Top women's seeds being dispersed out of the tournament - UBITENNIS
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Top women’s seeds being dispersed out of the tournament

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US Open – August 31, 2015 marked the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina which dissipated off the American Gulf Coast back in 2005.  In this time a lot of Americans and folks around the world are remembering the devastation and destruction of that natural disaster. Yet it seems eerily striking that looking at the 2015 US Open women’s draw today, that  one can say that a near similar type of disaster has occurred as so many top seeds are gone from the draw. Of the 32 seeded players in the women’s draw, 10 have not made it out of the first round and all matches have not been completed.

 

Perhaps it was a sign of things to come when Maria Sharapova (3) pulled out just before the start of the event. She cited a plaguing leg injury as the reason why she could not compete at this year’s event. When actual play began, things only got worse. Ana Ivanovic (7) was dismissed by Dominika Cibulkova in 3 sets 3-6 6-3 3-6. Next came Karolina Pliskova (8) who was just crowned the winner of the 2015 US Open Series winner on the women’s side. She was vying for a chance at $1 million dollar bonus money had she been able to lift the winner’s trophy. However, she was summarily dismissed by American Anna Tatishvili 2-6 1-6 and with it that lucrative opportunity gone.

It might have been no real surprise when Svetlana Kuznetsova (30) was knocked out of the tournament by Kristina Mladenovic 3-6 5-7 as the Kuznetsova has not played a competitive match since the French Open in the spring. However, it was bit of a shock when both Carla Suarez-Navarro (10) and Jelena Jankovic (21) went out of the tournament. Considering all things, Suarez-Navarro losing to Denisa Allertova 1-6 (5)6-7 may not be such a huge upset. The Spaniard came into these championships on a 6-match losing streak, having not won a match at any of the three summer hardcourt tournaments she played. In fact, the last time she won a match was mid-June when she beat Kuznetsova at Birmingham. Therefore this result was not in and of itself surprising. However, Jankovic came into these championships looking good as she made it to the semifinals of Cincinnati before losing to Simona Halep. She went out to French wild card Oceane Dodin 6-2 5-7 3-6. Jankovic was not the only player who came into this tournament with some steam behind their name. Sloane Stephens (29) who just collected her first WTA title at CitiOpen in Washington DC, was looking to make a name for herself. However, she lost in straight sets to fellow American Coco Vandeweghe, 4-6 3-6.

One might have expected that things would have calm down on Day 2 but within 2 hours of he start of play, two more women’s seeds were ousted. Lucie Safarova (6) who recently made it to her first major final at the French Open was knocked out by Lesia Tsurenko. Safavora lost 4-6 1-6 in 65 minutes. She would later state that she was suffering from an abdominal tear which occurred in the New Haven final last Saturday. This affected her ability to serve on the day. Semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky (14) also lost to Barbora Styrcova 5-7 0-6 extending her match losing streak to 4. Olga Govortsova just upset Irina-Carmila Begu (28) 6-1 0-6 7-6.

Interestingly enough, on the men’s side, despite the huge upset of Kei Nishikori (4) going out to Benoit Paire early on the opening day, there has been no major blows to the men’s top seed.  Gael Monfils (16) had to retire from his match due to injury.

The men’s draw just lost another big seed as American Donald Young just knocked out the 11th seed  Gilles Simon (11) 2-6 4-6 6-4 6-4 6-4.

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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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Johanna Konta Speaks About Charity Work Ahead Of Second Half Of Season

Johanna Konta talks about her work with charity as she looks to end the season strong.

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Johanna Konta (@the_LTA - Twitter)

Johanna Konta has spoken about her charity work as she prepares for the final grand slam of the season. 

 

It has been an encouraging 2019 so far for the Brit after reaching the finals in Rabat and Madrid as well as reaching the last four at Roland Garros.

Although that was met with disappointment and criticism at Wimbledon after her quarter-final exit to Barbora Strycova, Konta is looking to continue the momentum in the American summer.

However for now, the world number 15 is taking her mind off tennis to focus on her charity work and in particular tackling homelessness.

Recently Konta visited the prime minister on the subject and spoke to the WTA Website about why she feels passionately about homelessness, “Homelessness has always been a big thing that’s close to my heart, that I want to help,” Konta said.

“I met a young lady called Kenny, who has come through Centre Point and it’s through them that she’s got her shift here with The Clink.”

The Brit is an ambassador for the charity CentrePoint, who support young homeless people in London since 1969 as homelessness has been a big problem in the UK.

The Clink provided catering for the event an 10 Downing Street, which was about bringing young people who are at risk of violence and helping them talk to businesses and role models to see how they can not take to crime.

On her visit, Konta explained why it was a dream come true to go to 10 Downing Street, “I feel like you’re walking through history, especially as you walk up the stairs and you see all the Prime Ministers through time. It’s inspiring and I feel very lucky.”

Next for Konta is the Rogers Cup in Toronto, which starts on the 5th of August as she prepares for the final grand slam of the year at the US Open.

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