of her record against Japan’s Osaka.
“There’s not many chances because she can serve well and I can serve well, so it’s going to be about a couple of points (to determine result).
“I think she’s playing pretty good this week, so it’s going to be tough but I’m looking forward to it.”
In the other Brisbane International semi-final on Saturday, world No.7 Kvitova takes on former US Open finalist Madison Keys.