Dominant Serena Williams Silences Skeptics in 2014 US Open Semifinal Rout - UBITENNIS
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Dominant Serena Williams Silences Skeptics in 2014 US Open Semifinal Rout



TENNIS US OPEN – She’s rolling now, crushing opponents and symbolically all those who doubted her. A season that seemed destined to go nowhere for Serena Williams, a season that made some of us suggest that at almost 33 years old her best days were over, is now headed to the stars. Art Spander for


US Open: All the interviews, results, draws and OoP

She’s rolling now, crushing opponents and symbolically all those who doubted her. (Blush!). A season that seemed destined to go nowhere for Serena Williams, a season that made some of us suggest that at almost 33 years old her best days were over, is now headed to the stars—and the record books.

Was she ever any better than she was Friday afternoon in a semifinal of the U.S. Open? Was she any more dominant, more overwhelming more—yes—awesome? Maybe, but probably not.

Serena destroyed bewildered Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1, 6-3. She needed only one hour. That’s 60 minutes. That’s ridiculous.

It was a terrible, swift sword of a victory, a win that told us whatever happened at the Australian Open, at the French Open and at Wimbledon, she remains a major force. In women’s tennis, she’s the major force.

“Well, Serena, she’s a great, unbelievable player,” said Makarova.

The Russian hadn’t lost a set in five previous matches this Open. This day, as the sun shone, the thermometer climbed into the 80s and—as so often happens at Arthur Ashe Stadium—the wind swirled; Makarova was fortunate to win four games.

“It’s always tough to play against her,” said Makarova, who had been 1-3 against Williams in their careers. “Today, she was so aggressive. I didn’t think she will be that aggressive. She was coming (for the ball) so early, so sometimes I was too late because she was too fast.

“I lost against No. 1.”

As Williams stands currently in the rankings and, now, after her 18th win in the last 19 matches since going out in the third round at Wimbledon, she certainly will remain in that position. Her only loss during the stretch was to older sister Venus a month ago at Montreal.

And for those of us who gave up on Williams, who believed that not even reaching the second week at the other three Grand Slams this year, much less the quarterfinals, she had meaningful advice:

“Well, there’s always…what is the word, skeptics?” Williams reminded. “I don’t know. I’m losing my mind. Anyways, that people might write or people might not believe.

“I worked really hard for Wimbledon. I worked really, really hard, and I was really disappointed and sad and shocked that I wasn’t able to win. I worked hours, more than I worked before. Maybe it’s just paying off now.”

The old order, relatively speaking, refuses to give up or give in. Thursday night, Roger Federer, who having turned 33 in August is about six weeks older than Williams, showed he still has a serve, a forehand and method.

Federer overcame a two-set deficit to beat Gael Monfils and reach the semis against Marin Cilic.

“It’s amazing to see,” Williams observed. “We’re both making it so far. It would be cool if we did it together. It would really be just an amazing, amazing feat for the both of us.”

Especially since they both have 17 Grand Slam titles, for Williams five of those at the Open, including the last two years.

Still, from a distance, nothing Williams does is amazing. And everything she does is amazing.

The lady is unpredictable. She can blow her stack, as she did five years ago in the Open, cursing out a meek lineswoman who had the temerity to call a foot fault on Williams. She can be absolutely charming and humble, praising opponents—including Makarova.

Williams is a close friend of Caroline Wozniacki, who she’ll meet in the Sunday final after Wozniacki’s opposition in the other semi, Shuai Peng, was forced to withdraw because of cramping.

“She really knows my game well and knows how to play,” said Williams, talking about Wozniacki much like a football coach talks about the team he’s playing next. All positive. Nothing negative.

Still, Williams is the favorite, having won seven of the eight matches they have played starting in 2009. The most recent were close, however, Serena needing three sets to win at Cincinnati and Montreal, both within the last month.

If Williams serves with the ferocity and accuracy she did against Makarova, she’ll be the champion.

“When she’s on fire, she’s hard to beat,” said Wozniacki. “But I have had two tough matches against her the last few weeks. I was really close. Hopefully for me that would be the third time’s the charm.”

Serena had some good things to say about the Woz.

“She’s so consistent,” said Williams. “I think that’s one of the things that makes her really tough. So I just have to be ready for that and, again, just stay calm and just be able to relax and be happy. You know, the beginning…the past six months I would never thought I’d be here.”

Neither did a great many of us, the ones Serena labels as skeptics. Perhaps we should have been careful. Perhaps Williams should have been successful. She won three Slams in 2013, needing only one more to tie Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. Then she bumbles through the first three Slams of 2014.

“In the beginning of the week,” she said about her play at the Open, “I definitely wasn’t sure I would make it this long.”

Does she mean it? Or is she teasing us? What goes through her mind? How does she stomp Alize Cornet, 6-1, in the first set of their Wimbledon match and then lose the next two sets? How does she batter Makarova and then tell us, “I didn’t see myself being that aggressive?”

Makarova did. Everyone in the arena did.

“You don’t know what it means to me,” she said to the crowd over the public address system about the win. Now Caroline wants to go for her first Grand Slam. “I want to make some history.”

She’s made plenty of history. She’s also made her critics as baffled as poor Ekaterina Makarova was on court. What a lady.

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Barbora Krejcikova Does The Double In San Jose



After what has been a challenging past few weeks on the Tour, Barbora Krejcikova has returned to the winner’s circle by claiming both the singles and doubles titles at the San Diego Open. 


The world No.13 battled to a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, win over Sofia Kenin in what was a clash of the former Grand Slam champions. Krejcikova was pushed to her limits throughout the two-and-a-half-hour clash with there being no break in the decider until the final game. It is the second singles title the Czech has won on the WTA Tour this season after Dubai and her seventh overall. 

“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who received a wild card to play in the tournament “I really want to thank them (the tournament organisers). It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”

Krejcikova’s run to the trophy has also seen her score wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins earlier in the week. She is the first player from her country to win the tournament. 

Following on from that triumph, the 27-year-old then clinched the doubles title alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova. The duo beat Collins and Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-4.

Krejcikova came into San Jose on a four-match losing streak which started at Wimbledon where she was forced to withdraw from her secound round clash due to a left leg injury. 

“I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches,” she said. “So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title].”

It is only the second time in Krejcikova’s career that she has won both the singles and doubles titles at the same event. The first time she did so was at the 2021 French Open where her partner in the doubles was also Siniakova.

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Ex-No.1 Ash Barty Stands By Retirement Decision



Ashleigh Barty (AUS) playing against Angelique Kerber (GER) in the semi-final of the Ladies' Singles on Centre Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 10 Thursday 08/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jed Leicester

Despite the growing number of players returning to competitive tennis after giving birth, Ash Barty says she is contempt in retirement. 


Barty, who is still only 27 years old, stunned the sport at the start of 2022 when she announced her retirement from the sport just weeks after winning the Australian Open. She has won 15 WTA titles during her career with three of them being at Grand Slam tournaments. She also held the world No.1 spot for 121 weeks and earned more than $23.8M in prize money. 

The Australian returned to the media limelight on Friday by attending a special event to announce the return of the Brisbane International next year. It will be the first time the tournament has been held since the COVID pandemic with the women’s draw being increased from 32 to 48. However, no such changes will be made to the men’s draw. There will be a record prize money pool of AUS$3.1M. 

For those hoping that Barty might have a change of heart and return to competitive action at her home event in Brisbane, they are going to be disappointed. 

“I don’t have the time – I don’t have the time to train, I don’t have the time to prepare, and I have so many great memories out on this court, and now I just get to create new memories,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Barty as saying. 

“I’m certainly not coming out of retirement. Pat (Rafter) may be more likely than me.”

Earlier this year Caroline Wozniacki announced her return to tennis following a three-year retirement from the sport. Despite playing in only two WTA tournaments beforehand, she reached the fourth round of the US Open where she was defeated by Coco Gauff who went on to win the title. Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina returned to the Tour following the birth of her first child and reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon. 

Barty has previously said she would like to remain involved in tennis by helping support the rising stars of the game in her home country. Currently, Australia doesn’t have any players in the top 100 on the women’s Tour. In contrast, there are nine Australians in the top 100 on the men’s Tour. 

“It’s depth, you have to play at your top level, you have to be consistent across a 52-week calendar to keep your ranking up with the top of the world,” she said.
“I think it’s exciting for the women’s game, it creates hunger, passion and drive for girls wanting to be the best and knowing there’s an opportunity to take that top spot.
“There’s obviously not as many girls in the top 100 as we would like, but there’s plenty coming through that are learning their craft, developing.
“It takes time to understand how you think you can fit in, how you think you can grow into your play. I’m excited for the next five or 10 years to see where they can get to.”

The Australian tennis season will begin on December 29th with the United Cup. A mixed-team competition that will be held in Sydney and Perth. Two days later, the first singles events in Brisbane and Adelaide will get underway. 

The 2024 Australian Summer of Tennis calendar 

United Cup
Venue: Perth – RAC Arena, Sydney – Ken Rosewall Arena
Group Stage – 29 December 2023 to 5 January 2024
Finals – 6 to 7 January 2024, more details to be announced soon
Category: ATP / WTA international mixed team competition

Brisbane International
31 December 2023 to 7 January 2024
Venue: Queensland Tennis Centre, Brisbane
Category: WTA 500 / ATP 250
Draw size: WTA – 48 singles / 24 doubles; ATP – 32 singles, 24 doubles

Canberra International
31 December 2023 to 6 January 2024
Venue: Canberra Tennis Centre, Canberra
Category: ATP Challenger 125 / WTA 125
Draw size: ATP – 32 singles, 16 doubles; WTA – 32 singles, 16 doubles

Adelaide International
8 to 13 January 2024
Venue: The Drive, Adelaide
Category: WTA 500 / ATP 250
Draw size: WTA – 32 singles, 16 doubles; ATP – 28 singles, 24 doubles

Hobart International
8 to 13 January 2024
Venue: Domain Tennis Centre, Hobart
Category: WTA 250
Draw size: 32 singles, 16 doubles

AO Opening Week, including Australian Open qualifying (8 to 12 January)
8 to 14 January 2024
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
Category: Grand Slam 
Draw size: Q128 singles

Australian Open
15 to 28 January 2024
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
Category: Grand Slam
Draw size: 128 singles, 64 doubles 

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The WTA Tour In 2024 Should Be Even Stronger



Cori Gauff - Australian Open 2023 (Twitter @AustralianOpen)

To Aryna Sabalenka, every shot seems to be a go-for-it.


The two Grand Slam champions in Sunday’s U.S. Open men’s final would say, “Thank you” for a similar approach by their opponent. But Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev don’t play that game often.

They play to win. Sabalenka didn’t, although she wanted so badly to earn her second Grand Slam title this year.


Coco Gauff also played to win, once she got past a one-sided first set. Sabalenka kept going for it, and the world’s new No. 1 player paid the price in a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 loss to young Coco Gauff.

So, what happens now? Obviously, Sabalenka and Gauff will lead the way as the best women’s players in the game . . . for now.

Where does French Open champ and former world’s No. 1 Iga Swiatek fit? Wimbledon titlist Marketa Vondrousova, Jessica Pegula, 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, Ons Jabeur and yes, Karolina Muchova fit into WTA Tour stars led by Sabalenka and Gauff?


The 2024 women’s season is sure to be an exciting one. Any of these eight players could turn out to be superstars by this time next year.

Or it might be that there are simply too many equals in the women’s game, or maybe not enough stability at the top of the game. Superstars are important to a tour.

What would the ATP Tour have looked like without Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal all winning Grand Slams about the same time?

Gauff has been amazing since returning from Europe to the U.S., going 16-0 in the U.S. and suffering her only loss in Canada to doubles partner Pegula.


Gauff is projected to climb three spots in the WTA rankings to No. 3.

But Saturday was the dream come true for the 19-year-old. She simply outplayed the hard-hitting Sabalenka in the last two sets.

Just as Medvedev’s victory over Carlos Alcaraz was set up by Medvedev’s amazing defense, running down practically everything Alcaraz had to offer, Gauff’s victory was secured by her ability to repeatedly chase down what looked like Sabalenka winners.

Gauff usually kept running down Sabalenka’s missiles until the Belarussian missed the court.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award. 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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