Prodigies set for match-up in the final round of Australian Open Qualifying as Reilly Opelka and Casper Ruud both win - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Prodigies set for match-up in the final round of Australian Open Qualifying as Reilly Opelka and Casper Ruud both win

Avatar

Published

on

Reilly Opelka has made it through to the final round of Qualifying, and will face another junior prodigy in Casper Ruud (Image via Zimbio.com)

A blockbuster final round of qualifying in in the Australian Open is set up as two teenagers prepare to face off for the right to feature in the main draw. Reilly Opelka (19) and Casper Ruud (18) both won their matches to meet on the main tour for the first time after encouraging junior careers.

 

Jan Satral defeats Yasutaka Uchiyama 76 16 97. The Czech backed up his win over twelfth seed Alessandro Giannessi with a tough grinding win over young Japanese Yasutaka Uchiyama. The Czech took a tight first set before crumbling in the second. A tight final set was finally won by Satral nine-seven.

(11) Evgeny Donskoy defeats Matthew Ebden 76 46 62.  Donskoy has not had it easy in his first two rounds of qualifying. After struggling against Dmitry Popko in the first round, Matthew Ebden, who is more known his grass court expertise, gave the eleventh seed a real battle. It was Donskoy who produced the clutch performance in the third set, going up two breaks in the final set.

Noah Rubin defeats (32) Roberto Carballes Baena 64 36 62. Young American Noah Rubin continued his fine start in qualifying as he ground down thirty-second seed Carballes Baena in three sets. Carballes Baena had broken Rubin in his first two service games, but immediately surrendered the advantage back both times, and Rubin pulled away in the first. Carballes Baena won the second but his serve broke down again in the third, another seed out.

Luca Vanni defeats Alexander Sarkissian 36 63 62. Luca Vanni recovered from losing the first set against the in-form American Sarkissian. Sarkissian had beaten the seeded Henri Laaksonen in the first round, but failed to back up his first set display in the this one, winning just five games in the next two sets.

Jurgen Melzer defeats (13) Taro Daniel 63 62. Former Roland Garros semi-finalist Melzer is still alive in qualifying after he defeated thirteenth seed Daniel in comprehensive fashion. Melzer will need to beat twentieth seed Rajeev Ram to make the main draw.

(20) Rajeev Ram defeats Marcelo Arevalo 61 46 86. Ram was in the main draw directly last year, but has seen his ranking fall significantly since winning his second Newport title a few years ago. He had a comfortable start with his match against Arevalo, but was forced to fight hard in the second and third sets, eventually winning an over-time third set.

Blake Mott defeats (14) Tobias Kamke 62 64. Qualifying has been tough for the Aussies so far, with few making it through so far. Blake Mott is one still in with a chance though, after shocking the fourteenth seed in surprising fashion. Mott only dropped six games in the match, as Kamke’s game regressed back to the form that saw him barely win a match in the first half of 2016.

James McGee defeats (30) Vincent Millot 62 64. McGee and most will face off unseeded in their section after they both took down seeds. McGee’s contribution was to beat Millot. Things had not started well as Millot had broken early. McGee quickly settled though, recovering the break, and dropping just five games after losing that first service game.

Alex Bolt defeats Matthias Bachinger 64 76. Alex Bolt was another who recovered from an early deficit to enjoy a straight sets win. Bolt was also down an early break against the German Bachinger. Bolt also recovered, and won a close encounter taking the second seed on a tiebreak to see another Aussie in with a chance of qualifying for the main draw.

(26) Julien Benneteau defeats Guilherme Clezar 75 60. Julien Benneteau is more used to being seeded twenty-sixth in the main draw, not qualifying. The Frenchman has not let that dampen his spirits though, adding Clezar’s name to Milojevic’s in terms of straight sets wins. Clezar is more comfortable on clay, and fell away badly after a close first set.

Reilly Opelka defeats Mitchell Krueger 63 76. Opelka is the joint-tallest player on ATP records, sharing the feat with Ivo Karlovic. Unsurprisingly, Krueger struggled to make inroads against the former Junior Wimbledon winners serve. Opelka broke in the first before using a tiebreak to finish the match in the second set.

Casper Ruud defeats Jonathan Eysseric 63 36 63. Young Norwegian is a highly-rated junior. His best results have to date come on clay however, and he struggled a little with the left-handed Eysseric in the match, as the Frenchman used his confident net coverage to take time away from the teenager. Ruud took advantage of some errors though, breaking in the first when Eysseric hit an errant smash. Ruud will face the 6’11 Reilly Opelka in the final qualifying round, a tantalising prospect.

 

 

 

 

Latest news

Venus Williams Explains Met Gala Photo With Maria Sharapova

The former world No.1 says she and her sister Serena have ‘respect and love’ for Sharapova.

Avatar

Published

on

Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams at the 20201 Met Gala (image via Instagram)

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams says there are no hard feelings between her, her sister Serena and Maria Sharapova after the trio took a photo together at the Met Gala.

 

The former world No.1s was seen smiling and laughing together at the New York fundraising event with both of the Williams sisters uploading a photo of them all on their Instagram story. Prompting surprise from some fans considering the at times icy rivalry between Serena and Sharapova that dates back to the 2004 Wimbledon Championships.

In her 2017 autobiography, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Sharapova mentioned Serena’s name more than 100 times. She says the American hated her for beating her at Wimbledon that year and that the two were ‘not friends.’

“What I heard when I came in to the locker room was Serena Williams bawling,” Sharapova wrote.
“Guttural sobs. I got out as quickly as I could, but she knew I was there.
“I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds … I think she hated me for seeing her at her lowest moment.
“But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it.”

Responding to the claims, Serena hit back at the book in 2018 by describing it as ‘hearsay’ and said she never had any ‘negative feelings’ towards Sharapova. The two clashed on the Tour no fewer than 22 times with Serena winning 20 of those meetings.

“So I don’t have any negative feelings towards her, which again, was a little disappointing to see in that hearsay book,” Williams commented back in 2018. “So I have always, you know, and especially having a daughter, like, I feel like negativity is taught. One of the things I always say, I feel like women, especially, should bring each other up.”

Three years later and it now seems that all parties have put their disagreements behind them. At the Met Gala they were seen getting on pretty well. Besides posing for a photo together, they were also seen together in the bathroom at the event. A photo taken by pop star Anitta and rapper Saweetie which showed them in the background.

Speaking about the event for the first time, 41-year-old Williams said she wishes Sharapova was still playing before adding that they still ‘respect and love’ each other.

“First of all, Serena and I were talking about Maria the day before,” the 41-year-old explained on Instagram.
“We were like, ‘Damn, I wish Maria was still playing.’
“And we saw her, and we both told her separately, ‘Oh my gosh, we were just talking about you yesterday, we wish you were still on tour.’
“We were so happy to see each other. There was hugs, there was laughing, there were stories, and there was a photo.
“So the backstory is that even though us players compete really hard of the court for years, we still respect and love each other, and love Maria
.”

Williams, Serena and Sharapova have won a total of 35 Grand Slam singles titles between them.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Belinda Bencic cruises past Zarina Diyas to reach the quarter final in Luxemburg

Avatar

Published

on

This year’s Olympic champion Belinda Bencic cruised past Zarina Diyas 6-1 6-3 to reach the quarter final at the WTA Tournament in Luxemburg 

 

Bencic broke three times and converted her second set point to win the first set 6-1. Diyas earned her first break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Bencic broke broke straight back in the fourth game and sealed the second set 6-3 with another break in the sixth game. 

The Swiss player sealed the second set on her second match point. 

Bencic set up a match against Liudmila Samsonova, who beat the Swiss player in the Berlin final last June. Former Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko beat Arianne Hartono 6-2 4-6 6-1. Hartono started the first set with a break in the opening game. Ostapenko broke straight back on the second game and earned two breaks in the sixth and eighth games to win the first set 6-2. Both Hartono and Ostapenko won a service game at love. Hartono broke serve at 2-2 and raced out to 4-2. The Dutch player hit some winners and broke Ostapenko at 4-3. Ostapenko broke twice in the fourth and sixth games to win the third set 6-1. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

Emma Raducanu Launches Own Weibo Account With Viral Video

In her first video, the teenage sensation promised to play in China next year.

Avatar

Published

on

Emma Raducanu reacts after winning a Women's Singles semifinal match at the 2021 US Open, Thursday, Sep. 9, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

British tennis sensation Emma Raducanu is gaining a rapidly growing fan base in China with her first video on the social media account Weibo surpassing one million views in less than two days.

 

The 18-year-old has become one of the most talked about athletes in the world of tennis following her unprecedented run to the US Open title. At the Grand Slam she didn’t drop a single set in 10 matches played to become the first qualifier in history to ever win a major title. Even more remarkable was the fact Raducanu was playing in a Grand Slam main draw for only the second time in her career.

In her native UK bookmakers are already tipping the youngster as a strong contender to win this year’s prestigious BBC Sports personality of the Year award. Although it isn’t just Britain where she is proving to be a hit. Raducanu was actually born in Canada to a Romanian father and Chinese mother who both work in the finance section. The family moved to the UK when Raducanu was two-years-old.

“My mum comes from a Chinese background. They have very good self-belief. It’s not necessarily about telling everyone how good you are, but it’s about believing it within yourself. I really respect that about the culture,” she said.
“She’s always instilled a lot of discipline and respect for other people into me, so I think that having parents like I do, they always push me, they have high expectations so I’ve always tried to live up to that. And I just hope I did them proud this week and I’m going to keep trying to go, keep going.”

Shortly after her US Open win, the world No.23 delivered a message in mandarin which was posted on the tournament’s Weibo account. SportsPro Media reports that the video generated more than 11 million impressions.

Now Raducanu has launched her own Weibo account with a video message to her fans. Shine.cn, which is a website powered by Chinese newspaper Shanghai Daily, said that the British player has promised to play in the country next year. This season’s Asian swing has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Shine also said she spoke with a slight ‘accent from northeast China’ where her mother is from.

According to the latest view count, the video has been watched more than 1.22 million times since it was published. The view count may look impressive but it is by no means a one off. The Guardian newspaper recently reported that two hashtags related to Raducanu on Weibo have been viewed at least 200M times each as a result of her US Open win. These hashtags were ‘18-year-old ethnic Chinese young player wins US open championship‘ and ‘Raducanu.’

Despite her relative inexperience on the Tour, many are tipping Raducanu to become one of the most marketable athletes in the world. Her ability to interact with the Chinese market will play a significant role in those considering the country has invested millions into the sport and hosts a series of prestigious women’s events. However, in the immediate future the teenager says her focus is on the tennis.

“I have a few days’ rest and recovery – I think needed after the last seven weeks,” she told CNBC’s Closing Bell earlier this week.
“But then I am straight back to training and hungry to get better and come back out and play some more tournaments.”

Besides Weibo, Raducanu also has over 583,000 followers on Twitter, 1.9M Instagram followers and 63,000 followers on her official Facebook page.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending