It’s Venus who takes the intergenerational clash - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Hot Topics

It’s Venus who takes the intergenerational clash

Published

on

Venus Williams

Venus Williams brings her best game to defeat the newcomer Belinda Bencic 63 64. She’s now in round four of the Open for the 13th time in her career.

It was 1997 when Venus Williams made her debut at the US Open, reaching the final and losing it to the then number 1 Martina Hingis in straight sets. Belinda Bencic was only 5 months old at the time.

 

Eighteen years and 7 Grand Slam titles later, Williams is still competing at the Open, and this time around she’s facing that girl who was just born when she made her first appearance in New York.

Bencic has recently propelled into the public eye by winning at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, defeating four top tens, including Serena Williams, en route to the title. This year she has climbed twenty-one positions in the ranking, rising from number 33 to the 12th position in the ranking and getting often referred to as the future number one. Heads to heads are in favor of Williams, who has won all their three previous encounters dropping no more than four games per set. Bencic, however, is the odds-on favorite regardless of their history and of the struggles she had in defeating Misaki Doi in round 2, having to save three match points in a row. Venus’ path was not an easy one either, coming victorious of both Puig and Falconi only in the decider.

The stadium is packed as the two players approach the court for what is expected to be the most interesting third round match on the women’s draw, and probably a handover between a great champion and one still in the making.

In the first set both players hold their service games, Venus with relative ease and Bencic having to save three break points in the sixth games with three aggressive shots. Venus, however, plays amazingly and the break is in the air: in her next service game Bencic gets broken to love, after a bad double-fault on the breakpoint. Williams closes out the set with an ace, her fourth in the set together with sixteen winners to only six unforced errors.

In the second set the young Swiss starts improving her game, going up 4-1 and showing no intention of surrendering to the twice-former champion. Yet, from then on is Venus who takes the spotlight, winning five games in a row and displaying a tennis both fearless and accurate, bringing flashbacks of when she used to be a main contender for the title.

She will now face the winner of Kontaveit versus Brengle, on the road to a possible 26th match against her sister Serena.

Hot Topics

Alexander Zverev Warns Social Media Adding More Pressure To ‘Next Gen’ Than Ever Before

The German star discusses the downside to technology and the effect it has on his fellow players.

Published

on

Alexander Zverev is very much relishing being under the radar in the men’s draw at this year’s Australian Open.

 

After a roller-coaster 2019, the German started off 2020 by losing all of his singles matches at the ATP Cup. Although, it appears that Zverev is once again gaining in momentum at Melbourne Park, where he is yet to go beyond the fourth round. In his latest match he ousted Egor Gerasimov 7-6(5), 6-4, 7-5. Impressively winning 82% of his service points to secure a place in the last 32 on Saturday.

“I just think there’s more young guys that are playing better. The attention is going towards them, as well, a little bit.” Zverev said during his press conference.
“It’s a nice feeling for me, but I’m through to the third round, I’m happy about that. We’ll see how the tournament goes.”

A former winner of the prestigious ATP Finals, the 22-year-old had been tipped by many as one of the future stars of the men’s game. Naming him as one of the successors to the prestigious Big Four (including Andy Murray). He is currently the only active player outside of the quartet to have won three Masters 1000 trophies on the tour.

It hasn’t always been a smooth journey on the tour for Zverev, who first broke into the world’s top three in November 2017. With his best grand slam performance to date being to the quarter-finals of the French Open twice, some leading figures have been critical. Boris Becker, who has a close partnership with the world No.7, once said that he was ‘too dimensional’ and failed to improve his game over a 18-month period.

As for the inability of him and his Next Gen rivals to have a major breakthrough in a grand slam, Zverev admits that it is hard to escape from the pressure at times. When asked to draw parallels between him and past players in a similar situation, the German points out the growing negative impact of social media.

“To read what’s going on, to read the press, something like that, you had to buy a newspaper, go on the laptop and search for it. Now you open up Instagram, there’s 5 million people that have an opinion about you all of a sudden.” Zverev explained.
“I think that has changed in that regard. It’s maybe more difficult for us (the Next Gen) now.”

Throughout the Australian Open, Zverev has vowed to minimise the time he spends on social media. An approach that has been taken by others. Stefanos Tsitsipas to have taken a break from the online world in the past.

“Do I think is it more difficult for us than 20 years ago? Yes, maybe, because of the social media, mobile phones, of the opinions that everybody can spread out on the Internet.” Said Zverev.
“Even though when people say they don’t care, they still read it. In the back of their mind, they’re aware of it. So I think that is a massive difference.”

As for toppling Federer and Co in the future, Zverev believes it will be a joint effort. Saying that once one player claims a major title, it will spark a domino effect among the younger players on the tour.

“I think it started with Tsitsipas getting to the semifinals here (at the Australian Open). Then Medvedev got to the (US Open) final. I’ve made two (French Open) quarterfinals. I think we help each other.” He said.
“Even though maybe some of us don’t want to admit it because we have all kinds of personal relationships that we have with each other, but once one of us wins it, it’s going to be good for the others, as well.”

Zverev will play Fernando Verdasco in the third round.

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

Simona Halep Rallies To 90th Grand Slam Win At Australian Open

The world No.4 has achieved a new milestone at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

Published

on

Simona Halep’s quest for a first Australian Open title is gaining momentum after she strolled into the third round with a solid 77-minute victory at Melbourne Park.

 

The 2018 runner-up overcame some late resistance en route to her 6-2, 6-4, win over British qualifier Harriet Dart. A world No.172 player who was making her main draw debut at the tournament. Separated by 162 places in the rankings, the disparity between the two players was noticeable. Dart produced glimmers of her talent, but was undone by an array of unforced errors. Which amounted to 34 in total. Enabling Halep to dictate proceedings throughout the majority of the match.

“I like to play under pressure. It is more fun and exciting. But I would prefer to finish the matches when I have the chance to.” Halep said during her on-court interview.

Under the guidance of Darren Cahill once again, the latest performance saw the former world No.1 win 67% of her first service points and break Dart five times in total. However, it was a far from a perfect match with the Romanian’s unforced error count overshadowing her winners at 23 to 14.

“It’s very nice to have him back. It gives me confidence and I’m really happy about my team.” She commented on her reunion with Cahill.

Both sets of Halep’s latest encounter featured a similar pattern of her dismantling the fragile serve on her opponent. During the opener, the two-time grand slam champion broke three consecutive times en route to clinching a 6-2 lead.

It was a much more testing time in the second frame with the underdog staging a last-minute fight back. Leading by a set and 5-2, Halep looked to be on course for a one-sided victory. However, Dart wasn’t finished yet. The underdog produced her best tennis to retrieve one of the breaks to the annoyance of a growlingly frustrated Halep. Who made glares towards her camp in the crowd. Despite the scare, it was not enough to derail the world No.4. On her fourth match point Halep prevailed with the help of a forehand shot from her opponent landing beyond the baseline.

“It was a little bit dangerous before I lost my focus a little bit at the end. She started to play very well, so it was more difficult for me to hold. But I’m happy I went through it.” Halep reflected after.

Thursday’s victory hands the Romanian her 90th main draw win at a grand slam level and 21st at the Australian Open. Improving her overall record of wins in the second round of grand slam tournaments to 20-7. Halep is the only player to have had a top four seeding at the Australian Open every year since 2016.

Awaiting the 28-year-old in the next round will be either 2019 semi-finalist Danielle Collins or Yania Putintseva. She hasn’t played Collins on the tour since 2014 and is yet to face Putintseva.

Continue Reading

Hot Topics

Tennis Great Wilander Criticises Dominic Thiem Over Rollercoaster Win At Australian Open

The world No.5 is under fire over his attitude on the court.

Published

on

Dominic Thiem lacks consistency is his attitude during matches at grand slam tournaments, according to former world No.1 Mats Wilander.

 

The Austrian fifth seed survived a huge scare in the second round of the Australian Open on Thursday. Thiem battled back from two sets down to ousts wild card entrant Alex Bolt 6-2, 5-7, 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-2. Hitting 56 winners to 31 unforced errors, but only managing to convert seven out of his 24 break point opportunities. He has now won three out of his fourth matches that has gone to a deciding set at Melbourne Park.

“It was a tough match.” Said Thiem. “Alex played great with a great crowd support.’
“For me it was nice to play in such an atmosphere and I think today was my first win on Melbourne Arena. So I’m very happy.”

Despite a clinical end to his second round encounter where he won 12 out of the last 15 matches played, Thiem did at times look fragile on the court and at one stage received a code violation. His occasional lapses in concentration has been criticised by Wilander. Who has called on the world No.5 to ‘separate’ his body language from the court.

“There is a big difference between him and Rafa, Roger and Novak because you can’t really tell if they are playing well or not with their attitude. With Dominic when he’s up in the match and starts to not play so well, he immediately shows that he is not happy with his tennis.” Wilander said on Eurosport’s Game, Schett and Mats.
“That’s something he has to change. This is a reason why he has lost in the first round of Wimbledon and the US Open last year.’
“His attitude has to be more consistent.”

Thiem is a two-time grand slam finalist at the French Open, but has endured a lacklustre record in the majors in recent months. Last year he only managed to win back-to-back matches in one out of four grand slam tournaments. Furthermore, he is yet to reach the quarter-final stage at either the Australian Open or Wimbledon in his career.

Comparing Thiem to the prestigious Big Three, Wilander believes there are more difficult opponents for him on the tour based on game style. Although he believes a major part of those problems is linked to his mental game.

“There are more bad match-ups for him (than the Big Three). Let’s say a lefty with a slicing serve to his backhand on a fast court.” He explained.
“With Dominic there is an obvious ‘oh yeah, that match is gonna be trouble.’ How do you get away from that? With a better consistent attitude throughout the whole match.”

Wilander wasn’t the only one to cast shade on the 26-year-old. Also speaking on Eurosport, former player Barbara Schett was another to raise concerns over his consistency. Even though Thiem was one of two players last year to win five ATP titles along with Novak Djokovic. Schett is also from Austria.

“I am a big fan (of Thiem). He is number five in the world and has been as high as number four. But in some matches he plays I feel like he could lose to somebody ranked 150 or 200. “ She said.

Thiem will play either Taylor Fritz or Kevin Anderson in the third round.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending