Venus Williams gets revenge on Konta - UBITENNIS
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Venus Williams gets revenge on Konta




Venus Williams avenged her 2017 semi-final loss to Johanna Konta by beating the Brit 5-7 6-1 6-2 in the fourth round of the 2018 Miami Open.

The American’s win earns her a 13th quarter-final appearance in Miami and means she has now beaten Konta three times in a row since her 6-4 7-5 defeat last year at Crandon Park.

Williams had to achieve victory from a set down – the first time either player has done so in this head-to-head – after the Brit won a tight opener courtesy of a decisive break in the 11th game.

The American, 37, raised her game superbly at the start of the second set and broke Konta immediately to lead 2-0. From that point on, she never looked back as she won 12 of the last 15 games in the match to claim the second and third sets with ease.

Defending champion Konta made the perfect start to the match as she broke Williams in the opening game. She almost earned a double break in game three but wasted four opportunities to clinch it.

Saving those break points enabled the American to find some much-needed rhythm and, shortly afterwards, she levelled the score at 3-3 by breaking back.

Williams even had a chance to take the opener when Konta was serving at 4-5. However, she failed to take advantage of her solitary set point and ended up losing the set 7-5.

After sealing the early break in set two with a thunderous forehand winner, the veteran American pressed on with a comfortable hold and then put pressure on the Brit’s serve by winning the first two points of the game.

However, Konta held firm and nearly broke Williams in game five. From 40-0 up, the American committed two unforced errors and a double fault to let the Brit back into the game.

Then, a couple of points later, Konta crunched a forehand winner to earn break point. Williams saved it with a big serve that was too hot for the Brit to handle and went on to hold for 4-1.

The rest of the set went by in a flash as two errors and a double fault from Konta handed the American another break and Williams held easily to clinch it 6-1.

Before the decider, Konta received treatment on her back. But it did not seem to help as she made a few errors and was broken in the opening game.

The Brit fought hard to try and get back into the match and, after Williams saved a break point in game two, Konta managed to level the score by breaking in game four.

However, that was the last game the Brit won as Williams immediately broke her again and raced through the remaining three games she needed to secure the win.

In her post-match, the American said she feels “very focused” this year in Miami. She also explained why it has not surprised her that she has had to win three tough matches to get to the last eight.

“Pretty much everyone I play plays me tough, so that’s the norm for me,” said Williams. “There are no easy matches.”

She continued, “(To win) you have to realize that the player across the net wants to win, too. So you have to fight for every point, and if you come up short, then you just start over again. Everyone is so good now that you can’t expect to have an easy match.”

Svitolina and Azarenka reach last eight

Williams now has a great chance to go on and claim her first Miami title, but she will probably have to win some more difficult matches to do it due to the calibre of player remaining.

The American will be expected to win her next match against the winner of the match between Monica Puig and Danielle Collins.

However, if she makes it to the last four, she might face Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian kept alive her hopes of Miami glory by producing an inspired comeback to beat Ashleigh Barty 7-5 6-4.

Svitolina made a poor start to the match and found herself 5-2 down in the opening set. But, after a chat with her coach Andrew Bettles, she upped her intensity and won five games in a row to take the first set.

And the Ukrainian withstood everything Barty threw at her in the second set to win it 6-4 and book her place in the quarter-finals.

In the other half of the draw, Victoria Azarenka had a far easier time of things as she cruised past Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 6-2 to set up a fascinating quarter-final clash with Karolina Pliskova.

Despite her impressive win over World No.1 Simona Halep in the previous round, the Pole was unable to cope with Azarenka’s returning ability as the Belarussian broke her seven times in the match.

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Asian Games Champion Qinwen Zheng Reveals Shock Departure Of Coach Fissette



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China’s Qinwen Zheng says she feels ‘hurt’ by the decision of her former coach to end their collaboration in order to work with another player. 


The US Open quarter-finalist had been working with Belgium’s Wim Fissette in recent weeks following the departure of Pere Riba who is now the coach of Coco Gauff. Fissette has a wealth of experience in women’s tennis after working with the likes of Kim Clijsters and Naomi Osaka. However, Zheng says she is now looking for a new mentor.

“I understand his decision, but my family and I feel hurt. Right now I don’t want to talk about this person (Fissette),’ journalist Bendou Zhang quoted her as saying. 

Fissette is yet to comment on his departure. He had previously coached former world No.1 Osaka between 2019-2022 and during this period she won two of her four Grand Slam titles. The American-based Japanese player is on maternity leave from the sport and gave birth to her first child in July.

20-year-old Zheng is currently ranked 23rd in the world and won her maiden WTA title in Palermo earlier this year. She is the youngest player from her country to have reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam in the Open Era following her run at Flushing Medows. This year she has beaten top 10 players Ons Jabeur and Daria Kasatkina. 

Zheng’s latest career milestone is winning gold at the Asian Games on Friday. in the final, she defeated Zhu Lin 6-2, 6-4, in the blistering Hangzhou heat.

“The feeling was incredible,” Zheng said. “I’m really happy about that. That was not an easy match today and also yesterday (in semifinal against Alex Eala). All of them are good fighters.”

It is not clear who Zheng will be working with during the Asian swing. 

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Daria Kasatkina Criticises Decision To Not Use Roof At Sweltering Pan Pacific Open



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Daria Kasatkina has taken a swipe at organizers at the Toray Pan Pacific Open for not using the roof to cover their premier court on Thursday due to the heat. 


The Russian played her second round match against Despina Papamichail in temperatures around 30 degrees with the humidity making it feel even warmer. Kasatkina battled to a 6-4, 6-4, win after spending more than two hours on the court. She dropped serve four times in the match but managed to break Papamichail seven times en route to victory. 

Speaking on the court following his latest tour win, the world No.13 admitted that she struggled in the conditions and implied that she believed the roof should have been closed to shield the players from the sun. Tokyo, which is where the tournament is staged, has experienced a record-breaking number of ‘extremely hot’ days this year with their autumn season being warmer than usual. Something that some warn could be a more regular occurrence due to climate change.

“We cannot do much about it. We are using the ice towels and some supplements to keep you hydrated. By at the end, you cannot fight with something you cannot control,” Kasatkina commented on the conditions during her on-court interview.
“I think in these kinds of conditions, if you have a roof, better maybe to close it. If you have these opportunities, better to use it than to make players almost die on the field.” She added. 

Kasatkina is through to her seventh Tour quarter-final of the season. Awaiting her in the next round will be second seed Jessica Pegula who beat Spain’s Cristina Bucșa 6-1, 6-2, in her second round match on Wednesday. It will be only the second Tour meeting between the two players and their first on a hard court. 

Elsewhere in Tokyo, another player to reach the last eight in France’s Caroline Garcia who beat Anhelina Kahlinina 6-4, 6-3. Meanwhile, Anastasia Pavlychenkova defeated Czech Republic’s Linda Noskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-0. 

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Barbora Krejcikova Does The Double In San Jose



After what has been a challenging past few weeks on the Tour, Barbora Krejcikova has returned to the winner’s circle by claiming both the singles and doubles titles at the San Diego Open. 


The world No.13 battled to a marathon 6-4, 2-6, 6-4, win over Sofia Kenin in what was a clash of the former Grand Slam champions. Krejcikova was pushed to her limits throughout the two-and-a-half-hour clash with there being no break in the decider until the final game. It is the second singles title the Czech has won on the WTA Tour this season after Dubai and her seventh overall. 

“Normally I wouldn’t be here,” said Krejcikova, who received a wild card to play in the tournament “I really want to thank them (the tournament organisers). It was very special. I really enjoyed my stay here.”

Krejcikova’s run to the trophy has also seen her score wins over Beatriz Haddad Maia and Danielle Collins earlier in the week. She is the first player from her country to win the tournament. 

Following on from that triumph, the 27-year-old then clinched the doubles title alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova. The duo beat Collins and Coco Vandeweghe 6-1, 6-4.

Krejcikova came into San Jose on a four-match losing streak which started at Wimbledon where she was forced to withdraw from her secound round clash due to a left leg injury. 

“I came here with not really good statistics after my injury, I didn’t actually win any matches,” she said. “So I just came here and I pretty much was hoping and believing that I could get the first win and go from there. It’s pretty special to be sitting here having won [the title].”

It is only the second time in Krejcikova’s career that she has won both the singles and doubles titles at the same event. The first time she did so was at the 2021 French Open where her partner in the doubles was also Siniakova.

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