Venus Williams Overcomes Petra Kvitova In A Three-Set Thriller To Reach A Ninth US Open Semifinal - UBITENNIS
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Venus Williams Overcomes Petra Kvitova In A Three-Set Thriller To Reach A Ninth US Open Semifinal

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In the first evening match scheduled in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, it was a battle between multiple Grand Slam champions between five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. It was Williams, who came out on top, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (2) in a pulsating battle to reach the semifinals at the US Open for the first time since 2010, and for the ninth time in her career. She will face fellow American Sloane Stephens in the last four as she bids to reach a third Grand Slam final in 2017. Williams will also return to the top five in the WTA rankings next Monday for the first time since January 2011.

 

The two multiple Grand Slam champions both held their opening games to get this mouth-watering quarter-final encounter inside the Arthur Ashe Stadium underway. However, it was the former world number two Petra Kvitova who made her move in Williams’ second service game as the ninth seed committed three untimely double faults to hand her opponent a 2-1 lead.

The 13th seeded Czech was all business as she consolidated the break but the two-time US Open champion responded with a hold to love, and a poor service game from Kvitova handed the break back to Williams. Both players were trading from baseline going toe-to-toe but it was the seven-time Grand Slam winner who won three games in a row leading 4-3.

The American played some inspiring tennis (Photo by Elsa / Getty)

Kvitova had gone off the boil in the opening set as she trailed 0-40 and the former world one capitalized on the first break point created to her, and she broke for 5-3 with a crushing backhand winner down the line, which gave her the opportunity to serve out for the first set.

The ninth-seeded American, who’s aiming for her first Grand Slam title since winning at Wimbledon in 2008, edged closer to that goal by clinching the first set with a serve to Kvitova’s forehand, which she could not return, taking the first set 6-3 in just 33 minutes.

 

Kvitova responds to send their sixth encounter to a deciding set

The 13th seed was competing in just her tenth Grand Slam quarterfinal, and Kvitova halted the run of games against her with a good hold of serve. Furthermore, the former world number two was on the comeback trail as she broke Williams’ serve to take a 2-0 lead in the second set.

There was a chance for Williams to break back immediately but she was unable to convert the two break points that she created. Kvitova was upping the decibel levels with a roar of “pojd”, and she took a crucial 3-0 lead in the second set.

There was a halt of play for almost eleven minutes due to rain and the Arthur Ashe Stadium roof was closed. Williams finally got on the scoreboard with a hold to love, and she had another chance to break Kvitova’s serve, however, the Czech saved it and she produced two back-to-back aces, along with a primeval roar, stretching out to an unassailable 4-1 lead.

The two-time US Open champion remained faultless on her serve, and more chances came and went for the seven-time Grand Slam champion but Kvitova was ready in the heat of battle, and at tough moments, her swinging lefty serve got her out of jail and she clinched the game to lead 5-2 with another big roar.

As to be predicted, the two-time Wimbledon champion closed out the second set with ease with Williams’ backhand sailing long taking it 6-3 in an energy-sapping 54 minute set of tennis.

Williams claws her way back to clinch a berth in the semifinals

Kvitova had a good reason to feel to be the favorite in the final set as she led Williams 4-1 in their head-to-head record, and en route to her second Wimbledon title in 2014, they played the match of the tournament in the third round with Kvitova winning 7-5 in the final set.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion won her first game in the final set, and Kvitova responded getting onto the scoreboard early, leveling the score at 1-1. Moreover, despite leading 30-0, it was the 13th seed who drew first blood and took advantage of Wiliams’ frailties on her serve to take a 2-1 lead with two stunning back-to-back cross court backhand winners down the line.

Once again, the American did not give up as she was looking for the immediate break back. However, at 0-40, Kvitova did not give the former world number one a chance to get the break as she served immaculately well. The Czech held onto her serve, nudging the scoreboard once again with an ace out wide to lead 3-1.

However, once again, the pendulum swung in the ninth seed’s favor as she reeled off three games in succession to take a decisive 4-3 lead in the final set with Kvitova playing catch up once more. Under severe pressure and with the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd against the 27-year-old, she produced three aces in stunning fashion to restore parity at 4-4.

The two multiple Wimbledon champions have mutual respect for each other (Photo by Elsa / Getty)

Both players did not face another break point in this final set encounter, and the only way to separate these two multiple Grand Slam champions was a final set tiebreak.

The duo both won their first points in the tiebreak to keep the tiebreak at honors even at 1-1, however, it was the two-time US Open champion, who made her first move as her backhand caught Kvitova out, who was looking to pass the American, with her forehand going astray.

Williams stretched out to a comfortable 4-1 lead with the minibreak intact, and the wind had seemingly sailed out of the 13th seed. Her forehand continued to break down, and she committed an untimely double fault, which handed Williams a 6-1 lead, and five match points.

Kvitova saved the first one by virtue of a double fault from the former world number one but the seven-time Grand Slam champion made no mistake on the second one as she served a big second serve out wide to Kvitova’s backhand, clinching a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(2) in two hours and 34 minutes. It was arguably the match of the tournament in both men’s and women’s singles draws.

Williams spoke to Rennae Stubbs, after the match, and she thanked the fans for their support. “I have to say, I felt every single one of you guys behind me, all 23,000, it feels good, it feels amazing and I didn’t want to let you guys down, thank you so much for the support.”

Kvitova acknowledged the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd after a tough battle with Williams (Photo by Matthew Stockman / Getty)

Williams said some nice things about Kvitova after the match in her on-court interview. “First of all, everything that she’s gone through, to go through that is unbelivable, you don’t imagine one day and that’s going to happen, so it’s so wonderful to see her playing amazing. I’m so excited to her seeing well, I’m excited to be able to play her, I’m so fortunate to have won that match, it came down to the wire, and I hope we have more matches like that and I’m wishing her more titles and more winners.

Williams spoke about American tennis and praised her sister Serena, “I think we have to give some credit to Serena, but there was a time in tennis, where all of my rivals were American, Capriati, Davenport and Monica Seles, so I love seeing these young Americans coming up, and playing big and focused, I would love a top four, top five, and we’re playing each other in semifinals, that would be huge.

“When situations gtt hairy, it’s crazy out here, I try to tell myself to enjoy my competition, enjoy the battle, and I think that I was able to do that, thank you guys for staying out here to see me through.”

Grand Slam

US Open Taking A Big Risk If Tournament Goes Ahead, Warns Former Top 10 Player

Will the USTA be able to defy the odds and stage the North American grand slam as planned?

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The prospect of the US Open going ahead as planned could potentially lead to ‘scandal’ occurring in the sport, according to a two-time quarter-finalist of the tournament.

 

Janko Tipsarevic says a ‘big question mark’ is looming over the grand slam and its intention to host the event from the last week of August. New York state, which is where the US Open takes place, is at the centre of the covid-19 outbreak in America. As of Saturday morning official figures put the number of cases at 113,700. The Billie Jean Tennis Center has recently been turned into a 350-bed facility to help cope with the outbreak.

“I wouldn’t still rule out the possibility of seeing a tennis ball being hit for the rest of 2020 but I consider the US Open a big question mark,” Tipsarevic told Sport Klub.
“I think the United States will be the hardest hit country by the coronavirus pandemic and it will be extremely hard to get the situation under control before the end of August, when the US Open is scheduled to start.”

Nevertheless, the United States Tennis Association is still not giving up their hope of staging the event as scheduled unlike other majors. The French Open has suspended their tournament to the last week of September in a hope they can still host the event this year. However, Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since 1945.

There are also questions as to how much time it will take to make the facility safe for the public after being used to treat those with the virus. The facility being used to treat those affected is the indoor training centre and not the premier Arthur Ashe stadium or other courts. Danny Zausner, who is the chief operating officer of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, insists there will minimal risk to the public should the US Open get underway in the summer.

“I can assure you that by the time people leave these two entities—and obviously we hope that’s sooner rather than later—that they will be cleaner and more meticulous than when they opened. Obviously, we’re not going to be bringing the public into these spaces until everyone is out.” Zausner told tennis.com.

Despite the reassurances, Tipsarevic still believes that the legal risk involving the tournament could be too high. Making a reference to Eugenie Bouchard, who onced sued the USTA after slipping over in the locker room and suffering a concussion.

“You probably remember when Eugenie Bouchard fell in the locker room a couple of years ago, sued the US Open, won the case and got compensated a few million dollars.” He said.
“Can you imagine a situation in which the tournament organizers decide to proceed with the US Open and a player contracts the coronavirus and has serious consequences. Just imagine that scandal.”

Out of the four grand slams, the US Open was the only one to take place during the first and second world wars.

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Wimbledon Announces Cancellation As Coronavirus Continues To Affect Tennis Calendar

For the first time since World War Two, Wimbledon has been cancelled.

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Wimbledon has announced it has cancelled this year’s tournament due to health fears over the coronavirus. 

 

This is the first time since world war two that the famous grass-court tournament at SW19 has been cancelled as the coronavirus continues to impact the tennis calendar.

In a statement, Wimbledon confirmed that the next edition of the tournament will occur in 2021, “It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” they said on their website.

“The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021. Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.

“Members of the public who paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s Championships will have their tickets refunded and will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for The Championships 2021. We will be communicating directly with all ticket-holders.”

Speaking on the decision, All-England Club chairman Ian Hewitt admitted that health and public safety was more important than tennis right now, “This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen.”

“It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.”

As a result of today’s announcement, all grass-court tournaments in England and abroad have been cancelled as there will be no tennis until the 13th of July at the earliest.

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Wimbledon Cancelled And Roland Garros Punished For Its Decision

German Tennis Federation vice-president Dirk Hordoff confirms Wimbledon will not take place in 2020. The decision by the FFT to postpone Paris will not stand: the other organizations are committed to fight. FFT’s president Giudicelli may have overplayed his hand

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A bombshell interview by French sports newspaper l’Equipe to the Vice-President of the German Tennis Federation Dirk Hordoff has released some new details about the discussions taking place behind the scenes among top tennis executive to try and sort out the chaos created by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

According to Hordoff, the grass-court season will be a write-off in 2020, with all tournaments waiting for Wimbledon to announce the cancelation of the tournament next Wednesday to make their decision official. “It’s the only decision that makes sense,” said the German executive “it is possible to play on clay later in the year, but it is not possible to have tournaments on grass in October, you can’t play on grass when it is moist”.

But the juiciest bits of the interview described with an abundance of details the reactions to the French Federation’s decision to unilaterally postpone the Roland Garros to late September (20 September – 4 October) without waiting to reach a consensus among the ATP, the WTA and the other Grand Slam tournament. “This is not the French way of doing things, it’s Bernard Giudicelli’s way of doing things”, said Hordoff. The FFT President Giudicelli reportedly forced the decision upon the other tournaments, uploading the press release to announce the decision while he was on a conference call with other tennis executives. “I believe he panicked because of the elections coming up [in February 2021] and wanted to score some points on his opponent” reported Hordoff. His decision to also cancel the qualifying tournament was intended to be a “biscuit” for the ITF President David Haggerty, since it would make the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid in November even more financially attractive to all the players who did not have the opportunity to earn money with the Roland Garros qualifying tournament. “He hoped to have the ITF on his side, but now he is alone against the rest of the world,” said Hordoff, adding that the ATP is threatening to remove the ranking points assigned to Roland Garros for both 2020 and 2021.

One manager at the FFT allegedly told Hordoff: “This decision will be his Waterloo”, alluding to Giudicelli’s birth region of Corsica, the island in the Mediterranean that also was Napoleon’s birthplace.

The idea for the remainder of the season would be to have Roland Garros some time between September and October, depending on when it is possible to start playing again and have a short clay-court season before then. The situation in New York is quite dire at the moment, so the US Open is still a question mark for the time being, explained Hordoff. “But the most important thing right now is people’s health. I believe that until we have a vaccine or a cure it will be difficult to start again. Can you imagine all the people travelling from tournament to tournament, all the players, the fans, the coaches, the physios, the referees? There are more important things than tennis to think about”.

“Financially tennis will be all right – concluded Hordoff – I don’t see any of the Top 100 having problems to survive even without tennis. Of course, there may be some sponsors that will pull back their support to some tournaments, but tennis will survive. It will be different, but it will survive”.

Correction: In previous versions of the article, Dirk Hordoff was being identified as the President of the German Tennis Federation. His position has now been corrected.

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