Tennis - Former Top 50 Player Daniele Bracciali says he is hoping to get back on the tour in 2018 by using his protected ranking. The 39-year-old was banned in 2015 for being involved in match-fixing but says that he can now compete in ITF tournaments, but not in ATP events as the criminal trial against him is still going on.
In an interview to Ubitennis, Bracciali says, "This year I played a little 'open tournaments and at the same time I follow the guys at CT Arezzo where I opened an academy called 49 Tennis Training. I do not have a lot of guys because I keep training always with the hope of being able to return to play at a high level. At the end of the year the process should end in Cremona, after which I hope to be able to return to the circuit also because I still have the protected ranking at number 86 and at the end of the year I intend to activate it. I would like to go back to Australia if I find someone to pair with; To enter the draw, I should find someone around at least the 60th position."
Talking about his situation where he can play ITF events but not ATP events, Bracciali says, "The situation at this moment is really comical: I was acquitted by all the sporting processes in which I was involved, the TIU interrogated me now two and a half years ago and I have repeatedly asked to be tried, but still have not get in touch. Not having any suspensions in being I can play ITF tournaments, as I did for example in the future of Piombino, but the ATP has a rule that if one is involved in a criminal trial can decide to stop him at his discretion. This means that for the ATP the subject in question is guilty even before being officially tried; I hope the process will finish by the end of the year so that I can play the 11 tournaments in which I can exploit protected rankings, alternating with some challengers and hoping for some wild cards. At the end of 2018 then I will draw conclusions and see how to proceed; if I do not have a ranking then I will dedicate myself to teaching."