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Madison Keys, the future of US Tennis?

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TENNIS – The Australian Open revealed US teenager Madison Keys on the Grand Slam stage. Keys has been considered the future star of US tennis since she won her first WTA match at the age of 14 when she beat Ajla Kudryavtsev at the MPS Group Tournament in Ponte Vedra (Florida). Keys joined the Chris Evert Academy in Boca Raton (Florida) at the age of nine and is now coached by Lindsey Davenport. Diego Sampaolo

 

Madison reached the quarter final in a WTA Tournament for the first time in her career in Sydney 2013 defeating Lucie Safarova and Zheng Jie before losing to Li Na in three close sets. Keys won her first match against a top-ten when she defeated Li Na in Madrid in 2013. She reached the quarter finals at the Aegon Classic on grass before losing against Agnieszka Radwanska in the third round at Wimbledon. She improved her ranking by 112 places reaching the World Number 37 in the WTA Ranking at the end of 2013.

Keys started the 2014 season with a semifinal in Sydney where she defeated Simona Halep before losing to Angelique Kerber. The US rising star won her first WTA title at Eastbourne defeating two top ten players Jelena Jankovic and Angelique Kerber. She was forced to withdraw from her third round match against Yaroslava Shvedova at Wimbledon due to a leg injury. She finished the 2014 season in 31st place in the WTA Ranking.

Keys, daughter of Rick and Christine who work as attorneys, is now coached by former World Number 1 Lindsey Davenport who guided the teenager to her first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open after beating Casey Dellacqua in three sets in the second round before taking the scalp of last year’s Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the third round and winning the match against another Madison (Brengle) in the fourth round. Keys beat Venus Williams in the quarter final in three sets despite a leg injury during the second set. She lost against Serena Williams in the semifinal but confirmed that she has a potential as a future top star. She entered the Australian Open ranked 35 but she will join the top 20 next week (she is projected at Number 20). Serena paid tribute to Keys after their semifinal saying: “It was an honour for me to play against someone who will be the Number 1 in the future. It’s great for me and Venus because we know that finally there are other Americans who are constantly playing well, showing that they want to be the world’s greatest”, said Serena.

Keys fulfilled her life dream when she beat her childhood idol Venus Williams 6-3 4-6 6-4 in the quarter final before losing to Serena in the semifinal. If she had beaten Serena, she would have become the fourth player to beat both Serena and Venus in the same Grand Slam Tournament (the only three players to achieve this feat were Kim Clijsetrs, Martina Hingis and Justine Henin). Madison started playing tennis at the age of four when she watched Venus playing at Wimbledon. Madison asked her parents if she could dress a white dress similar to that Venus was wearing at Wimbledon.

Last November she started working with three-time Grand Slam champion Lindsey Davenport and her husband Jon Leach. It was supposed that Davenport would have worked with Madison during the off-season but the teenager impressed Davenport that the former US star decided to take up her coaching role guiding Madison to the semifinal.

With her first prize money at the age of 14 when she won her first WTA match Madison bought a new mobile phone. With the money earned at the Australian Open she is planning a new handbag. “I told myself, I will go out and buy a Louis Vuitton handbag”, said Madison Keys

Madison Keys signed on as Sports Illustrated Kids Special Correspondent communicating with readers in a series of monthly videos on her life traveling the WTA Circuit. These videos feature her world travels, playing tournament, training and exploring new cities and spending time with her fellow players. She is featured in Sports Illustrated Kids magazine which has over three million readers.

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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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