Tennis news today: Emma Raducanu sets up quarter-final showdown with Iga Swiatek in Stuttgart, Andrey Rublev speaks about Wimbledon ban | 22 April 2022

Emma Raducanu and Andrey Rublev.
Emma Raducanu and Andrey Rublev.

Emma Raducanu earned a tough three-set win over Tamara Korpatsch in Stuttgart to reach her first-ever quarterfinal on clay. Raducanu will take on World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who's in red-hot form at the moment, in the last eight.

Meanwhile, Andrey Rublev gave his thoughts regarding Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from the upcoming edition of the grasscourt Major.

Elsewhere, Paula Badosa became the latest player to criticize the Madrid Open's decision not to give more wildcards to local talent.

After the WTA decided to sever ties with China following the Peng Shuai incident, the governing body has identified replacement tournaments to fill the void in the calender.

Rain wreaked havoc on the Barcelona Open schedule, but Stefanos Tsitsipas was finally able to complete his second-round match. He first took to the court against Ilya Ivashka on Wednesday and finished his match late on Thursday evening.

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

Emma Raducanu and Iga Swiatek set for exciting quarter-final clash

2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu defeated Tamara Korpatsch 6-0, 2-6, 6-1 to set up a quarterfinal against World No. 1 Iga Swiatek in Stuttgart. Playing in the first claycourt tournament of her career, Raducanu has looked quite solid.

Swiatek, however, is playing at a completely different level at the moment. She's currently on a 20-match winning streak and kicked off her campaign in the German city with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Eva Lys.

Raducanu will need to be at her very best when she takes on the World No. 1 in the last eight.

Andrey Rublev speaks up about Wimbledon ban

Wimbledon's decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players has evoked strong reactions from all corners of the tennis community. World No. 8 Andrey Rublev, one of the affected players, has now given his thoughts on the matter.

Rublev stated that he, along with other Russian and Belarusian players, had a call with the Wimbledon organizers to find an amicable solution. He felt their justification for the ban didn't make much sense.

Rublev instead proposed that they give players a choice whether to compete or not. According to the Russian, players are ready to sign statements and donate all of their prize money to humanitarian efforts, which he feels would be a more concrete way to help those affected by the conflict in Ukraine.

Here's Rublev's statement in detail (via Ana Mitric on Twitter):

A few notes before I post Rublev’s comment on the Wimbledon decision. 1) He was clearly emotional & expressed that he feels under a lot of pressure. 2) He apologized for not being able to express himself as clearly as he would like (in English). 3) He spoke “from the heart.”

"What is happening now is complete discrimination against us. The reasons they gave us had no sense, they were not logical. Banning Russian or Belarusian players... will not change anything," Rublev said.
"To give all the prize money would have a more positive effect to humanitarian help, to the families who are suffering, to the kids who are suffering. I think that would do something. Tennis will, in that case, be the first and only sport who donates that amount of money and it will be Wimbledon so they will take all the glory."

Paula Badosa joins chorus of Spanish players voicing displeasure with Madrid Open

Out of the nine main draw wildcards awarded by the Madrid Open, only one went to a Spaniard. Other Spanish players in the fray weren't happy about this and released a statement regarding the same.

World No. 3 Paula Badosa, who reached the semifinals last year after receiving a wildcard, said the Madrid Open's decision was disappointing to see.

"Very sad to see things like this for Spanish tennis when there is a lot of potential. A year ago I entered the tournament as a WC and I did one of the best tournaments of my career. A tournament I will never forget thanks to a WC."
@FerVerdasco @Carlos_Taberner @bernabezapata1 @AndujarPablo @alionaa12 @RebekaPodium @Robertocarba93 @NuriaParrizas Muy triste de ver cosas así para el tenis español. Cuándo encima hay muchísimo potencial…Yo hace un año entre al torneo por un WC y hice de los mejores torneos de mi carrera. Un torneo que nunca olvidaré gracias a un WC.

Badosa feels the local talent is missing out on competing in the only big tournament in the country, thereby costing them a chance to grow.

"It's a huge opportunity for everyone and it's a shame that the only tournament we have at a level like this, this happens. We have to give our tennis players opportunities to continue growing."
@FerVerdasco @Carlos_Taberner @bernabezapata1 @AndujarPablo @alionaa12 @RebekaPodium @Robertocarba93 @NuriaParrizas Es una oportunidad enorme para todos, y es una pena que el único torneo que tenemos de un nivel así, pase esto… Tenemos que dar oportunidades a nuestros tenistas para seguir creciendo… 🙏💔

Asian swing won't have any WTA events in China

The WTA made the decision to end its tournaments in China in light of the Peng Shuai saga. The organization is sticking to its guns, with the Asian swing now set to have tournaments in Japan and South Korea instead of China.

Half of the canceled events in China have been replaced, with San Diego also set to host a tournament during the final phase of the season. The WTA Finals, which were held in Mexico last year, will likely be held in Europe.

Hearing @WTA asian swing:- will run through Japan and Seoul only- no events in China. - at least half the cancelled China events have found hosts for 2022 (including San Diego)- no home yet for WTA championships. Likely europe, not a return to mexico

Stefanos Tsitsipas reaches third round of Barcelona Open

Stefanos Tsitsipas led 5-1 against Ilya Ivashka in their Barcelona second-round match on Wednesday (April 20) when play was suspended due to rain. The weather didn't improve on Thursday, with all third-round matches being canceled.

Tsitsipas, however, managed to take the court late on Thursday evening to finally complete his match. The Greek won 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 to advance in the competition. He'll have to play twice on Friday if the weather eases up.

Tsitsipas faces Grigor Dimitrov in the third round.

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Edited by Anantaajith Ra
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