With COVID-19 tennis tournaments breaking out within national borders in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Balkans, Italy and the US among other spots, Spanish WTA coach Carlos Martinez is now joining the effort.

The former mentor to Spain-based double Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova who now works with Russian Daria Kasatkina, hopes to pull something together for late July on the Iberian peninsula.

Joining Kuznetsova and Kasatkina on court will be France’s Kristina Mladenovic, Swiss Jil Tiechman, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, Arantxa Rus of the netherlands and Italian Sara Errani among ethers in a 32-woman field.

Venue for the outing set for a club in the greater Barcelona area. “Dates will depend on when the WTA Tour (now shut down through July 31) will start but it will more or less be between the end of July and end August,” Martinez told Ubitennis

“There will be four groups with eight players, with the top two finishes going to the quarter-finals. Instead of prize money, funds will go to aid local hospitals in  virus-hit Catalan.

“After some weeks of practice players need to compete again and the best way is to do it like this,” he said. “For my player (Kasatkina) this is the best for her after practising for a long time.

”Daria is fortunately living in Barcelona and it helps a lot because she can come every day to my club and work hard as always,” Martinez said of his 66th-ranked charge who cracked the Top 10 in 2018.

“At this moment it is not easy for players to be motivated because they don’t know when they’re gonna play tournaments again.”


Leave a Reply