Venus Williams is back in the 3rd Round of the US Open - UBITENNIS
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Venus Williams is back in the 3rd Round of the US Open

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TENNIS US OPEN – Venus Williams won her 2nd round match against Timea Bacsinszky securing her place in the 3rd round at the US Open for the first time in four years. It is almost mind boggling to think that Williams has been 3-3 at the Open since 2010 when she made the semifinal here. From New York, Cordell Hackshaw

 

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Venus Williams (19) won her 2nd round match against Timea Bacsinszky securing her place in the 3rd round at the US Open for the first time in four years. It is almost mind boggling to think that Williams has been 3-3 at the Open since 2010 when she made the semifinal here. This incidentally was her last semifinal appearance at any major. In 2011, she had to default from her 2nd round match with the revelation that she was suffering from Sjogren Syndrome. The subsequent years saw her losing tough 3-set matches to Angelique Kerber and Jie Zheng.

“[T]he last couple of years I fought really hard and I really played red-hot opponents. So it wasn’t like I didn’t try,” Williams surmised. However, this year, the American has re-energized her game particularly this summer and making a push to recapture her past success at majors. She had a tough opening round match against Kimiko Date-Krumm but in her 2nd round match, Williams was far more efficient as she dismissed Bacsinszky 6-1 6-4 in an hour and 25 minutes.

In the opening set, Williams had to save several early break points in her first two service games. She quickly realized that Bacsinszky was really making a concerted effort to gain the early advantage. Williams then seized control of the set by securing breaks in the 4th and 6th games. She confidently served it out 6-1 in 31 minutes. In the 2nd set, Bacsinszky found her footing in the match. With the 1st set over and the initial anxiety of playing a night match on Ashe stadium passed, the Swiss began holding serve more confidently. Williams, however, did not let up on her play. She continued to play quality points but the breaks of serves were coming her way. On her fifth break point of the set, Williams finally converted in the 9th game to serve for the match. Williams has to save a break point as she served out the match 6-1 6-4.

“[N]ow I’m happy. I won a match again. Finally I did something I couldn’t do the last couple … I feel like I’m playing well … like I can rely on myself to compete really well,” Williams said after the match. Williams will next play Sara Errani (13) who took out Anastasia Rodionova in straight sets, for a place in the Round of 16. “She does everything well on the court … Every time I’ve played her, I’ve had to be focused on very single point because she does not let up on any point no matter what the score is … [M]y main thing: to stay focused and play my game.”

Williams would definitely need to be focus against Errani because her service games remain problematic. In her 2nd round match, she was only getting in 54% of her 1st serve but won 74% of those points. However, when the pressure is on, Williams’ service percentages go down dramatically as it did against Kimiko Date-Krumm in the 1st round. She had 1 ace for the match and 3 double faults with 20 winners and 19 errors. Errani will likely exploit this weakness as well as use her considerable foot speed to keep Williams at bay. The Italian is looking for her first win against the American but she too has a severe serve that Williams will surely attack without mercy.

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‘She Got lucky’ – Jelena Ostapenko Has Dig At Opponent After Wimbledon Exit

The top 20 star was also not happy with the umpire following her latest loss.

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Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) - Credit: AELTC/Florian Eisele

Former Grand Slam champion Jelena Ostapenko believes her exit from Wimbledon was nothing but a stroke of bad luck after criticizing her match umpire.

 

Ostapenko, who was the 12th seed in the tournament, fell 5-7, 7-5, 7-5, to Germany’s Tatjana Maria. The clash was a frustrating encounter for the Latvian who had an array of chances to establish a strong lead. After winning the opener, she boasted a break advantage in each of the next two sets before losing them. Then at 5-4 in the third, she failed to convert two match points before losing the final two games of the match.

“I thought it was like my match. I had to win it and she got just so lucky in some moments so she could come back. I felt I was the player who had to win this match today,” said Ostapenko.

Claiming that she felt she was playing at a better level than Maria,  Ostapenko has taken a swipe at the match official for making in her view ‘a huge mistake.’   She is not the first player to criticize the court officials with Nick Kyrgios expressing his frustration about them multiple times at the tournament.

“She got lucky, she framed it, put the ball on the line,” she commented on how her match ended. “Then the chair umpire made a huge mistake on 5-All in the third set when it was breakpoint on my serve and I had no challenges left. People who watched the match texted me that it was quite big out.”
“All those small things together, they come and you can lose such a match. Of course, I’m really disappointed because if I lost against an amazing player who just beat me in a great match, but I just lost my match.”

A win would have elevated Ostapenko into the last eight of a major for the first time since Wimbledon 2018. The 25-year-old is currently ranked 17th in the world but has been as high as fifth before.

It was visible how annoyed she was with the match immediately afterward when she threw her water bottle onto her chair out of anger, knocking it out. Prompting an inevitable reaction of boos from the crowd.

“I’m an emotional player. I hate losing because I’m such a competitive person,” said Ostapenko.
“So I think it’s normal. Of course, maybe I shouldn’t have done this, but it’s easy to say from the outside when you are not in my place, it’s easy to judge.”

As for Maria, she will play compatriot Jule Niemeier in the quarter-finals. 

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Who Is Marie Bouzková? Six Things To Know About The Wimbledon Quarter-Finalist

After previously never going beyond the second round of a major, the Czech is making a name for herself at The All England Club.

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Image via https://twitter.com/WTA_insider

Czech Republic’s Maria Bouzkova has broken new ground at Wimbledon by reaching the quarter-finals on Sunday. 

 

Coming into the tournament, the 23-year-old has failed to win back-to-back matches in 12 Grand Slam appearances. However, the past week has seen her breakthrough with a surprise run to the quarter-finals. She secured a place in the last eight with a 7-5, 6-2, win over France’s Caroline Garcia. The player who defeated Emma Raducanu in the second round.

In her latest match, Bouzkova was by far the most consistent player on the court as she produced just four unforced errors against 13 winners. In comparison, Garcia’s tally was 25 against 24. She broke the Frenchwoman four times in the match en route to victory. 

“I don’t know how I got here,” said Bouzkova.
“Now we will celebrate with strawberries and cream. It’s one of our 100 routines at Wimbledon.”

Bouzkova’s run at Wimbledon has brought the Czech into the limelight for the first time. Although some may not be too familiar with the right-hander who plays with a two-handed backhand. Here are five things to know about the underdog. 

  1. As a junior, she won the 2014 US Open title and reached the final of the Wimbledon doubles event that same year. 
  2. Wimbledon is where Bouzkova won her first Grand Slam main draw match back in 2019 after defeating Mona Barthel in the first round. 
  3. Prior to Garcia, she defeated Danielle Collins, Ann Li and Alison Riske-Amritraj this week. Collins was the sixth top 20 player she has defeated and second this year after Karolina Pliskova.
  4. She was ranked as low as 97th in the world earlier this season but is currently up to 66. Her career-best is 46. 
  5. Has reached three WTA finals in as many years in Guadalajara (2022), Melbourne 250 (2021) and Monterey (2020).
  6. She has a win-loss record of 18-9 so far this season. Although prior to Wimbledon, she has not won any matches on the grass after losing in the first round of Eastbourne to Shelby Rogers. 

Bouzkova will play either second seed Ons Jabeur or Elise Mertens in the quarter-finals.

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Iga Swiatek Explains Why She Is Unsurprised by Wimbledon Exit

The world No.1 spoke openly about her current form after crashing out in the third round.

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Iga Swiatek (POL) - Credit: AELTC/Florian Eisele

Iga Swiatek says she was ‘confused’ about her tactics after suffering a shock straight-sets loss in the third round of Wimbledon.

Swiatek, who was on a 37-match winning streak, managed to win only six games against Alize Cornet during what was an error-stricken performance. The Pole produced a staggering 33 unforced errors and only managed to win 30% of her second service points. It is the first time she has failed to reach the second week of a major since the 2020 US Open where she also lost in the third round.

“I know I didn’t play good tennis. I was pretty confused about my tactics. As a solid player, she used that pretty well. For sure, it wasn’t a good performance for me,” Swiatek told reporters on Saturday.
“The thing that I changed this season is I started being more and more aggressive. It was really comfortable for me to have the initiative and be proactive. But here (at Wimbledon) I couldn’t control the ball. So I needed to slow down a little bit

Despite recently dominating the sport when it comes to playing on hard courts, it is clear that the grass is an Achilles heel for the world No.1. Her match against Cornet was only the 11th she has ever played on the surface at Tour level. Coming into Wimbledon she played no build-up tournaments.

Admitting that she has found training on grass difficult, Swiatek’s winning run coming to an end is one that does not surprise her. Since 1990, the only players to have won as many matches as her in a row are Martina Hingis in 1997 and Stefi Graf in 1990.

“I didn’t feel like I’m in the best shape. So I’m kind of aware that this could happen. Maybe it’s not the right attitude to have, but it is like it is,” she explains.
“I tried many things to feel better on the grass courts but it didn’t really work out. That’s why I’m not even hard on myself because it’s kind of logical that if I couldn’t find it even in practice, I’m not going to find it in a match.”

 

In her match against Cornet, Swiatek was highly erratic during the closing stages as she produced a series of uncharacteristic mistakes. She only won two out of the last 14 points played.

“I didn’t have any idea. I didn’t tank it, but I just didn’t know what to do,” she admits.
“I was hoping that it would go in, but I made many mistakes. I didn’t even want to get angry again because I was kind of frustrated during my practice week and in the second round. I didn’t think it was going to help me.”

As for what the future has in store for Swiatek on grass, she is keeping a very open mind.

“I don’t know if I should even have hope. Maybe it’s just easier to take it easy and see what grass is going to bring me.” She concludes. 

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