VIDEO - Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic Crash Out Of Auckland - UBITENNIS
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VIDEO – Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic Crash Out Of Auckland

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Venus Williams in action at the 2016 ASB Classic (image via stuff.co.nz)

Shocks galore occurred on day 2 of the ASB Classic with top seed Venus Williams and second seed Ana Ivanovic making swift exits from the tournament.

 

Defending champion Williams faced Russian teenager Daria Kasatkina in her first round encounter. Kasatkina is currently ranked 75th in the world and shot to fame in 2014 after winning the French Open Girls title. Despite the lack of experience, the 18-year-old impressed many with her gutsy 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-3, win.

The marathon encounter consisted of Williams being constantly being placed under pressure by her younger rival. In the first set Williams was the first player to lose her service in the seventh game when Kasatkina successfully converted her first break point of the match. The top seed responded in typical Williams fashion by breaking back immediately to nudge proceedings towards a tiebreak. Similar to the opening set, the tiebreaker was a tense occasion as the top seed broke the Russian two consecutive times to win the first set.

After taking the first set, many expected Williams to pull away from her less experienced rival, however, Kasatkina had other plans. Breaking the American once more, the 18-year-old swiftly opened up a 3-0 lead. Williams was unable to find a solution to her Russian problem, who extended the lead to 5-1 after breaking the American to love as she gradually forced the match into a final set.

It was a case of what might have been for Williams, who experienced a disappointing third set. After racing to a 3-1 lead, The world No.7 was broken three consecutive times as Kasatkina won six straight games to grab the biggest win of her young career.

The error-stricken performance from Williams consisted of an agonizing 73 unforced errors. Nevertheless, a shocked Kasatkina praised Williams after getting the biggest win in her career.

“I couldn’t ask for a better start to the year”. The 18-year-old said.
“She is an amazing tennis player and I respect her so much. It was an unbelievable match for me.”

Williams wasn’t the only upset of the day. Second seed Ana Ivanovic was knocked out in straight sets by British qualifier Naomi Broady. The Brit came into the match with a big confidence boost after defeating top seed Magdaléna Rybáriková in the final round of the qualifying draw. Ivanovic had a golden opportunity to take the first set after she broke for a chance to serve at 5-4 up. The Serbian was unable to serve it out as Broady broke back immediately as she won three straight games to take the first set.

The second set was tense with no breaks of service in the first nine games. Serving a down a set and 4-5, Ivanovic went behind 15-40, giving Broady her first two match points. Ivanovic successfully defended the both of them, but it wasn’t enough to deny the Brit, who converted with her third chance.

During the match, Broady won 67% of her service points compared to Ivanovic’s 54%. Speaking about her loss to Broady, Ivanovic admitted that she was ‘caught off guard’ by the Brit,.

“She served well and I also thought with the ground strokes, she was hitting them extremely well. So many times I was caught off guard and didn’t know which way she was going”. Ivanovic said.
“I felt that once I managed to get into rallies I was on top of her, but it didn’t happen as often as I hoped”.

After the duo of shocks, there was better news for third seed Caroline Wozniacki after she defeated Danka Kovinic 6-4, 6-4. Seventh seed Barbora Strycova also enjoyed a straight sets win over Dutch player Kiki Bertens (6-2, 6-4). Finally, Tamira Paszek spent almost three hours on the court before defeating former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-3.

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(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Rafael Nadal Doesn’t Care How Much Pain He’s In, He Gets The Job Done

Hall of Famer Steve Flink gives his verdict on Rafael Nadal’s epic victory which might result in his withdrawal from Wimbledon!

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

Matches don’t come as dramatic as the one Rafael Nadal played on Wednesday. 

 

The 22-time grand slam champion dealt with an abdominal injury, lost a break advantage in three sets and still managed to win after four hours of pulsating play. Awaiting him in the next round will be Nick Kyrgios if he is fit enough to play. Kyrgios dismissed Cristian Garin in straight sets in his quarter-final match. 

Flink and Ubitennis’ CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta review all the action that took place on day 10

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Injured Rafael Nadal Ousts Fritz In Wimbledon Thriller

The world No.4 is through to the semi-finals but there are new doubts over his current health.

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Rafael Nadal has kept his chances of achieving a calendar slam alive by defeating American Taylor Fritz in a dramatic quarter-final match at Wimbledon where he struggled with injury. 

 

The second seed took a medical time out during the second set but continued to battle to a sensational 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-4), win over Fritz. Two days ago Nadal was seen wearing tape on his abdomen but refused to go into details when asked by reporters. Although it was clear that this issue is ongoing with the Spaniard crouching over a couple of times after serving in pain. 

“The body is generally fine. Of course, in the abdominal area, something is not going well. I had to find a way to serve a little bit differently,” said Nadal. “I was thinking during a lot of moments that I would not be able to finish the match but the energy (of Center Court) was something else.”

In the roller-coaster encounter, 19 breaks of serves occurred throughout the marathon match. During the gut-busting 260-minute showdown Nadal saw plenty of chances come and go. In each of the first two sets, he had a break advantage before losing them. He also failed to maintain a break advantage in the decider before coming through in the tiebreak. Nevertheless, he managed to come out on top with the help of 5 aces and 55 winners. 

“I enjoy playing these kinds of matches in front of you guys (the crowd),” the Spaniard continued. 
“It has been a tough afternoon against a great player. All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great the whole season.’
“From my side, it was not an easy match and I am happy to be in the semifinal.”

The triumph is a bitter pill for Fritz to swallow who was bidding to become the youngest American man to reach the last four at Wimbledon since 2005. Until now he had been on an eight-match winning streak.

As for Nadal, he is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final and 38th at a major event. He is now 8-0 when it comes to playing quarter-final matches at the tournament.

Amid concerns over the abdomen, Nadal now has only two days to recover in time for his blockbuster showdown against the formidable Nick Kyrgios who came through his match in straight sets against Cristian Garin. Nadal leads their head-to-head 6-3 and has won their two previous meetings at SW19.  

“I hope to be ready to play it,” he said of the semi-final.
“TNick is a great player on all surfaces, especially on the grass. He’s having a great grass-court season and it’s going to be a great challenge. I need to be one hundred percent.”

At the age of 36 Nadal is seeking to reach his first Wimbledon final since 2011.

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“I Thought The Ship Had Sailed’ – Nick Kyrgios Reaches Maiden Wimbledon Semis

The 27-year-old reacts to achieving a new milestone in his career.

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Nick Kyrgios (AUS) - Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios has achieved his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament after beating Cristian Garin in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. 

 

Kyrgios, who was playing in the last eight of the tournament for the first time since 2014, rallied to a 6-4, 6-3, 7-5(5) win over his Chilean rival. Becoming the first player from his country to reach the last four of the men’s draw since Lleyton Hewitt did so back in 2005.  


”I felt I was playing on the back foot a lot. He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said afterward. “He’s obviously very confident. Hell of a tournament for him to make the quarter-finals. I got lucky on a couple of break points here and there. It could have been him standing here (giving the winner’s interview).”

In what was a largely controlled match from Kyrgios, he produced a total of 17 aces alongside 35 winners against 29 unforced errors. There were the occasional outbursts and criticism of the lines officials but it was by nowhere as controversial as his previous encounters against Stefanos Tsitspas in the third round and Paul Jubb in the first.

The breakthrough comes during what has been a turbulent career. Kyrgios has been a player involved in many controversies and was at one stage issued with a suspended ban from the Tour due to unsportsmanlike conduct. However, his talent was never doubted but many were unsure if he could be consistent enough to have a deep run at a major event. He once was at a pub until 4 am on the same day he was due to play Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

“It was an amazing atmosphere out here (on court one). I never thought I will be in the semifinal of a grand slam. I thought my ship had sailed.” He admits. 
“I didn’t go about things earlier in my career great and I may have wasted (time).’
‘I’m really proud of the way I’ve come back out here with my team and with that performance.”

As one of the few top 100 players who travel without a coach, Kyrgios paid tribute to those around him. 

“I don’t have a coach I would never put that burden on someone,” he jokes.
“Each and every one of my team plays an important role. I feel like nobody knows my tennis better than I do. I’ve been playing this sport since I was seven and to be in the semi-final of a slam I am pretty happy.”  

Kyrgios is the lowest-ranked Wimbledon semi-finalist since 2008.

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