US Open: Williams and Azarenka move through to the 2nd round - UBITENNIS
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US Open: Williams and Azarenka move through to the 2nd round



TENNIS US OPEN – The 2013 women’s singles finalists were both in action yesterday but they have completely different paths to the 2nd round. Serena Williams (1) easily triumphed over Taylor Townsend 6-3 6-1 whereas Victoria Azarenka (16) had to battle hard to get past Misaki Doi 6-7 6-4 6-1. From New York, Cordell Hackshaw


For the past 3 years at the US Open, Serena Williams (1) and Victoria Azarenka (16) have meet at some stage in the tournament, most notably in the last two finals with Williams winning all the encounters. However, it seems as though this year, their usual US Open meeting might not take place. Azarenka is struggling to get herself back into major contention shape, battling injuries for much of the season. Williams on the other hand, is looking poised to make her 4th straight final here if she keeps up this great form.

Williams took on young American Taylor Townsend in the last match on the main court, Arthur Ashe. This match of course has special significance besides the fact they represent the current and future generations of American tennis. Williams and Townsend, both African Americans, are continuing the legacy of the great Althea Gibson, the first black athlete to win a major tennis tournament. The first day of the Open this year incidentally would have been Gibson’s 87th birthday were she alive today. Gibson won two US Open titles (pre-Open era) in an era when black athletes were not afforded the same opportunities as they are now. Gibson had to leave the tour in 1958 after winning 11 major titles in an effort to seek out more profitable ventures.

Today, near 60 years later, there are numerous black athletes on the circuit not only in the US but in Europe who are making a very decent living playing professional tennis. Even more poignant about this match is the fact that Williams and Townsend played on Arthur Ashe stadium, so named after another African American barrier breaker in the world of tennis.

Nonetheless, regarding the match between the two, Williams was most impressive. She won in straight sets 6-3 6-1 in less than an hour. This was Townsend’s US Open debut but she handled the moment surprising well. “It was just a lot of different emotions and feelings that were coming. It was hard to deal with … I was playing against one of my tennis idols, someone I’ve been watching for years and years. Playing in my home, the last slam of the year in front of an American crowd.” Williams was simply stellar on her serving. She dropped only 5 points on serve with 16 winners and 8 errors. The top seed is set to play another American Vania King in the 2nd round.

Williams said of the matchup, “She gets a lot of balls back. She likes to hit lots of rallies. She’s another American. So it’s a shame that Americans have to keep playing each other. But, hey, at least an American can go to the third round.”

Azarenka’s matchup against Misaki Doi was a battle. The former number 1 player simply looked uncomfortable against her opponent. This time last year, Azarenka would have made quick work of Doi in under an hour but this year, she was on court for near 3 hours. In the 1st set, Azarenka could not put away Doi who kept getting the ball back into play. The diminutive Japanese player was pulling off some big shots particularly on her forehand wing. The lefty swing was causing Azarenka a lot of problems. This only added to the serving issues Azarenka was having on the day. She double faulted 11 times for the match, 3 of which came in the crucial opening set tiebreak allowing Doi to take it 7-63.

In the 2nd set, Azarenka got the early break for 4-2 but her serving woos continued as she was unable to consolidate the break. Doi broke back for 3-4 but she too could not hold serve as Azarenka lead 5-3. Serving for the set, Azarenka was broken again but it would not matter as Doi was unable to level the set at 5-5 and Azarenka took it 6-4. It was clear that this 2nd set meant a lot to the Belarusian as she screamed out “Come On!” in full battle cry. The 3rd set saw a different Azarenka on court as she lifted her game to level that got her to the final stage of this tournament two years in a row. She closed it out 6-1.

After the match, Azarenka said, “In any match you play, you got 50/50 chances. No matter how much of a favorite you are or somebody else is, you still got to go and win … [Y]ou got to fight hard, and that’s it. Anything can happen. So to have respect to my opponent, I definitely had that.” Azarenka had 47 errors for the match to 36 winners. The only reason why these errors did not hurt her as badly is because Doi made 49 errors to 30 winners. Azarenka will next play American Christina McHale for a place in the 3rd round.


Dominika Cibulkova announces her retirement from tennis



Dominika Cibulkova has announced her retirement from professional tennis at an event in her home town of Bratislava. The 30-year-old Slovakian player won eight titles on hard-court, grass, and indoor surfaces and achieved her career-high of world number 4 on 20th March 2017.


Cibulkova reached the semifinal at the 2009 Roland Garros, three quarter-finals at Wimbledon (i2011, 2016 and 2018) and the quarter-final at the US Open in 2010. She became the first Slovakian player to reach a Grand Slam final when she finished runner-up to Li Na at the 2014 Australian Open. She achieved the best result of her career in October 2016, when she beat former world number 1 Angelique Kerber at the WTA Finals in Singapore to clinch the Billie Jean King Trophy. That year Dominika won three more titles at Katowice, Eastbourne, and Linz. She also finished runner-up in Acapulco, Madrid, and Wuhan.

“It wasn’t just winning the WTA Finals, but also the road to qualifying, which was really hard. I had to win in Linz just to make it there. While winning Singapore was the biggest moment of my career and life, winning Linz and the way I had to fight to get there, the fact that I was able to do it and belong among the best players in the world”, said Cibulkova in an interview to the WTA Website.

Cibulkova also won four more titles in Moscow 2011, Carlsbad 2012, Stanford 2013 and Acapulco 2014.

She represented the Slovak Republic at two editions of the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 and London 2012 and has scored a record of 22 wins and 11 defeats in her Fed Cup appearances.

Cibulkova decided Roland Garros would be the final tournament of her career.

“It wasn’t a decision where I woke up and thought: “I don’t want to play anymore”. It was a long process. I was already convinced by the time I played Azarenka in Miami, that this could be my last match. It was strange because I knew, and no one around me except my team knew it would be my last tournament. At that point, I was 100 percent sure. I was not doubting or thinking: maybe yes or no. I knew I wanted to do it like this, for this to be my last tournament. I went home and I was happy with my decision. It’s really hard to make it, but once you do, you more free. I feel like this life has been fulfilled for me, and I want to start a new one. I was already feeling like the tennis life is really tough, with all the traveling and training, giving 100 % every day. I started to get tired of it. In the end, I gave enough and achieved things I never dreamed of reaching in my career ”, said Cibulkova.


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Karolina Pliskova Splits From Coach With A Possible Replacement Already In The Pipeline

The Czech made the surprise announcement on social media as she enters negotiations with an unnamed individual.



World No.2 Karolina Pliskova has ended her collaboration with Conchita Martinez after working together for more than a year.


Pliskova, who has won four WTA titles this season, had been working with the Spaniard since the 2018 US Open. She originally joined the team on a part-time basis before being upgraded to a full-time position in February this year. Martinez is a former player best known for winning the 1994 Wimbledon Championships.

“I decided I will no longer work with Conchita,” Pliskova posted on Instagram. “It was a tough decision, as the season was great. Thank you for all this year, and wish you only the best. Life is a change!”

The decision comes after what has been a solid year on the tour for the 27-year-old. Overall, she has won 51 out of 68 matches played. Recording five wins over top five opponents. In the grand slams she reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in what was her best ever performance at the tournament. However, she failed to repeat that success at the other three majors. Reaching the third round of the French Open followed by the last 16 in both Wimbledon and the US Open.

“Just a little note to inform you that Karolina and I have decided to take different paths next year.” Martinez wrote in a statement. “It has been an incredible year full of great moments and emotions. I wish Kaja and her team the best for the future.”

It may not be long before the identity of who replaces Martinez is revealed. Michal Hrdlicka, who is Pliskova’s manager and husband, has confirmed to Czech News Agency CTK that discussions are underway with an unnamed individual.

“After the Champions Tournament (WTA Finals), we started negotiations on the engagement of a new coach. Negotiations are underway and we will inform the fans when they are over.” He said.

In her last tournament of 2019, Pliskova reached the semi-finals of the WTA Finals. She was knocked out of the event by top seed Barty who went on to win the title.

Pliskova has finished the year ranked No.2 on the WTA rankings. The highest year-end ranking she has ever achieved so far in her career.

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Top WTA Coach Accused Of False Advertising

Kamau Murray, who was shortlisted for WTA coach of the year in 2018, has been accused by a top 100 player of ‘taking credit for things he has not done.’



Kamau Murray (image via

American tennis player Taylor Townsend has launched an attack on a tennis coach who guided Sloane Stephens to her first grand slam title at the 2017 US Open.


Kamau Murray has been accused of ‘misrepresenting himself’ in the sport by the former world No.1 junior player. The criticism has been sparked by the USPTA Illinois Mini Conference, which will take place on November 17th. In the advertisement it states that Murray is Townsend’s coach. Something she has denies in a lengthy Instagram post.

“Zina Garrison was my primary coach from September 2013-March 2,” she wrote.
“I did not to go public in the past because I had hoped to resolve this matter directly with Kamau Murray. I will no longer remain silent while he (Murray) continues his lies and false advertisement.’
“I did not give Kamau consent to use my name and likeness for his ongoing personal and business monetary gain.”

Townsend, who reached the fourth round of the US Open this year, also took a swipe at Murray over his previous work with Monica Puig. In August the Puerto Rican confirmed that her partnership with the coach has ended after he returned back to working alongside Stephens. Puig told reporters at the US Open that she was informed by ‘people close to her’ that Murray was working with another player in secret. Branding it as a ‘slap in the face.’ Stephens responded to Puig claims by stating that there were ‘two sides to every story.’

“I can no longer remain silent while he continues to deceive professional players, aspiring players, sponsors, and the tennis community by misrepresenting himself and taking credit for things he has not done.” Said Townsend. “Monica Puig is a recent victim of his deception.”

Murray is the founder of the XS Tennis and Education Foundation and has his own tennis facility in Chicago. According to the WTA, he helped guide Townsend to the third round of the 2014 French Open in what was her grand slam debut at the age of 18.

There has been no reply from Murray concerning Townsend’s allegation.


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If you know me, then you know that this is NOT something that I would normally do, but I feel that it’s time to set the record straight about Chicago’s Kamau Murray of XS Tennis Academy. I can no longer remain silent while he continues to deceive professional players, aspiring players, sponsors, and the tennis community by misrepresenting himself and taking credit for things he has not done. @monicaace93 is a recent victim of his deception. I started my tennis with Donald Young SR. and Illona Young, who taught me to play tennis from 4 years old and assisted in me being number 1 in junior in the world. From 2010- August 2013, I trained at the USTA under the instruction of Kathy Rinaldi and briefly Juan Todero. Zina Garrison was my primary coach from September 2013- March 2015. Zina brought Kamau on board as an assistant coach during that time. I did not to go public in the past because I had hoped to resolve this matter directly with Kamau Murray. I will no longer remain silent while he continues his lies and false advertisement. I did not give Kamau consent to use my name and likeness for his ongoing personal and business monetary gain. Kamau is currently stating that he is my coach in promotion of the upcoming USPTA Illinois Mini Conference on November 17, 2019 held at XS Athletic Club. His latest actions have prompted me to expose his past and ongoing pattern of deceit. If you are a fan of mine, please support me and have my back regarding this matter. In doing this, I am clearing my conscience and telling another piece of my story! Thank you so much! I love you guys! 💕

A post shared by TAYLOR TOWNSEND✨❤ (@tay_taytownsend) on

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