Bits and bobs from day 2 at the Australian Open - UBITENNIS
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Bits and bobs from day 2 at the Australian Open

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TENNIS AUSTRALIAN OPEN – (Almost) everything according to the script for the seeded players. Serena show an outfit which brings out “a powerful and beautiful woman”, Rusty (Hewitt) is all but rusty. The gossip of the day though is the engagement of Berdych  From Melbourne Robbie Cappuccio

 

After an über-exciting day 1, with Aussie young guns taking over the stage, everything (almost) according to the script today in Melbourne. It was a cloudy and dry day with temperature just shy of 30C in the early afternoon, ideal for the colourful crowd (attendance of 64,801 today) to take advantage of the ice cooling fans at Melbourne Park.

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The main news is perhaps not strictly related to the game itself. LOVE is in the air and Thomas Berdych announces he is marrying his model girlfriend Ester Satorova. Given the size of the engagement ring Satorova will probably soon hire a physio to get the hand back in shape.

In the men’s singles Djoker disposed of the Slovenian Bedene in less than 2 hours. It took a little bit more, 1:08, and 31 aces, for American John Isner to win over Wang 7-6(5) 6-4 6-4. One minute less and one ace less for a philosophical Raonic (“it was what it needed to be”) who wins 7-6 7-6 3-6 over Marchenko. We are all looking forward to an ace competition between them and Aussie Sam Groth (24 aces yesterday).

Just a few notes out of tune, starting – alas – with Italian [18] Fognini who is the second seeded player – after Gulbis last night – to be kicked out of the men’s singles tournament in the opening round by the Colombian Alejandro Gonzalez (107). Other seeded players to pack up are the French [25] Benneteau by the German Becker (41), [27] Cuevas by another German Bachinger (142) and [21] Alexandr Dolgopolov by the Italian Lorenzi (64).

The evening brings more cheering and happiness to a young and not so young Aussie crowd: Lleyton “Rusty” Hewitt – at his 19th consecutive Australian Open which sets a new record – gets through to second round, with the Fanatics giving their best in choreography and chanting.

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After round one, the women’s singles shows a record of 11 seeded players out of the tournament, as three more are blown away today: [13] Petkovic loses against Brengle (64), but does not lose her smile. Former number one [15] Jankovic defeated by Bacsinszky (41) and Italian [12] Pennetta by compatriot Giorgi (33). In the all-Italian women’s singles derby, Pennetta and Giorgi bash each other from baseline for 2 hours in a match characterised by unforced errors and double faults. In the end Giorgi prevails in 3 sets, and is still compete for the most original outfit.
Wozniacki, who now plays “connected” with the new Babolat Play, appears in good shape and dismisses and concern on her wrist injury; she will now face Vika Azarenka in a blockbuster for round 2. Serena Williams shows a bright yellow and pink-trimmed outfit with a cut-out back, which “brings out a beautiful and powerful woman and focuses on the beauty of the shape of the back”. Today’s opponent Van Uytvank will definitely agree on the “powerful” part.

Ups and downs for the Aussies: after the performance of her compatriots in the opening day, great expectations for Sam Stosur, who does not betray her fans and herself and wins smoothly with Niculescu 6-4 6-1. Dellacqua is a copycat: 6-4 6-0 to Meusburger, whereas Rogowska reads the script upside down and loses 4-6 1-6 to Gibbs. Tomljanovic is still fighting with Rogers.

My final note is for Schiavone (record holder for longest grand slam women’s singles match ever played when she defeated Kuznetsova in 2011 in 4:44), who collects only a couple of games per set to the US Coco Vandeweghe. Bounce back Francesca, tennis still needs you!

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Alexander Bublik Praises Mentality Change Ahead Of Newport Semi-Finals

Alexander Bublik is on the rise after changing his mentality as he looks to win his first ATP title in Newport this weekend.

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Alexander Bublik (@TennisHalloFame - Twitter)

Alexander Bublik praises his change in his mental approach to tennis after reaching the semi-finals in Newport. 

 

The 22 year-old from Kazakhstan is arguably having one of the best seasons of his career, having reached a career high ranking of 82 in 2019.

Having won three challenger events in Budapest, Pau and Monterrey, Bublik is full of confidence and is currently trying to transition that form on the ATP tour.

In an interview with the ATP website, Bublik has praised a change in mentality for the improvement in form, “When I was a kid I got in mental troubles a lot because I was thinking, ‘I’ve got to win this match. I want to win this tournament’,” Bublik said to atptour.com.

“Then last year when I broke my ankle is when I realised it’s fine… I’ve got to work hard to make it here, to make more and more, so that’s why I’m working hard every day trying to succeed.”

There is no doubting that Bublik has the talent as he has a unique style, which includes tweeners and during his quarter-final match with Tennys Sandgren in Newport, hit four aces in a game which concluded with an underarm ace.

However the world number 83 has said that he entertains himself first and aims to stand out from the crowd, “I entertain myself first. That’s the most important thing for me,” Bublik explained.

“Always be a leader, not a follower, You just have to be your own leader, make your own decisions,” Bublik said when speaking about one of his tattoos.

Well Bublik’s fate is certainly in his own hands when he faces Marcel Granollers for a spot in his first ever ATP final on Saturday.

The other semi-final will see top seed John Isner take on 4th seed Ugo Humbert as the Frenchman looks to take advantage of an under-par American.

In both of his matches, Isner has needed a third set to overcome both Kamil Majchrzak and Matthew Ebden as he looks to win a 3rd title at the Hall Of Fame Open.

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Bernard Tomic Sent Warning About Behaviour As Wimbledon Appeal Rejected

Bernard Tomic’s appeal was rejected after being fined all of his prize money for his first round defeat to Jo-Wilfred Tsonga at Wimbledon.

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Bernard Tomic (@ATP_Tour - Twitter)

Bernard Tomic has been sent a stinging warning about his behaviour after his Wimbledon appeal was rejected. 

 

The Australian lost his first round match at Wimbledon to Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in 58 minutes a couple of weeks ago in another lacklustre effort.

Although in previous years he may have escaped punishment, this time the grand slam board decided to deduct all his prize money as a result of his straight sets defeat.

This sent a clear message to the tennis world as they want to cut out lack of effort and give places in grand slams to competitors that will try their best.

Of course, Tomic wasn’t exactly pleased with the ruling and decided to appeal against the ruling which stated that he did not play to “required professional standards.”

However the appeal didn’t only get rejected, it got slammed down by board director Bill Babcock in a stinging letter to the controversial Australian.

In the letter Babcock referred to Tomic’s past history in lack of effort during matches, “A review of your historical record of misconduct at grand slams, never mind elsewhere, provides little justification for an adjustment,” Babcock said.

“In your case, Bernard, I am sure you would agree there is no historical evidence to give comfort to the theory that you can reform your behaviour.

“Admittedly, I am sceptical that you can achieve this reform of grand slam on-court behaviour, Many others, no doubt, would be even more than just sceptical. Good luck and I hope to be pleasantly surprised in the future by your successful reform.”

In the letter, Babcock added that if Tomic escapes a sanction in his next eight grand slam events, then he will be refunded 25 percent of his prize money.

Despite this outcome, Tomic plans on appealing this latest inquest further as he currently prepares for the ATP 250 event in Atlanta next week, “I don’t care about this 25 per cent, I care about the right thing for players in the future,” Tomic told the New York Times.

In a separate case, Anna Tatishvili was refunded all of her prize money after appealing successfully after her fine for not meeting professional standards at Roland Garros.

The American lost 6-0 6-1 in her first round match to Maria Sakkari in only her third tournament back since 2017.

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Angelique Kerber Splits With Rainer Schuettler After Eight Month Partnership

Angelique Kerber has parted ways with Rainer Schuettler after an eight month partnership which ended in Wimbledon disappointment.

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Angelique Kerber (@Wimbledon - Twitter)

Three time grand slam champion Angelique Kerber has split with her coach Rainer Schuettler after an eight month partnership. 

 

It’s been a topsy-turvy year for the German so far after reaching the finals in Indian Wells and Eastbourne as well as being 11th in the Race To Shenzhen rankings.

However after losing in the first week of all three of her grand slams so far, last year’s Wimbledon champion has decider to end her partnership with Rainer Scheuttler.

The 31 year-old made the announcement on Twitter as she admitted it was a tough decision to make but a necessary one to make, “Moving forward, it’s never easy to change – especially when you work with great people like Rainer,” Kerber said.

“But for now, we’ve decided that it’s the right time for a fresh start. He has become a friend and I‘m thankful for his hard work & dedication in the last months.”

A couple of days ago, Kerber also said it was time to embrace the challenges moving forward as she looks to improve her sluggish form ,“This time of year feels very different compared to last year, but it’s still part of the same journey,” Kerber explained on Twitter.

“Whether you‘ve won or lost the last match- it‘s done, it‘s over and it can‘t be changed. It‘s about the lessons you learn from both outcomes that will determine your path. 

“There have always been ups and downs, twists and turns in my career that I accept as part of my story as an athlete. Even more, I‘ve learned to deal with it and embrace the challenge moving forward.”

Although Kerber and Schuettler have become good friends, the results never really translated when it really mattered most as Kerber couldn’t keep her focus on the big occasions.

A very brave decision to do it more than half way through the season though as Kerber looks to finish the season strong in a frustrating year.

Next for the former world number one is the Rogers Cup in Toronto, which starts on the 5th August.

 

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