Serena Williams Bids To Return To Winning Ways As She Targets Olympic Glory - UBITENNIS
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Serena Williams Bids To Return To Winning Ways As She Targets Olympic Glory

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Serena Williams in action during the Australian Open (Zimbio.com)

The start to the 2016 season has already seen glimmers of triumph and despair for world No.1 Serena Williams.

The American’s start to the year saw her withdraw from the Hopman Cup due to a left knee injury. As the doubts about Williams’ form continued, she reaffirmed her dominance in the game with a run to the final of the Australian Open without dropping a set. She was unable to complete her fairytale return to the main stage of tennis after being outplayed by a flawless Angelique Kerber in the final. Since her loss in Melbourne Williams hasn’t played a match on the WTA Tour after being sidelined from action due to illness.

The 34-year-old will return to  action at the BNP Paribas Open next week where she will be hoping to claim her first title since the Cincinnati Open last August. Speaking about her Melbourne final against  Kerber, the 21-time Grand Slam champion hopes to use the loss as motivation for her.

“Whenever I lose, it definitely motivates me to do better,” Williams told Reuters.
“There’s a lot from that match (in Australia) that I feel like I can improve on and do a lot better. Hopefully I will achieve that this year.”

There is a busy year ahead for Williams, who will be defending her titles at the French Open and Wimbledon championships. She is also targeting success at the Rio Olympics in August. The American has an outstanding record in the Olympic Games with a quartet of gold medals (three from doubles and one from singles). Looking ahead to the games, the 34-year-old admitted that she wouldn’t be ‘playing as much’ in the week’s prior to the event to get herself prepared for the event.

“Tennis players never really thought about winning the Olympics, you grew up thinking about winning grand slams but now, with tennis in the Olympics, of course you think about it,” the world No.1 said.
“The Olympics have had such a big impact on everyone. It (the August Games) will probably affect my schedule a little bit and I probably won’t be playing as much because I will be in Rio. I am really looking forward to it.”

Williams also spoke about the potential Zika Virus threat at the Olympics. Admitting that it is something that she is worried about, the world No.1 said that wanted to read more about it. She is the latest player to speak about the virus. At the Rio Open, David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal dismissed the concerns.

Serena Williams 2016 Schedule

03/09/16 – 03/19/16 Indian Wells

03/20/16 – 03/31/16 Miami

05/02/16 -o 5/08/16 Madrid

05/09/16 – 05/15/16 Rome

05/23/16 – 06/05/16 Roland Garros

06/27/16 – 07/10/16 Wimbledon

07/25/16 – 07/31/16 Montreal

08/06/16 – 08/14/16 Olympic Games in Rio

08/28/16 – 09/11/16 US Open

09/26/16 – 10/02/16 Wuhan

10/03/16 – 10/09/16 Beijing

10/24/16 -10/30/16 Singapore

Source: Serenawilliams.com

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Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream

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Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid

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Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon

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image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.

ARMS UP FOR A CHAMPION

The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.

KREJCIKOVA COMES THROUGH UNDER PRESSURE

Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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