Australian Open 2015: 19 Times Serena! The World Number 1 Wins her 6th Melbourne title - UBITENNIS
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Australian Open 2015: 19 Times Serena! The World Number 1 Wins her 6th Melbourne title

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2015 – Serena Williams edged Maria Sharapova 6-3 7-6 (7-5) to clinch her sixth Australian Open title (her first since 2010) and her 19th overall Grand Slam trophy. She has overtaken Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert in the all-time ranking of the players with most Grand Slam wins. Only Steffi Graf won more times with 22 titles. Diego Sampaolo

 

AO2015: Interviews, Results, Order of Play, Draws

Serena won 16 consecutive matches against Maria and extended to 17-2 in her head-to-head matches against her Russian rival. She clinched 12 of these matches in straight sets. Sharapova has not beaten Williams since the WTA Championships final in Los Angeles.

Williams won her previous Australian Open final against Sharapova in 2007 in straight sets with 6-1 6-2 They met only once more in 2005 in the semifinals when Williams won in three sets with 2-6 7-5 8-6. The Russian star won one of her four finals Down Under in 2008 when she defeated Ana Ivanovic.

Williams earned a break point in the first game as Sharapova hit a backhand wide. Serena got the break for 1-0 with a double fault from the Russian player. Serena won the first significant rally of the match with a backhand winner with 40-30 and held serve with a backhand winner.

Sharapova capitalized on a couple of errors and to go up 30-0 before winning her first game to love with a serve and a forehand winner. In the fourth game Sharapova won the point after the best rally of the match with a drop-shot. Serena hit a forehand winner and her first ace of the match before going up 40-30. Williams won the game to pull away to 3-1 after an unsuccessful challenge from Sharapova.

The Russian five-time Grand Slam champion kept the pace by holding serve for 3-2. Sharapova hit a forehand winner and came close to a break point in the sixth game but Williams clawed her way back to draw level to 30-30. The match was stopped for 13 minutes at 30-30 in the sixth game when rain came down heavier. After the roof was closed and the match was resumed Williams hit an ace and a forehand to win the game for 4-2.

Sharapova double faulted to hand Williams three break points. Serena converted on her first break point chance for 5-2 as Maria hit a forehand long.

In the next game Sharapova earned three chances to break back as Williams hit her backhand into the net. Williams saved the first chance with her forehand and the second with an ace but Sharapova converted the break-back point chance on the third opportunity when Williams made a double fault.

After an exciting rally Sharapova missed a forehand down the line to hand Williams a break point. Williams hit a backhand winner to convert on the break point to close out the first set with 6-3

There were no breaks of serve in the second set. Williams hit her fifth and the sixth aces in the opening game of the second set before going up 1-0 with a forehand down-the line winner. Williams earned a break point chance but Sharapova saved it when Williams sent a backhand long. Williams held serve for 2-1 in the third game.

Sharapova missed a forehand to go down 15-30 but she held on and hit a backhand winner into the corner to draw level to 2-2. Sharapova hit 18 of her 21 winners and saved four break points during the second set

Sharapova hit a winner to go up 0-30 on Williams’ serve but the US legend hit two aces to draw level to 30-30 before clinching the fifth game with tow more aces for 3-2. Williams earned a break point in the sixth game with a backhand winner but failed to convert it when she sent a forehand long.

Sharapova started the seventh game with a forehand winner but Williams survived a tough game with her 13th game for 4-3. Sharapova won the 8th game to draw level to 4-4.

Williams brought up a match point with Sharapova serving at 4-5 30-40. Masha hit a forehand down the line winner to save the first of two match points and held her service game in the 10th game.

Sharapova won a long and exciting rally to draw level to 30-30 but Williams hit two aces to clinch the 11th game and edge ahead with 6-5 but Sharapova won the service game to force the second set to the tie-break.

Sharapova hit a winner into the corner on Williams’ serve to get the mini-break but was broken back immediately. With her 17th ace Williams pulled away to a 4-1 lead but Sharapova clawed her back into the match after a couple of misses from Williams.

Williams build up a 6-4 lead in the tie-break. Sharapova saved the second match point with a winning service return. Williams hit her 18th ace to clinch her 19th Grand Slam title on her third match point. Only Steffi Graf won more titles with 22 Grand Slam titles. With her sixth title Serena has become the oldest winner of the Australian Open women’s tournament.

Williams won 37 of her 44 first serve points and hi 38 winners.

I have to congratulate Maria. She played a wonderful match. She really pushed me tonight. She gave us a great final not only for you guys but for women’s tennis. I am really honoured I got to play you in the final. Growing up I wasn’t the richest, but I had a rich family in spirit and support and standing here with 19 championships is something I never thought would happen. It feels really good to be sitting here as the champion. I definitely didn’t think I would be here at the beginning of the week or the beginning of the two weeks, but it feels pretty excellent. I was not feeling great. Every time I didn’t feel great I started to feel better, and then the next day I got worse. I had a bad cough. I ended up throwing up. I have just got a bad cold. When that happens, you stay in bed, you don’t play matches every day. There was a lot of ups and downs. So I just thought that I was somehow still in the tournament and now I somehow I have won. It’s really exciting”, said Williams

The match definitely got tough in the second set. Maria started playing a lot better. She started being a little more aggressive. I think I got a little more passive. She was just trying to get the ball back in play but I started serving better in the second set because I knew if I wasn’t having my groundstrokes where I wanted them to be. I knew I could serve it out. It got really interesting. I had a lot of moments. I had some easy shots that I missed in the second set on her serve, and then she came up with a big serve when she was down a breakpoint, which was great. I definitely can look back and say: I could have done a few things better just for the future”

Sharapova admitted in the post-match press conference that she fell short in the finish during the tie-break.

It’s always tough getting to a final stage of an event where it’s down to two players and you end up become the one that’s going home with the smaller trophy. There is no doubt about it. No matter how you played, well or not, whatever the scoreline is. It’s always tough. In the finish I definitely thought I could have put a few more serves in the tiebreaker. Giving her many looks on the second serve. Event though they were good, deep second serves, she was ready. She was aggressive. She hit a couple of winners. Then in some of the service games where I had 15-30 and 30-all, she came up with really big serves, ones I sometimes couldn’t get my reach at. Those you just have to let go and keep going. One of her biggest strengths is her serve. Maybe it’s something that has saved her in many matches, situations where you cannot get her racquet on the ball. When the games on her serve were 30-all. 40-30 or 15-30 a few times, she came up with really great serves. I have not beaten her for a long time but I love every time I step out on the court with her. I have had some of the best memories of my career on this court and some of my toughest losses but that’s the life of a tennis player”, said Sharapova

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Serena Williams Loses Late-Night Wimbledon Thriller To Tan

In what could possibly be her final appearance in singles at The All England Club, Williams was edged out by a French qualifier.

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The eagerly awaited return of Serena Williams to professional tennis has ended in defeat after she crashed out of the first round at Wimbledon. 

 

Until this week, it has been 12 months since the 40-year-old last played a Tour-level match in singles. Taking on French qualifier Harmony Tan, the American bowed out 7-5, 1-6, 7-6 (10-7), after more than three hours of play. Making it the first time she has suffered back-to-back losses in the opening round at Wimbledon after being forced to retire in 2021 due to an ankle injury. 

Williams had a chance to serve for the match at 5-4 in the decider but failed to seize the opportunity. Paving the way for Tan to go on and narrowly prevail in the tiebreaker during what was a sensational encounter with plenty of twists and turns.

“It was really tough. I had some chances in the first set. It didn’t work out, it was just totally different to me.” Williams said during her press conference.
“It was definitely a long battle and fight. It was better than last year.”

Playing in her 21st Wimbledon main draw, Williams got off to a rollercoaster start that saw her fall behind 0-2 before she valiantly battled back with the help of a four-game winning streak. It was visible that she still had tremendous power in her shotmaking despite her lengthy absence from the sport but the inevitable signs of rust were also on display. 

It was for this reason that the opener featured various changes of momentum with 24-year-old Tan drawing level. A player who was playing in the Wimbledon main draw for the first time and briefly broke into the world’s top 100 earlier this year. Tan continued applying the pressure with the clever use of slice shots as she benefited from a series of mistakes from the Tour veteran. Back-to-back mistakes from Williams and then a winning forehand from the Frenchwoman on the next point enabled her to break for a chance to serve the first set out at 6-5. A mission she accomplished with a winning forehand passing shot on set point.  

Williams briefly left the court whilst there was a delay to the match for the roof to come on. Upon her return, she found herself in a mammoth Tan service game which lasted around 20 minutes. A total of 12 deuces were featured before the American converted her sixth break point opportunity by hitting a shot that painted the baseline. That breakthrough would prove to be a turning point in the match as Williams went on to level at one set apiece. 

Exchanging breaks early on in the decider, fatigue began to settle in for both players during what was one of the most dramatic encounters to take place in the women’s draw in recent times. Williams looked to be on the verge of sealing victory after a Tan backhand into the net enabled her to break for a chance to serve the match out at 5-4. It was evident how much the match meant to Williams who threw her hands in the air out of pure relief. However, she failed to capitalize on the opportunity. It would be a gutsy Tan who would go on to prevail in the tiebreaker. Ending Williams’ Wimbledon campaign this year and potentially permanently. 

“I don’t know what to say because I am so emotional but she is a superstar and for my first Wimbledon but it is just … wow,” Tan said in her post-match interview with the BBC. “When I saw the draw I was really scared. It’s Serena Williams. She’s a legend and I was like ‘Oh my God, how can I play?’. I thought if I could win one or two games it would be really good for me.”

The question now is where does Williams go from here? After already establishing herself as one of the all-time greats with 73 Tour titles and more than $94M in prize money earnings, she can easily walk away from the sport with her head held high. Furthermore, she has plenty of other interests to keep her busy. One of which is her multi-million-pound investment fund named Serena Ventures.

“That’s a question I can’t answer. I don’t know. Who knows where I’ll pop up.” She replied when asked about her future in the sport.
“I gave all I could. Maybe tomorrow I could have given more. Maybe a week ago I could have given more. At some point you have to be able to be okay with that. And that’s all I can do. I can’t change time or anything.”
She added.

It would be foolish to write Williams off right away with her home Grand Slam, the US Open, later this year. After her defeat to Tan, Williams said it made her want to return to the practice courts. A sign that she isn’t done with tennis just yet. 

“When you’re at home, especially in New York, and the US Open, that being the first place I’ve won a Grand Slam, is something that’s always super special. Your first time is always special.” She said.
“There’s definitely lots of motivation to get better and to play at home.”

As for Tan, she faces 32nd seed Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second round.

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Bianca Andreescu eases past Emina Bektas for first-ever win at Wimbledon

The Canadian is through to the second round at the All England Club for the first time after dominating the American qualifier.

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Bianca Andreescu booked her spot in the second round at Wimbledon after beating the American qualifier Emina Bektas 6-1, 6-3 in only 55 minutes on Court 14.

 

The Toronto native hit 28 winners and served five aces in a match that she dominated from start to finish.

The world number 56 got off to a quick start setting up two breakpoints in the opening game with her stellar forehand but the American was able to save both and hold serve.

At 1-1, Andreescu had two more chances again using her forehand to great effect and broke to take an early 2-1 lead. She then turned that break into a double break and served out the first set.

The second set was more of the same from the first as the Toronto native set up three early chances to break in the first game and broke serve once more to take a 2-0 lead.

At 3-1 the world number 224 fought back as she started to find her game and got one of the breaks back but the Canadian responded the following game by breaking right back.

From there it was smooth sailing for the Canadian as she was able to serve out the match and book her spot in the second round for the first time.

Andreescu will now face Elena Rybakina in the next round after the Kazak beat the lucky loser Coco Vandegweghe in straight sets 7-6, 7-5. This will be their first meeting.

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Iga Swiatek Becomes First Woman Since 1997 To Win 36 Matches In A Row After Wimbledon Triumph

The top seed encountered a blip en route to her latest victory this season.

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Image via https://twitter.com/Wimbledon/


In her first match since triumphing at the French Open, Iga Swiatek reminded her peers why she is world No.1 by producing a clinical first round win at Wimbledon.

Swiatek, who has now won an outstanding 36 matches in a row, was largely the dominant force throughout her 6-0, 6-3, triumph over Croatia’s Jana Fett. A 25-year-old who was playing in the main draw of a major for the first time since 2018. Swiatek stormed through the match with the help of 10 winners and broke her opponent six times. 

 

“It was my first match on grass this season so I knew it was going to be tricky. I lost my focus a little bit (in the second set) and she used that pretty well,” said Swiatek.
“I’m pretty happy that I came back and finished in two sets. I’m just feeling out how to play here (at Wimbledon) and implementing all the things we have been practicing. It’s a new experience for me.”

The 21-year-old top seed was selected by Wimbledon to open up proceedings on Center Court on the first Tuesday. An honor which is usually done by the reigning women’s champion but Ash Barty has retired since her triumph. Tournament CEO Sally Bolton commented that Swiatek was the ‘obvious choice to do so.’

Living up to Bolton’s recent praise, Swiatek came out the blocks running as she raced through the opener in just over 30 minutes. Winning 31 out of 49 points played in the set. Incredibly that was the 17th time she has won a set 6-0 this year during a competitive match.

However, the fairytale start failed to continue into the second frame with Swiatek coming unstuck behind her serve. Twice in a row, she was broken by a growingly confident Fett who fed off of the animated support she received from the crowd. Out of nowhere, the former top 100 player worked her way to a 3-1 lead.

Sensing danger, Swiatek worked her way back to draw level at 3-3 with the help of some costly errors from her rival. Closing in on victory two games later, she failed to convert a duo of break point opportunities before succeeding on her third attempt after a Fett backhand landed out. Serving for a place in the last 64, she sealed victory with a 106 mph serve down the center of the court that Fett hit back into the net. 

“It’s pretty tricky because I still feel like I have only played like 12 weeks on the grass in my life. But the atmosphere and tradition (of Wimbledon) is pumping me up so I’m motivated to play here well and use the experience my coach has,” the top seed commented afterward. 

Swiatek is only the third woman to win 36 Tour-level matches in a row since 1990. Martina Hingis achieved the milestone in 1997 and Monica Seles did so in 1990. 

In the second round, Swiatek will play Dutch lucky loser Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove. 

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