Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki Comment on Sharapova's Doping Scandal - UBITENNIS
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Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki Comment on Sharapova’s Doping Scandal

Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki were amongst the first WTA players to comment on the doping scandal exploded yesterday when Maria Sharapova revealed to have tested positive to Meldonium. What do Serena and Caroline think?

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When Maria Sharapova entered a temporary press conference room in a downtown hotel in Los Angeles, many thought the Russian was ready to announce her retirement from tennis. What followed was far more shocking that the end of a career itself, as the Russian literally shocked the tennis community admitting to having failed a drug test last January at the Australian Open after testing positive to Meldonium, an anti-ischemic she had been taking for 10 years to deal with a magnesium deficiency.

Surprisingly, while the majority of the people involved with sports posted immediate reactions on social media, a cloud of silence settled on the WTA tour. A part from Madison Keys, who publicly sustained the Russian and Jennifer Capriati, who instead asked the Russian should have all of her titles ripped off, the rest of the women’s tour didn’t react. Were they all too shocked?

It seems so. After one day, we finally know what both World No.1 Serena Williams and former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki think of the whole shebang.

“As most people I am shocked, but I am happy Maria was upfront and very honest. She showed a lot of courage” commented Serena, who hasn’t lost to Sharapova in more than 10 years.

Following the American’s comments, Caroline Wozniacki – who was with Serena today as showed on the American’s Instagram account – was less understanding of Sharapova’s alleged negligence.

“Any time we do take a any medication, as athletes we triple check because sometimes even things like cough drops or a nasal spry can happen to be on the list” said the former World No.1, who lost to Serena the last Grand Slam final she has played in 2014 at the US Open.

Jennifer Capriati, as we know, was in no forgiving mood when the lashed at the Russian through her Twitter account (Jennifer’s tweets here).

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Alex De Minaur Defends Mexican Open Title To Stay In World’s Top 10

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Alex de Minaur - Australian Open 2024 (foto X @ATPTour_ES)

Alex de Minaur has become the first player in over a decade to win consecutive titles at the Mexican Open after beating Casper Ruud in straight sets. 

The Australian world No.9 dropped his serve only once en route to a 6-4, 6-4, victory over the three-time Grand Slam finalist. De Minaur managed to take control of the final with the help of 28 winners which was more than three times that of his opponent (eight). He also won 67% of his first service points and broke Ruud three times. 

“It’s been an amazing week,” said De Minaur, who also beat Jack Draper and Stefanos Tsitsipas earlier in the tournament. “Probably a week I didn’t really expect if I’m honest. I came into Mexico not feeling my best and just kept on telling myself to keep giving myself chances. I think today I played my best match of the tournament, so I’m extremely happy with that.” 

It is the first time the 25-year-old has defended a title on the ATP Tour. The triumph has ensured that he will remain in the ATP top 10 on Monday when the standings are updated. He is also the first player to have won the Mexican Open in consecutive years since its surface was changed from clay to hardcourt in 2014. 

“Acapulco has been a very good place to me for my tennis career,” he said. “The first time I won a 500, and [now] the first time I’ve defended a title in my career. I feel at home here and it’s a great place to be.” 

De Minaur enters the upcoming North American swing having won 15 out of 19 matches played so far this season. He is the only player in 2024 to have reached multiple ATP 500 finals after Rotterdam, where he lost in the title match to Jannik Sinner. 

Meanwhile, Ruud’s hunt for his first 500 title goes on. Despite being a former world No.2 and Grand Slam runner-up, the Norweigan is yet to win a tournament about 250 level. 

“Fantastic playing all week, too good tonight, too good every night,” Ruud said to De Minaur during the trophy ceremony. “It seems like you are playing in Acapulco quite well and I guess you will come back next year. I hope not, but I’m sure you will!” 

De Minaur has now won eight ATP titles so far in his career with seven of those being on a hardcourt. 

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Daria Kasatkina And Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Lead Calls For VAR In Tennis

There have been calls for VAR to be introduced into the sport.

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Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina have called for VAR to be implemented in tennis.

The calls have came after Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik in Dubai.

As Bublik lead 6-5 in the final set, Rublev shouted in the face of an umpire allegedly swearing in Russian which was picked up by one of the officials.

This saw Rublev be disqualified from the event with Bublik reaching the final in Dubai.

However as a result of the incident players have called for a VAR review system with the video showing inconclusive proof of whether Rublev did swear in Russian.

Leading the calls for such innovation are Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as the duo called for VAR to be introduced on twitter, “So you can just disqualify a player, take away all his points and money, without even checking the video? What a joke, yet another confirmation that we need VAR in tennis and an electronic appeal system in all tournaments,” Kasatkina said on social media.

VAR has been implemented in football and also a similar system in rugby with mixed results.

It’s clear though that more technology would help umpires identify whether a grounds for disqualification would be necessary.

So far VAR has been trialled at the Next Gen Finals and the Nitto ATP Finals.

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Casper Ruud Overcomes ‘Tough Start’ To Set De Minaur Final In Acapulco

Casper Ruud is into his first ATP 500 final after defeating Holger Rune in three sets.

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Casper Ruud is into his second consecutive final in Mexico after defeating Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Acapulco.

The Norwegian had to overcome an electric start from Rune to prevail in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It was a clinical performance from Ruud who is now into his second consecutive final in Mexico after reaching the final in Los Cabos last week.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted it was a tough start but he’s pleased to be in another final, “It was a tough start,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“Holger just came out firing bullets from the forehand, from the backhand and I had not too much time to play my game. I was frustrated at times, especially at the end of the first set, beginning of the second.

“I didn’t really feel like I got to play any points how I wanted to, so there was some frustration towards myself, towards my box, because I didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing.

“But luckily with one break in the second, it turned around a bit and in the third set it got a little physical. I think maybe Holger seemed like he was struggling a little bit and started firing even more and a couple of games it went in and he broke me, which is frustrating.

“Some unforced errors crept up on him and I served really well in the last game to close it out.”

Ruud is now into his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco where he will face defending champion Alex De Minaur.

De Minaur overcame Jack Draper after the Brit retired at 4-0 down in the deciding set.

Heading into Saturday’s final, De Minaur leads the head-to-head 1-0 although that was in a completely different scoring format in the Next Gen Finals.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Ruud will return to the world’s top ten.

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